The eSlate Voting System is by Hart InterCivic, Inc., who can be reached by calling 800-223-4278.
Hallmarks of the System
One of the hallmarks of the eSlate electronic voting system is accessibility. The eSlate offers accessibility to people with a wider variety of disabilities than does any other voting system on the market today. Developers at Hart InterCivic are committed to the rights of every individual to cast a private vote. This commitment has been in place from the beginning, years before the new federal Help America Vote Act mandated accessibility.
With the eSlate voting system access is not “separate but equal.” It is equal, period. Voters who are sighted or blind vote in the same manner. The eSlate is not a touch screen system that can be adapted to provide accessibility. With the eSlate, all voters use a rotary precision navigation system to turn to their choice and then press a large enter button next to the wheel to mark that choice. Both the wheel and the buttons require very little strength or dexterity. Voters who have suffered a stoke that permanently reduced strength and mobility have used the interface without difficulty.
Literacy & Languages
Although not specifically considered accessibility issues as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, those who cannot read and those who do not read English are also accommodated. Any voter can choose to listen to rather than read the ballot. The ballot is presented in print and auditory form in all languages required by the jurisdiction in charge of elections, whether that is 1 or 8.
Even with all these accessible features, people with disabilities may still encounter difficulties voting in private at the polling site if poll workers are not properly trained. Working with experts in the field of disabilities, Hart InterCivic has developed and incorporated a disability etiquette section into the training of all poll workers responsible for operating the eSlate system.
Additionally, a 2-hour optional training session for poll workers is available that focuses specifically on the accessible features of the system, etiquette, how to provide meaningful verbal instructions, and inspecting the polling site for and removal of physical barriers to accessibility.
Voter Education & Outreach
Taking a “test drive” or receiving information about “How to Vote Using the eSlate” prior to first using the eSlate in a live election increases voters’ comfort and confidence. Knowing this, Hart InterCivic developed the first voter education and outreach program in the industry. This program has received national recognition and was awarded first place nationally by PR Week for outstanding marketing.
Hart’s Voter Education specialists work with local jurisdictions to evaluate their communities and develop a tailored plan to provide voters with information about the new system. Hart makes sure all plans use a wide variety of communication channels and include a specific emphasis on reaching older voters and voters with disabilities to provide information and an opportunity to use the system.
Hart InterCivic has worked closely with groups such as the American Council of the Blind, the American Foundation of the Blind, and the National Federation of the Blind to provide information about the eSlate system and to acquire input from consumers that will improve the system. As a result of these relationships, the most current version includes several improvements to accessibility.
All of this demonstrates Hart InterCivic’s commitment to excellence. After you try it, we’re sure you will agree, the eSlate is the most accessible, fully integrated electronic voting system on the market today. eSlate is a trademark of Hart InterCivic, Inc.