Workshop Participants (February)

Participants in the February Accessible Election Design Workshop

Michael Barnes, The Center for Election Systems, Kennesaw State University

Michael Barnes is the Director for the Center for Election Systems (CES) at Kennesaw State University.  CES conducts certification testing of election equipment for the state of Georgia.  CES also provides technical, functional, and ballot building and reviewing support for the state of Georgia’s uniform voting system.  Prior to arriving at CES in 2005, Barnes served as assistant director of elections for the Secretary of State of Georgia. In the role he oversaw the state’s efforts to select, procure and install a statewide uniform voting system in 2002.

David  Becker, Pew Center on the States

David Becker is director of Election Initiatives for the Pew Center on the States. He supervises Pew’s portfolio of work in election administration, including research and reform efforts to improve military and overseas voting, assess election performance through better data, use technology to provide voters with information they need to cast a ballot, and upgrade voter registration systems.  As the lead for Pew’s analysis and advocacy on elections issues, Becker oversees research and publications, works with states to modernize registration systems, testifies before state legislatures, and identifies and implements partnerships.  Before joining Pew, Becker served as a senior trial attorney in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where he led investigations into violations of federal voting laws regarding minority language voter rights, redistrictings, voter intimidation and vote dilution.  He also supervised federal monitoring of elections and helped direct Department of Justice policy on enforcing the Help America Vote Act.  Becker received his law degree from the Univ. of California, Berkeley.

Steven Booth, National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Steven Booth is an advocate on behalf of blind voters for fully accessible nonvisual voting.  Since 2001, he has assisted the National Federation of the Blind staff with acquiring, setting up, testing, and evaluating accessible voting machines to fulfill NFB’s participation in Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grants.  He provides demonstrations of the technology at NFB’s National Center for Nonvisual Election Technology (NCNET).  He also participates in voting technology conferences.  Steven has conducted surveys of blind voters and assisted with the development of NFB’s voting guidelines for nonvisual access to voting technology.  He assists voting machine companies with the development and updating of their machines, providing suggestions on improvements for both hardware and software.  He also provides training materials to poll workers on how to assist and set up machines for nonvisual voting.

Yvonne Cai, Dominion Voting Systems

Yvonne Cai is the product manager for all the accessible voting technologies at Dominion Voting Systems. She works with voting system engineers to ensure that Dominion’s products meet the usability, accessibility, and privacy requirements as outlined in the VVSG.  She also conducts usability studies to gather data on how the accessible voting interfaces can be enhanced to better meet the needs of voters with different types of disabilities.

Jacquelyn Callanen, Bexar County, Texas

Jacquelyn Callanen has served in elections since 1986.  She has worked in the field as an election official and has seen elections from the ground up.  She has been in the Bexar County Elections Department since 1996 and has implemented electronic voting and a state wide voter registration data base – all through HAVA.  Bexar County is number 7 in the nation for FPCA voters and strongly supports the military.  The county participated in and manned the Wounded Warrior Voter test at BAMC.  Jacquelyn also developed a user friendly voting method for the disabled community in Bexar County, so they could vote in the comfort of their own homes and in complete privacy

Dana Chisnell,  UsabilityWorks

Dana E. Chisnell has trained thousands of election officials to test the design of their ballots. She also conducted a 2-year, in-depth study looking at ballot instructions, where, along with Dr. Janice C. Redish, they established best practices for the use of plain language in ballots. San Francisco’s former mayor Gavin Newsom appointed her to the country’s only body chartered with writing clear, objective, and unbiased summaries of ballot measures to be included in Voter Information Pamphlets for each city-county election. In 2007, the AIGA sought Dana’s expertise on the research methods behind their ground-breaking Design for Democracy project. She recently ran a 2-city study of ranked choice ballot design usability.

Jim Dickson,  American Assoc. of People with Disabilities

Jim Dickson leads AAPD’s nonpartisan Disability Vote Project, a broad coalition of 36 national disability-related organizations whose mission is to close the political participation gap for people with disabilities. The project focuses on voter registration and education, get-out-the-vote drives, election reform and polling place access. Mr. Dickson played a central role with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCRH) effort to pass the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).  Prior to joining AAPD, Mr. Dickson organized the campaign to place a statue of President Roosevelt in his wheelchair at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial on the Washington, DC’s National Mall. He has organized grassroots, multi-issue organizations in Rhode Island, Connecticut and California. With the support of the Sierra Club, he organized the first grassroots congressional mobilization for the environmental movement, which resulted in the passage of the first Clean Air Act.  Mr. Dickson is a graduate of Brown University.

