Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society

Project Sponsor: Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)

Problem: Traditional text-based voter guides are lengthy and perplexing for most voters, and can become entirely overwhelming for those with cognitive impairments, including dementia, stroke, traumatic brain injury, learning disabilities, and normal aging. These populations have additional accessibility needs that, if left unaddressed, can generate barriers to participation in the voting process.

Proposed Solution:  The project team will create an enhanced interactive mobile application that presents sample content from the official California Voter Information Guide. The application will be designed with information visualizations and fast feedback loop methods to address cognitive limitations including attention and memory, and possible visual and/or hearing loss, in order to make the voter education process more accessible and effective. We expect that improving comprehension of the voter guide will aid participation, confidence, and accuracy.

A pilot usability study will evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of our innovative prototype as compared with a digital PDF version of the traditional guide presented on the same device.

Who does it help? This project is intended to serve voters with cognitive impairments resulting from dementia, traumatic brain injury, learning disabilities, and normal aging.