Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Accessible Voting Deemed Too Costly by Australian Committee

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Accessible Voting Deemed Too Costly by Australian Committee

Article excerpt

The Australian Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) recently released a report describing the results of its trial of electronically assisted voting for people who are blind or visually impaired, as well as remote electronic voting for Australian Defense Force personnel stationed overseas, which it conducted during the country's 2007 federal election. In the foreword to the committee's March 2009 Report on the 2007 Federal Election Electronic Voting Trials (available online: ), the chair of the committee acknowledges the "strong value placed by some electors who are blind or have low vision on the ability to cast an independent and secret vote," yet the committee's recommendation was that such electronic voting "be discontinued due to a combination of the unsustainable costs . . . [and] concerns about the low level of participation experienced during the trials...." According to the report, the Australian government spent over $4 million on the trials, and the average cost per vote cast by electronic means by a person with visual impairment was $2,597; the average cost per vote cast by a traditional method is just over $8. …

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