lilacsigil: Deborah Mailman by liviapenn (Deborah Mailman by liviapenn)
lilacsigil ([personal profile] lilacsigil) wrote in [community profile] accessibility_fail2013-08-07 01:43 pm

Postal voting application, now with CAPTCHA

There is a federal election in Australia next month, and in Australia voting is compulsory. Every election, this brings about major accessibility issues - we vote with pencil and paper, so people with visual impairments are immediately disadvantaged, and the fixes for this are crude and rely on either not having privacy to vote or the goodwill of electoral staff. Voting centres (usually schools and public halls) are often not accessible or only partially accessible to people with mobility impairments.

For this reason many disabled people choose to postal vote instead. In my case, I will be working all of election day, so I am going to postal vote. The application form is online, which is great - previously it has been on paper - so I filled it out, only to run into a CAPTCHA at the end. Since forms have to be filled out with correct personal details and then a secret question answered on the actual physical form, I cannot imagine why a CAPTCHA is necessary or helpful. It's a great hindrance to me - and when I went to the feedback form to lodge a complaint, there was a CAPTCHA at the bottom of that too!
vass: Warning sign of man in water with an octopus (Accidentally)

[personal profile] vass 2013-08-07 05:39 am (UTC)(link)
When my Nan was in a supported residential service (not quite ready for a nursing home but getting near that point) she asked the manager there to help her fill out her postal vote (because she was mildly demented and had very arthritic hands.) The manager briskly said "Oh, you don't need that" and tore it up in front of her. Nan made a distress call to my mother, who showed up in a towering fury and drove her to the polling place in person.

Nan's summary of the manager's actions was "She's probably a Labor voter." My mother was at this point in time also a Labor voter, so it is a testament to her respect for democracy that she made sure her Liberal-voting mother's vote got counted. Particularly since if I remember correctly, this was the '98 federal election.

I have to assume that this happens to a whole lot of voters in institutions, and that there are also admin staff and carers who are deciding how their clients vote.
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)

[personal profile] pauamma 2013-08-07 07:21 am (UTC)(link)
Would a court accept that as a reason to strike down the $(mumble) didn't-vote fine because the process failed to be disability-neutral, if not disability-friendly?
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)

[personal profile] vass 2013-08-07 12:36 pm (UTC)(link)
$(mumble) in this context was $50 last I heard[*], but it might have gone up to $100 by now.

[*] Forgot to vote in a city council election some ten years ago.
mathsnerd: ((sherlock holmes) 221B)

[personal profile] mathsnerd 2013-08-07 09:43 am (UTC)(link)
Ugh, federal elections and state elections are coming up soon (rare that they both hit in the same year) and it's the first time that I'll be voting. I'm apprehensive to see how disability-friendly or not the sites are. Especially as here you're technically by law not supposed to talk about your vote to anyone. Puts those of us dependent on help in a really stupid place. :/
mathsnerd: ((vorkosigan) better than a nerve disrupt)

[personal profile] mathsnerd 2013-08-07 09:55 am (UTC)(link)
I hope so too. We'll see. I'll let you know when voting has come and gone!
tig_b: cartoon from nMC set (Default)

[personal profile] tig_b 2013-08-07 08:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Accessibility seems to be a general issue for voting. I've had problems in the UK, where the building may be scooter/wheelchair accessible but none of the booths are.

And I've never seen any adaptations for other disabilities.

I think that just waiving the fine is appalling - as if we don't count - they should find the people who arranged for inaccessible voting instead. And if people tried to vote and couldn't then the whole selection should be invalid.

Strong? Yes - how dare they disenfranchise us.
amadi: A stylized photo of two calla lily flowers (Default)

[personal profile] amadi 2013-08-07 11:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I've posted often about the accessibility issues with voting in my location in Pennsylvania in the US. To be able to vote by mail on a permanent basis because your disability doesn't allow you to go to the polls, or because your polling place is inaccessible based on your disability, you have to have your doctor provide validation of your disability to the county. And you have to reapply for a "permanent" disability status every four years (just in time to have problems in presidential elections). The only highlight here is that a voter may request help in the voting booth or in completing a mail in ballot from anyone they wish.

Is anyone anywhere doing accessible voting correctly? My guess is Oregon (which is all vote by mail) may be the only place.
amadi: A stylized photo of two calla lily flowers (Default)

[personal profile] amadi 2013-08-08 05:19 am (UTC)(link)

Not only do you have to get a doctor's signature, they have to give information about the nature of your disability and why it prevents you from voting in person. Not only is this an invasion of privacy, the county elections office does not have a compliance statement available regarding HIPAA, our broad medical privacy law, which leads me to believe that they are not aware of federal mandates on how such information is to be stored, accessed, used and shared.

Our electronic voting machines are claimed to be accessible to people with visual difficulties, but my visually inpaired mother (who successfully uses a tablet and smartphone without accessibility provisions enabled) always needs help completing her ballot. They're also touchscreens, so inaccessible to those with motor issues or dual amputees.

[personal profile] treeowl 2013-08-18 03:48 am (UTC)(link)
Touchscreens are inaccessible to a huge number of people for various reasons. I don't have any disability that interferes with their use, but I'm still always nervous about using them to vote.

[personal profile] jazzyjj 2014-09-19 09:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, the electoral voting process. Gotta love it lol! I'm actually in the process of writing a journal entry about this. I have it dated for Election Day this year, but I can still work on it. Thank you Dreamwidth for letting us date our entries into the future, you rock! Anyway, I only voted once with an accessible ballot machine and it was just awesome! Well, except for the fact that I only had a limited amount of time because other voters were waiting to get into the booth and do their thing. But there's absolutely no excuse whatsoever for having an inaccessible CAPTCHA. Well if you ask me there's absolutely no excuse whatsoever for inaccessibility in general, but you get my point. And I thought we here in the US were the only ones with voting problems. I'm not sure if Illinois has voting by mail, but I know we do have early voting for people who for whatever reason will be unable to cast their vote on Election Day.
Edited 2014-09-19 23:39 (UTC)