Touch Screen Ballots In Need of Re-Design

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Poor ballot design on touch screen voting systems, which look very much like ATM machines, can lead to voter error and frequent requests by voters for assistance, according to a usability study released in January 2008. 

The five-year study of voter experiences led by the University of Maryland and funded in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York concludes that tremendous improvement in voters’ abilities to cast their votes accurately and without assistance can be accomplished simply by improving the way ballots are laid out on touch screen and paper-based systems. Read the press release.

Despite the ballot design problems, the study says voters generally were satisfied with the systems’ usability and confident that their votes would be accurately cast.

Carnegie Corporation supports non-profit organizations engaged in research and advocacy to promote increased voting and civic participation by all Americans with a particular focus on young people and immigrants. Read more about Carnegie Corporation’s civil participation and civic integration work.