Jeremy Epstein, SRI International

Jeremy Epstein has been a researcher, consultant, activist, and pollworker for about 7 years.  He conducts research on the security of internet voting systems.  He has worked as a consultant on in-person voting security for the DC City Council, Kentucky Attorney General, and others.  Jeremy is the Co-founder of Virginia Verified Voting, which has worked for election integrity laws.  He is also the Assistant Chief Election Officer (#2 in precinct) in Fairfax County VA.

Christopher Fletcher, Election Systems and Software

Christopher Fletcher is a senior product designer at ES&S with over 15 years experience in the design of innovative software and hardware solutions. Currently, Fletch is focused on incorporating the user centered design process into the next generation of ES&S’s Accessible Voting Equipment.  Prior to ES&S, Fletchs projects ranged from designing an interactive television application for the Department of Defense, to building one of the world’s first e-commerce sites for Omaha Steaks.   Fletch’s project recognition includes “best free internet site” by PC world magazine for his design of the first online white and yellow page directories working with companies including Microsoft & Yahoo.  Fletch received his Certified Usability Analyst (CUA) designation in 2006, and was awarded CUA of the month by Human Factors International in October 2008 for his contributions to the election industry. Fletch is currently a member of Usability Professionals’ Association and the Usability Group of Omaha.

Jenny Greeve, Anthro-Tech

Jenny served as an AIGA Design for Democracy Election Design Fellow for Washington Secretary of State, Sam Reed, from 2009 – 2011. Her mission was to facilitate civic engagement and election accuracy through effective communication design. A few capstones of Jenny’s time as a fellow include the redesign of the statewide voter registration form, and a partnership with the state elections division, county elections offices, and Hart InterCivic to improve ballot layout and design.  Prior to her fellowship, Jenny worked in the private sector as a graphic designer. Currently, she works for Anthro-Tech, an Olympia, Washington-based user-centered design consultancy focused on government agencies, nonprofits and enterprises with a social-impact mission.

 Fran Harris, CATEA, Georgia Tech.

Frances Harris, PhD is an anthropologist specializing in the areas of disability, outcomes research, assistive technology, and qualitative research strategies.  Since 2004 she has worked as a Research Scientist at CATEA leading research projects that investigate the impact of wheeled mobility devices, workplace accommodations, and home modifications, and environmental barriers on activity and participation among people with disabilities.  She is currently researching voter experiences for the AVTI project.

 Candice Hays, Democracy Live

Democracy Live has delivered cloud-based, electronic ballots to thousands of U.S. voters in hundreds of U.S. elections since 2008.   The LiveBallot technology is a web-based eBalloting application that enables voters to research candidates and cast their ballot independently and privately from the comfort of their own home.  Teaming with Microsoft Corp., Democracy Live was selected by the U.S. Department of Defense to deliver virtual ballots to our men and women fighting overseas.   Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has approved the LiveBallot technology for funding to assist the 35 million voters with disabilities in the U.S.  LiveBallot was developed to be universally accessible, enabling disabled voters to see, hear, mark and print their ballot on their home computer.  The software can be populated onto any computer, laptop, or even an iPad.

Kamanzi Kalisa, HAVA Program Manager, Georgia Secretary of State

Kamanzi Kalisa administers the Help America Vote Act Program for the Secretary of State of Georgia with a $10.2 million budget. The program includes improving the administration of elections for voters with disabilities.  He has managed the application and disbursement process of grant funds to over 100 Georgia local jurisdictions.

Jonathan Knoll, InfinityPlusOne

Jonathan is an experience designer who has spent more than a decade engaged in nearly every facet of software design and implementation. He brings UX deliverables to life through his extensive knowledge of prototyping, and his solutions have a penchant for seeing the light of day. Jonathan is responsible for nearly a dozen conference websites, and is ever engaged in a gaggle of other UX community initiatives and activities, including serving on the Advisory Board for the IA Institute. He is a Strategic Advisor for Rosenfeld Media. Jonathan has a masters degree in Comparative Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. While at UCSD, he sought to improve research methodology by using available technologies to work more efficiently in the study of comparative electoral systems, voter strategy, and related sub-fields. He has led workshops on collaborative sketching and prototyping at IDEA, Interaction, IA Summit, and Big Design conferences.

