HFP Subcommittee Teleconference
Friday, September 29, 2006


0. TGDC and EAC updates from Allan, John Wack

1. Status of usability testing research, CIF template, Sharon

2. Discussion #2 of VVSG version 2 draft:
- Section 3.2.3 Functional Capabilities through - C.

3. Other progress and items, Sharon

Participants: Alexis Scott-Morrison, Alice Miller, Allan Eustis, David Flater, John Cugini, John Wack, Nelson Hastings, Philip Pearce, Sharon Laskowski, Wendy Havens,
Whitney Quesenbery

Meeting commenced at 11:00 a.m.

Administrative Updates:

  • Allan: Spent part of last week in Washington state observing the primary canvassing and post-election certification procedures. All four of the major vendors have DREs in various counties in Washington.
  • Allan: Will send out a URL for the house hearings regarding paper trails. HFP items were discussed. (URL: http://boss.streamos.com/real/houseadmin/09282006-final.smi)
  • Allan: Continuing to work to get Philip Pearce/Tricia Mason formally on board as members of the TGDC.
  • John Wack: Has been reviewing the report on Cuyahoga County election problems and been finding issues on usability problems with Diebold systems, as well as usability with audit procedures. Having issues with what to do with paper spools, they are usable but aren't. There are privacy issues, but spools keep all records together for easier handling. He is putting white paper together which he will send out for comments.
  • Sharon: Met with Susan Roth. Susan is finishing up task to identify all the issues on developing usability report/performance bench marks to be used by vendors and what are the issues for test labs. Final draft will be sent around. Other research in progress. We will get enough results through our testing efforts to go in VVSG 07 before March.

Draft HFP Section of VVSG

John Cugini walked the subcommittee through the following sections of the draft HFP sections for VVSG 2007:

3.2.3 Functional Capabilities - Basic things machines can do to make life (VOTING) easier

  • Whitney's general comments about structure and complexity have already been noted.
  • Discussed over-voting, under-voting, and correctional ballots
  • Discussed system capabilities Editable Interfaces

  • Whitney's list of understandable words were helpful for this section
  • In this section, Whitney would like to change the wording from autonomous to independent.
  • Machines that allow you to make changes as you go
  • Contest navigation requirement: make it a shall Non-Editable Interfaces (such as manually marked paper ballots and optical scans

  • Over-voting and under-voting should be kept separate in write-up
  • Under-voting is less controversial because it does not cause cancellation of votes or question of choices such as over-voting, therefore, the severity of it is different.

3.2.4 Cognitive Issues

  • Major discussion on this section.
  • There shouldn't be hidden capabilities.
  • Alexis has concerns about the statement dealing with "voter should be able to operate system and understand their actions". This is a sticky issue for election officials.
  • Whitney: At what point do we say that a system in intelligible for enough people? We have to remember these are goals - and we are writing specific requirements to meet these goals.
  • Sub-requirements of these sections are written in the "should" mode.
  • David Flater pointed out an issue from VVSG 05 regarding error (warning) messages to the voter- need to be "abundantly clear".
  • John Cugini will take a look at the comments about poll worker "error" messages and analyze them and how they may need to be rewritten.
  • Operational messages need to be specific.
  • Part of Jenny Redish's task is to make our "words" more understandable
  • Poll workers and voters need to know that help features and instructions are available if necessary, machines need to have a help function built in.
  • John Cugini is going to draft up a requirement about icon usage - icons must also come with contemporaneous written English.
  • The use of color on the machine displays was discussed.
  • Whitney mentioned that we need to include "Design for Democracy" research

3.2.5 Perceptual Issues

  • Generalize minimum font sizes for any ballot - keep them parallel
  • Need to think about people who have trouble seeing (not the blind) - issues with magnifying the screen print.
  • For accessible systems: bigger font size

3.2.6 Interaction Issues

  • Carry over from VVSG 2005. Covers no page scrolling, unambiguous feedback and accidental activation. Timing Issues

  • This is a new section.
  • Whitney has no major comments on the requirements; this section is quite well done. Could use a few more words.
  • Sharon would like to run this by the vendors through ITAA.

NOTE: Whitney - Before we get into the accessibility section, including alternative languages , we should have the members appointed to the Access Board participating . Wait until next telcon.

3.2.7 Alternative Languages (this section was touched on only briefly)

  • A large portion of this section was rewritten.

3.2.8 Privacy

  • Any warning messages that are given should protect voter privacy.
  • Privacy of overvote should be generalized.
  • VVSG 2005 ambiguous on "receipts".

NOTE: Whitney - We need to identify "big issues" that need to be discussed before the December meeting.

Next teleconference is scheduled for October 20, 2006, at 2:00 p.m. ET.



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