The VotingWorks Accessible Vote-by-Mail system is a client-side remote ballot marking system for voters with disabilities, who can use their own Audio-Tactile Interface (ATI) to mark their ballots through the system. The system was created by Enhanced Voting, which developed MyBallot and EnhancedBallot, two similar remote ballot marking systems. In 2020, Accessible Vote-by-Mail is available only to voters with disabilities — it is not available in any jurisdictions to all registered voters.
Election officials configure ballot packages for voters, export ballot style data from the jurisdiction’s system, and import the data into the Accessible Vote-by-Mail system. Election officials then either manually or by using the jurisdiction’s voter registration system add voter information for those eligible voters who have requested accessible ballots.
Voters access their ballots via a link from their county. Authentication is completed by entering first and last name, date of birth, and an access PIN. The voter is taken to the remote ballot marking system welcome screen, which greets the voter and displays active elections, with instructions and the option to either begin marking the ballot or download a blank ballot for handmarking. The voter can navigate the system using their own Audio-Tactile Interface (ATI).
After selecting “Begin Ballot Marking,” the voter is shown or read instructions, which instruct the voter how to review each contest, make their selections, navigate and review the ballot, and download the ballot and return materials. The voter selects “Continue” and is next presented with the first contest. Each contest on the ballot is presented separately. Each contest has instructions for how many candidates the voter may select.
To mark the ballot using the Accessible Vote-by-Mail remote ballot marking system, the voter selects the oval to the left of the candidate of their choice. When navigating using a screen reader, the voter will hear “check box unchecked” when an oval is not filled in, or “check box checked” when an oval is filled.
The voter selects the large green “Next” screen to navigate to the next contest. If using a screen reader, the voter will hear how many contests they have voted and how many total contests exist. To write in a candidate, the voter navigates to the “Write-In” line and keys in their chosen candidate. After finishing the ballot marking process, the voter can navigate backward or continue to the review screen.
On the review screen, the voter will see the entire ballot, which includes their selections and the candidates they did not select. The voter can choose to return to previous contests to change their selections or can select “Proceed to Download Your Ballot.”
The voter next views their printable ballot, which is more like a traditional ballot than a summary ballot, as it includes selections made and those candidates the voter did not select, with ovals filled in accordingly. The voter selects “Print Ballot” and the voter’s computer, tablet, or mobile phone opens a print dialogue. The voter can select their printer or can save their voted ballot as a PDF. The voter can select “Download Return Documents” to download the instructions for returning their ballot. The PDF downloads with a logical filename. A voter’s screen reader will instruct them how to navigate to the downloaded file.
The voter must then mail their printed ballot or drop it off. VotingWorks’ Accessible Vote-by-Mail remote ballot marking system does not support the electronic return of voted ballots.
VotingWorks Accessible Vote-by-Mail
MyBallot Screen Reader Demonstration
VotingWorks is a non-partisan non-profit organization. In 2020, it began offering an accessible vote-by-mail solution tailored to voters with disabilities. VotingWorks also offers risk-limiting audit software, voting equipment, and a vote-by-mail system. Much of VotingWorks’ source code is available on GitHub.