GTRI Accessible Voting Poster (Accessible Voting Conference)

Voting Accessibility Survey of Older Adults in Metro Atlanta

The GTRI project team presented this poster at the Accessible Voting Technology Research Conference, sponsored by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), April 1-2, 2013.

Download the poster as a PDF file

Full text of the poster follows

Poster for Voting Accessibility Survey of Older Adults in Metro Atlanta

Text of the Poster

Voting Accessibility Survey of Older Adults in Metro Atlanta

Sarah Farmer, Linda Harley, Carrie Bell, Andrew Baranak, and W. Bradley Fain

Study Goals

  • Understand how older adults voted in November 2012: Absentee, Early, or Election Day
  • Examine the factors driving the method of voting
  • Identify challenges faced by older adults in voting process

Participants: 

  • Recruited from Georgia Tech HomeLab
  • Adults 50 and older living in the Atlanta metro area
  • 188 respondents (Mage = 73 years, SD =10.4, range = 51-99)
  • 67% of respondents were female

Method of Voting (Graph)

  • Participants age 50-74 years (n=87) cited most frequent method was voting on Election Day.
  • Participants age 75+ years (n=86) cited most common method of voting was absentee ballot.

Preferred Method of Voting

*Participants were able to choose more than one response for why they decided to vote absentee, early or on Election Day.

The poster shows three graphs of number of participants choosing each method, by age

Absentee

  • 22% of participants voted via an absentee ballot, the majority of whom were 75 or older
  • Most frequently cited reason was eligibility to cast an absentee ballot due to age (in Georgia, individuals aged 75 years and up may cast an absentee ballot)

Early

  • 34% of participants voted early at a polling location
  • Most frequently chosen reason for voting early was concern about long lines on Election Day

Election Day

  • 44% of participants voted at their polling location on Election Day
  • Most frequently chosen reason was convenient location of the polling place (36%), followed by the desire to participate in the community activity (19%)

Voting Statistics

Highlights of some of the statistics, shown with small illustrations on the poster

  • Voters over the age of 75 are eligible to vote immediately without waiting in line (GA state policy)
  • Only 53% of participants who were 75+ were escorted to the front of the line
  • 78% of the sample voted at a polling place
  • Less than 2% used an accessible voting machine
  • Only 30% of voters received some form of voter education
  • With increased voter education options, older adults’ voting experiences could be improved (read ahead materials, sample ballots, voting system tutorials, etc.)