Innovations in Elections: Making Voting Accessible for Everyone
WASHINGTON (May 6, 2014) - Voting is an important activity for citizens in any democracy, but when elections are not accessible for people with disabilities, as many as 20 percent of potential U.S. voters-47 million individuals-face barriers to voting. Advances in technology have created new opportunities for innovation in elections and voting is more accessible today than in years past, but more progress is still needed. In addition, many of the voting systems adopted after the Help America Vote Act are coming to the end of their useful lifecycles and will soon need to be replaced, creating additional opportunities to invest in innovative, accessible voting technology.
To assess the new technologies, practices, and policies that can help make elections more accessible for everyone, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will host an expert panel discussion and technology demonstration, May 14. It will include the demonstration of technologies developed through the ITIF Accessible Voting Technology Initiative funded by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the release of a report on how to increase voting access through innovation. The event will be held from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor, First Amendment Room.
"Our research shows that elections are still not accessible for millions of voters with disabilities," says Daniel Castro, director of the ITIF Accessible Voting Technology Initiative and organizer of the event. "Through this event we hope to highlight technologies and best practices that can help ensure that all citizens, with or without a disability, can vote privately, securely, and independently."
The panel discussion will be moderated by Castro, and will feature experts from the National Federation of the Blind, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Georgia Tech, Michigan State University, the University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. It is free, open to the public and complies with ethics rules.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.