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Accessible Voting Technology Research Workshop


The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are sponsoring a two day workshop to explore current and future research in accessible voting technology. The sponsoring organizations seek to have lively discussion on the following topics:

  • Innovative assistive applications and techniques
  • New approaches to accessibility in voting
  • Accessibility research benchmarks and results
  • Transitioning research to industry
  • New and existing devices that provide accessible access to elements of the voting process
  • Challenges in accessible voting

The workshop will provide an environment for interactive discussions among the attendees including researchers, election officials, government officials, and voting system manufacturers. The workshop will encourage attendee participation through panel discussions and breakout sessions, with trending research presentations to frame the topics to be explored. The goal of the discussions for the workshop is to foster collaborations in the testing, evaluation, and transition of accessible voting technology.

Program & Presentations [pdf] 

To frame the discussions for the workshop, several abstracts were submitted on AVT research topics and products. These abstracts are available for download as a .zip file.

The following materials were used during the "Ballot Design and the Emergence of Mobile Devices" session:

Voter Personas  - based on the voter persona sketches from the ITIF Accessible Election Design Workshops.

Breakout Group Questions

The following handout was used for the "Usability and Accessibility Testing" session:

Example Ballot Handout


This event was webcast live April 1-2, 2013. An archive of the webcast is available at http://www.nist.gov/itl/iad/accessible-voting-technology-workshop-webcast.cfm. Captions for the webcast will be posted soon. Please check back often for updates. If you would like to be included in future AVT related correspondence, send your contact information to the workshop organizers at avtvote@nist.gov

 Join the conversation on Twitter! Tweet your comments and questions using the event hashtag #AVTvote.

Poster and Demonstration Session

The workshop will include a poster and demonstration session held on the first day of the workshop. Workshop participants with novel accessible voting system technologies are highly encouraged to present a poster and/or demonstration for this session.  Participants should indicate their presentation interests for this session in the email sending your abstract (see Agenda section above).

Individuals proposing demonstrations should include a description of any special needs. In general, submitters are expected to be responsible for all materials necessary to conduct their presentation, but symposium organizers will attempt to make reasonable accommodations on a case-by-case basis.

Submitters of accepted poster proposals must prepare all poster materials in advance of the workshop, and bring all printouts and illustrations. Posters should not exceed 4’ by 3’ (1.21m by .091m).

Important Dates

Abstracts due: Friday, March 8, 2013

Registration deadline: March 25, 2013

Workshop: April 1-2, 2013

Related Project(s) and information:

NIST and the Help America Vote Act

EAC and NIST: Improving Voting for People with Disabilities  

In FY 2009 and FY 2010, Congress appropriated $8,000,000 to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to support an accessible voting technology research program to help ensure that all citizens can vote privately and independently. From these funds, in 2010, the EAC awarded the Military Heroes Initiative, a $500,000 grant focused on improving the elections process for wounded warriors. The grantee delivered their findings for this initiative during the summer of 2012. In 2011, the EAC awarded the Accessible Voting Technology Initiative, two three-year grants totaling $7,000,000 targeting greater voting accessibility for all citizens.  

According to recent government statistics, there are more than 57,000,000 people with a disability living in the United States.  The U.S. also faces a rapidly approaching demographic shift to an older population, which will result in an increase in the incidence of disability. The "Help America Vote Act" disability requirements, specifically Section 301 recognized the necessity for dramatically improving the voting process for people with disabilities and these grants help further this vital mission.


Start Date: Monday, April 1, 2013
End Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Location: NIST-Gaithersburg, MD - Administration Building/Portrait Room
Audience: Industry, Government, Academia
Format: Workshop


All attendees must be pre-registered to gain entry to the NIST campus. Photo identification must be presented at the main gate to be admitted to the conference. International attendees are required to present a passport. Attendees must wear their conference badge at all times while on the campus. There is no on-site registration for meetings held at NIST.

Registration is closedThere are no registration costs to attend the workshop. Registration is not required to view the webcast.

Workshop registration does not include your hotel reservation; however, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn.

Holiday Inn Gaithersburg  

2 Montgomery Village Ave

Gaithersburg, MD 20879

(301) 948-8900


Reference/Room Block: NIST/Accessible Voting Technology Workshop

Room Rate: $125.00 + tax

Reservations must be made by March 18, 2013

SHUTTLE: There will be a shuttle leaving the Holiday Inn Gaithersburg Monday and Tuesday mornings to travel to NIST. The shuttle will return to the hotel at the end of the poster & demo session on Monday and at the conclusion of the meetings on Tuesday.  Morning departure times:

  • Monday: 9:20 a.m.
  • Tuesday: 8:20 a.m.


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