Sharon Laskowski, NIST

Sharon Laskowski, PhD, is a computer scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and manager of the Visualization and Usability Group, which performs research on evaluation methods, metrics, and standards for usability and human-computer interaction.  NIST voting research activities include considering human factors in the design and application of voting systems, including assistive technologies for individuals with disabilities and varying levels of literacy, as well as security, hardware and software requirements. Since 2002, Sharon has been leading the effort at NIST to develop the usability, accessibility, and privacy standards and test methods for voting systems in the United States and works closely with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and their Technical Guidelines Development Committee as described per the Help America Vote Act. She is collaborating with top researchers across the U.S. to further develop and refine these requirements and associated test methods.

Clayton Lewis, Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities

Clayton Lewis is Professor of Computer Science and Scientist in Residence at the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado. He is well known for his work (with students and colleagues) on evaluation methods in user interface design, including the thinking aloud and cognitive walkthrough methods. His recent work on technology for people with cognitive disabilities has been presented to the US Access Board Technical Advisory Committee, CSUN, RESNA, ACM ASSETS, and other forums. He is a member of the CHI Academy, recognizing his contributions to Human Computer Interaction, and was give the CHI Social Impact Award in 2011.

 Ben Lippincott, Shepherd Center – Wireless RERC

Ben Lippincott is the Project Director for Industry and Consumer Outreach, Education and Support for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC).  In this role, Ben serves as the primary point of contact for the RERC’s industry partners and consumers and coordinates their involvement in RERC research and development efforts.  Highlights of his work in this position include co-editorship of the consumer website,, his involvement in the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) Hearing Aid Compatibility working group, AT&T’s Advisory Panel on Access and Aging and editorship of the RERC’s monthly e-newsletter, Re:Wireless, that reaches over 400 wireless industry professionals.

Dean Logan, Los Angeles County

Dean Logan is the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk for Los Angeles County, California — the nation’s largest and most diverse and complex local election jurisdiction with 4.3 million registered voters and over 500 political districts.  The Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk also records real property documents; maintains vital records of births, deaths and marriages; issues marriage licenses; performs civil marriage ceremonies; and processes business filings and other documents; serving an estimated 3,500 customers daily.  Mr. Logan serves on the Executive Board for the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO).  He also serves on the California Secretary of State’s VoteCal Statewide Voter Registration System Advisory Committee, the Election Center’s National Task Forces on Education & Training and Election Reform and the Pew Center on the States’ Voter Registration Modernization and Performance Index for Elections working groups.  Mr. Logan has 20+ years experience in public service in state and local government.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University and is currently completing a Masters of Public Administration through the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.  Additionally, he holds professional certifications as an Elections and Registration Administrator and as a Professional County Official.

Brian Newby, Johnson County Election Office, Kansas

Brian D. Newby was first appointed Johnson County Election Commissioner by Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh in January 2005 and has served under Secretary of State Chris Biggs and the current Secretary, Kris Kobach. He is the 8th Johnson Countian to serve as Election Commissioner.  Since his initial appointment, Newby has administered more than 40 elections while earning national recognition for operational and technological innovation excellence.   After the county’s elections in February, Newby will have administered more elections than any other election commissioner in Johnson County history.

Rex Pace, United States Access Board

Rex Pace joined the U.S. Access Board in April 2011 as a senior accessibility specialist and serves as its technical assistance coordinator.  In this capacity, he oversees the agency’s provision of technical assistance to the public on accessible design and the ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines.  He has over 23 years of experience in accessible design, including work at the Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Section conducting architectural compliance reviews of polling places.  Mr. Pace also worked on the Department’s ADA Checklist for Polling Places, a project in which he developed and produced illustrations for the document.  Before joining DOJ in 2006, he operated a consultancy specializing in accessible and universal design and earlier served as coordinator of technical assistance and a lead designer for the Center for Universal Design at NC State Univ.  He began work in this field in 1987 at Barrier Free Environments, Inc. under Ron Mace, a leading pioneer and renowned expert in accessible design.

