This year at the polls, voters with visual impairments will have more options than ever. There was a nice article on this very issue waiting for me in my local newspaper this morning.
One of the downsides to those options that current exist for such voters is the cost of the equipment:
Voting machines nationwide are being fitted with such technology, paid for through the federal Help America Vote Act.
Each conversion cost $1,000 and an added machine was bought for each site, said Elaine Manlove, administrative director, Department of Elections for New Castle County. Added storage space also had to be rented.
“This was no small change for us,” Manlove said.
One of the benefits of a centralized remote voting system using telephones is that it could be dramatically less expensive. It could also make the process of voting more efficient:
A downside is that hearing a whole ballot and directions may take 20 minutes, [Manlove] said.
One of the nice things about a phone voting system using speech recognition is that it would provide a much more intuitive interface, cutting down on time needed to explain to voters how to use equipment. Let’s face it, voting equipment is technology you use once an election. Telephones are used everyday.