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Improving the Usability and Accessibility of Voting Systems and Products



Sharon J. Laskowski, James H. Yen, Marguerite W. Autry, J Cuginin, William H. Killam


The goal of this report is to describe how research and best practices from the human factors, human-machine and human-computer interaction, and usability engineering disciplines can be brought to bear to improve the usability and accessibility of voting products and systems. A mojor contribution of the report is a set of ten recommendations for developing standards, accompanying test methods, and guidelines that can measurably improve levels of usability and accessibility. After the introduction we discuss our assumptions and the information we used to generate the recommendations. We describe the current status of and testing process for voting systems, present an overview of the concepts of usability and accessibility, and discuss some related standards. We then present a detailed discussion of approaches that can be applied to improve usability and accessibility based on our review of relevant standards, guidelines, and testing and evaluation methodologies. We conclude with the set of recommendations and discussion of short and long term activities that can help achieve the recommendations.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 500-256
Report Number


Laskowski, S. , Yen, J. , , M. , Cuginin, J. and , W. (2004), Improving the Usability and Accessibility of Voting Systems and Products, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed February 29, 2024)
Created May 7, 2004, Updated February 19, 2017