Mike Paciello,  The Paciello Group (TPG)

Michael Paciello is Founder and President of The Paciello Group, LLC., a software accessibility consultancy. For nearly 25 years, Mr. Paciello has served as an international leader, technologist and lecturer in the areas of emerging technology, usability, technical & legal standards, and accessibility.

Tammy Patrick, Maricopa County, Arizona

Ms. Patrick is tasked with serving 1.9 million registered voters by ensuring that voter assistance is available in English, Spanish, O’odham, and alternative formats. The organizer of the 2007 Native American Voter Outreach Summit, she is dedicated to voter education, outreach, and empowerment. She continued this work with the EAC’s working group on Language Assistance for Unwritten Languages and has served on the Election Center Task Force on Education and Training, their Benchmarking Team, and Legislative Committee. Her efforts in supporting good stewardship via sound data collection and analysis has afforded her inclusion in The Democracy Index, a position on the Pew Elections Performance Index Advisory Board, and recognition by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  She was awarded the ADA Liberty Patriot Award in 2008 by the AZ Disability Advocacy Coalition.  Ms. Patrick has a bachelor’s in American Studies from Purdue University and has attained accreditation as a Certified Election Voter Registration Administrator through the Election Center/Auburn University. She has worked in the elections field since 2003.

Kelsey Ruger, ChaiONE

Kelsey Ruger has spent the last decade as a developer, user experience designer, marketer and manager in pursuit of his passion for creating solutions that people love. He has lent his expertise to projects with AT&T, Yahoo,  Microsoft,  AIM Management, Myspace, Schlumberger and a number of smaller start-ups.  Kelsey’s consulting, design, and web roots provide him with a unique perspective that helps him bridge the gaps between strategy, creativity and execution, ultimately resulting in useful solutions for his clients and their customers.

Delores Scott, National Disability Rights Network

Ms. Scott is the senior voting rights attorney at the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), in Washington, DC; providing direct training and technical assistance, including advisory opinions, to federally mandated Protection and Advocacy agencies with regard to the voting and access rights of people with disabilities.  Ms. Scott also works with all levels of government to ensure compliance with voting rights and accessibility laws.  NDRN is the nonprofit, voluntary membership organization for the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System.  There is a P&A in every state and territory.   There is also a Native American P&A.  The P&A Network was established by the United States Congress in eight separate statutes, including the Help America Vote Act to protect the rights of people with disabilities and their families through legal support, advocacy, referral, and education.  The P&A Network is the nation’s largest provider of legally based advocacy services for individuals with disabilities.

Sarah Swierenga, Michigan State University

Sarah J. Swierenga, Ph.D., C.P.E. is the Director of Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting (UARC) at Michigan State University. A researcher and a practitioner with over 25 years of experience in the scientific study of users in commercial, military, and academic environments, she possesses extensive skills in user interface design, data collection tools, and methodologies including usability tests, accessibility compliance evaluations, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and expert evaluations. She also co-authored Constructing Accessible Web Sites, and wrote a chapter for The User-Centered Design Casebook. She has presented widely on accessible website design, usability techniques, health communication technology, and voting ballot design, which comprise her research programs. She served as an alternate member of the U.S. Access Board 508/255 refresh committee, and is a member of the Usability Professionals’ Association’s Usability in Civic Life Project.

Chris Thomson, United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy has supported the full citizenship and inclusion of people with disabilities for over 60 years.  We advocate and provide services to people with a spectrum of disabilities throughout the United States.  UCP was a leading supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.  Through our Don’t Block My Vote initiative begun in 2004 to support accessible implementation of HAVA for people with disabilities, UCP has tracked individual stories of people with disabilities who experienced problems exercising their rights as citizens at the polling place.  We have also sponsored several disability Presidential candidate forums, in conjunction with other major disability rights groups, to bring attention to the issues of accessibility and disability in the campaign/election processes.

