Voting may be a right for everyone, but for those with vision impairment, casting a ballot privately can be a challenge. New Hampshire election officials are hoping to change that with the rollout of a new accessible voting system, called “one4all,” during Tuesday’s primary. “I believe we’re one of the first if not the first state to fully adapt tablet-based technology,” says David Morgan, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Association for the Blind. “It’s a tablet-based system, so there’s a keyboard. There’s a voice entry which is not enabled at this point. And there’s a tablet that is both a touch screen, a voice output, and an enter button so that you can listen to the candidates be scrolled. As you hear the candidate you want, you can press enter, or later on for the fall, enter a voice command.”
… Morgan says there’s a big need for this type of system in the state. “Since 2002, the Help America Vote act has committed to provide accessible and individual, private voting for all. There are 22,000 citizens in the state of New Hampshire, many of voting age, that have not had full access or privacy in the voting system.”
… Assistant Secretary of State Tom Manning says the new system will actually save the state money. “The old system required us to pay a little bit less than $250,000 a year in licensing fees for the software that ran in, and then the telephone lines that we needed to connect to our data center would run us about $10,000 a month.”
This system has no software fees, he says. “So basically, the hardware we had to purchase – the tablets, printers, headsets and keyboards – will pay for itself in a little over a year.”
Full Article: Tablet-Based Ballot System for Blind Voters to Debut During N.H. Primary | New Hampshire Public Radio.