Concept: Sample Ballot & Information Transfer System

For In-Person Voting

A sample ballot and information transfer system for voting at polling places and vote centers.

Download the concept poster as a PDF file

Concept 2 (January) Sample Ballot & Information Transfer System

Presentation poster for the concept for Sample Ballot & Information Transfer System

About this concept

The text that follows describes the concept presentation poster

Description of the diagram

The visual diagram shows two paths for voters to choose:

1. Use their own computer, laptop, or mobile device with their own assistive technology

  • Use the device to mark their choices
  • Print a ballot on their own printer
  • The printout has a QR code that records their choices
  • Bring the printout to the polling place
2. Pick up a copy of a printed ballot at libraries, post offices, banks
  • Mark the ballot on paper
  • Bring the marked ballot to the polling place
At the polling place, voters:
  1. Scan the ballot: A camera digitizes and loads the voting machine with the choices.
  2. Confirm entries: Browse the voting choices and double check them
  3. Cast vote: Vote is cast electronically, with a paper copy printed for paper-trail purposes

Description of the concept

Our design solution is a system to better prepare voters for going to a polling center and create a more enjoyable voting experience. Ballots are available on paper or in digital form. They’re filled out by the voter, then brought to the polling center. It eliminates polling times, discomfort, and anxiety — the polling machine scans the sample ballot and displays the preselected choices on screen. The voter confirms the selections and cast the vote. The machine itself is an accessibly designed polling machine equipped with a camera (scanner).


  • Increased voting participation
  • Increased voter accuracy and more informed choices with less in-person anxiety
  • Increased device flexibility  (iPad, phone, etc)
  • Reduces paper cost with more targeted ballot printing
  • Modular interpretation of machines (adding printer and scanner to electronic voting machine)

Principles of Universal Design

1: Equitable Use

  • Sample technology is publicly accessible
  • Voting machines are accessible
2: Flexibility in Use
  • Facilitates more accurate choices
  • Access in comfort of home (while using assistive technologies)
  • Ability to confirm choices
  • Make ballot verification into reasonable partitions
3: Simple and Intuitive Use
  • Need human-verifiable code
  • Relies on using current best practices towards usability design
4: Perceptible Information
  • Internet access enables higher technology
  • Allows use of personal assistive technologies
  • Safe space
5: Tolerance for Error
  • Error handling in process
  • Multiple chances to examine answers
6: Low Physical Effort
  • Major actions and thoughts can be made in comfort of home (with existing AT)
  • Minimize time spent in voting location
7: Size & Space for Approach and Use
  • Majority of time and use can be spent in comfortable environments

This concept was created at the Accessible Elections Design Workshop in January, 2012