Chi-Ser Tran, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)

Chi-Ser is the Voting Rights Organizer in AALDEF’s Asian American Democracy Program, which seeks to promote fairness in the electoral process and invigorate the civic participation of Asian Americans, especially new citizens and persons not yet fluent in English. By expanding access to the electoral process to Asian Americans, AALDEF improves the quality of democracy for all Americans. Chi-Ser coordinates AALDEF’s multilingual Election Protection project, which is AALDEF’s and the nation’s biggest project of its kind to-date. In the 2008 Presidential Elections, she worked as a voting rights intern and helped protect and promote the voting rights of Asian Americans. She has also been a poll worker in two elections in her hometown Philadelphia. In additional, as Voting Rights Organizer, Chi-Ser works with a wide variety of community leaders and organizations around the country to enforce and implement language accessibility for limited English proficient Asian American voters.

Margo Waters,  disABILITY LINK

In her role as an Independent Living Coordinator at disABILITY LINK, Margo Waters helps others with disabilities to complete voter registration to become eligible to vote.  She has also hosted numerous Voter Registration Drives at local High-Rise(s) informing folks of the Absentee Ballot, change of address procedures and how to contact their legislators.



Daniel Castro – ITIF Accessible Voting Technology Initiative

Daniel Castro is the project director and principal investigator of the Accessible Voting Technology Initiative, and a senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a non-profit think tank in Washington, DC.  His research focuses on information policy, including issues such as data privacy, intellectual property, e-government, accessibility, and security. Before joining ITIF, Mr. Castro worked as an IT analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) where he audited IT security and management controls at various government agencies. He has a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an M.S. in Information Security Technology and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.


Karen Milchus –  Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access, Georgia Tech

Karen Milchus is a senior research engineer at Georgia Tech’s Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), where she has been working for the past seventeen years.  When not reminding people to make their travel arrangements for accessible voting technology workshops, she serves as the PI and Co-Director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations (Work RERC).  She specializes in identifying and providing vocational and educational accommodations to adults and youth with disabilities, with a particular focus on computer-based solutions.  Ms. Milchus has provided assistive technology services for state vocational rehabilitation agencies in Georgia and Wisconsin.  She is also Vice-Chair of RESNA’s Special Interest Group (SIG) on Accommodations.

Whitney Quesenbery – ITIF Accessible Voting Technology Initiative

Whitney works as a user experience researcher and plain language expert for organizations such as the National Cancer Institute, IEEE and the Open University. A founder of the Usability in Civic Life project, she leads projects for election officials and advocates to improve the usability of ballots and other election materials. She served on the EAC Technical Guidelines Development Committee, developing the VVSG 2005 and Version 1.1. She is a co-author of the Brennan Center Better Ballots report, and has worked on usability and design projects in Minnesota (absentee ballot instructions), New York (error messages), and training and ballot testing in several states. She also served on the Access Board’s advisory committee to refresh the “Section 508” accessibility regulations, as President of the Usability Professionals Association and on the board of the Center for Plain Language. She is the author of two books, Storytelling for User Experience and Global UX: Design and research in a connected world.

Claudia Rébola, School of Industrial Design, Georgia Tech

Claudia Rébola is an Assistant Professor in the School of Industrial Design at Georgia Institute of Technology. She is director of the Design And Technologies for Healthy Aging (DATHA) and head of the D-Matters Studio Lab housed at the Center for Assistive Technologies and Environmental Access (CATEA). Her interests are in application areas tailored to healthy aging with an emphasis on humanizing technology by design, empowering users and celebrating the value of simplicity and tangibility in user-product interactions. Her focus is on interactive intergenerational design, communication technologies and aging with special emphasis on exercising inclusive design, tangible interfaces/physical computing, and participatory design methods.

Jon Sanford – Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), Georgia Tech

Jon Sanford is an Associate Professor in the School of Industrial Design at Georgia Tech where he is the Director of the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA).  He is also a Research Architect at the Rehabilitation Research and Development Center at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Mr. Sanford has been actively involved in research, teaching and practice for over 25 years and is well-recognized for his expertise in universal design, accessible design and assistive technologies.  He was one of the authors of the Principles of Universal Design and teaches courses in both universal design and design for healthy aging in the community.  His research spans the design of products and spaces, such as housing, including the effectiveness of home modifications for aging in place; public facilities including seating is stadiums and theaters; and community settings where he has focused on environmental barriers to community mobility.

Visualization Facilitators – School of Industrial Design, Georgia Tech

  • William Faulkner
  • Tina Lee
  • Yilin Liu
  • Nahla Osman
  • Jorge Palacio
  • Amir Tayyebi Moghaddam
  • Kevin Shin
  • Aimee Smith