ITIF Consortium Wins Federal Grant to Improve Voting Accessibility
WASHINGTON – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has been awarded a $2.5 million grant to research and develop ways to improve voting system technologies and processes to make voting more accessible for people with disabilities.
The funds are provided to ITIF and its consortium partners through the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) as required under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. ITIF will oversee activities to increase the accessibility of new, existing, and emerging technological solutions in such areas as assistive technologies, interoperability, and design of voting systems that will help ensure all citizens can vote privately and independently.
This is the second grant ITIF received to improve voting accessibility. In October 2010 ITIF was awarded a grant by the EAC to help advance efforts to improve voting technology and processes for military service members disabled in combat operations.
“This project will help ensure that the one in six Americans living with a disability are able to vote privately and independently,” said ITIF Senior Analyst Daniel Castro, who will administer the grant.
Castro described ITIF’s successful proposal as using a design-led innovation process to document the facilitators and barriers to voting for people with disabilities and create holistic solutions that take into consideration social and environmental requirements along with the technological requirements. He said that the long-term impact of the project will be to create voting systems that are more usable and accessible for all Americans.
EAC serves as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration. It is charged with administering payments to states and developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and accrediting voting system test laboratories and certifying voting equipment. It is also charged with developing and maintaining a national mail voter registration form.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank at the cutting edge of designing innovation policies and exploring how advances in information technology will create new economic opportunities to improve the quality of life. Non-profit, and non-partisan, ITIF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.