Improving Write-In Candidate Text Entry for Audio-Only Voting Interfaces
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Abstract28th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference Scientific/Research Proceedings, San Diego, 2013.
For voters who cannot read a graphical ballot, audio-based voting systems currently in use can provide a private and independent path for entering the first and last names of write-in candidates, but the process tends to be slow, difficult to comprehend, and inaccurate. Challenges range from technical and procedural to cognitive and emotional, and have led, at times, to disenfranchisement, according to the Government Accountability Office???s 2013 Statement before the National Council on Disability. Entering candidate names without difficulty is crucial to the fairness ??? and ultimate legal standing ??? of our election system. To resolve these issues, we developed and tested three novel audio interfaces that enable navigation and selection of characters through simple techniques that allow users to linearly access an alphabet for the purpose of typing a specific name. A number of factors were found to improve character input speed, input accuracy, and user comfort, including using as few as keys as possible for navigation, using high-quality keys such as those found in commercial QWERTY keyboards, and assuring that there is no lag in feedback to user inputs.
Journal on Technology and Persons with Disabilities 2: 176-193.