Telephone Assisted Voting
Our system addresses the barriers for voters who are unable to access the traditional paper ballot methods, with an initial emphasis on vision impaired voters and the introduction of a voter assisted telephone service. This acknowledges the objectives of various Electoral Commissions’ commitment to inclusiveness of people with disabilities.
This is a logical and relatively straightforward application of IVR, so it could be expected that once the target audience (electorate) is fully aware, then election authorities could expect an improved utilisation of the system.
Why not expand the service to include disabled voters generally, rather than focussing on the vision impaired? Perhaps wheel chair venues could be available via a simple telephone call, rather than solely via a website? Or, once a disabled voter has registered, an SMS could be forwarded (if desired), mentioning the closest suitable venue based on postcode?
Remote and absentee voting:
Its timely for any electoral authority, given that often elections are held every three or four years, to consider all aspects of voter turnout and utilisation of a new system as there is ample down time to prepare and trial new technologies. This enables a full evaluation for the introduction of additional electronic voting applications before the next election.
On the matter of new technologies generally, the increasing adoption of electronic and online voting platforms provides a useful insight as to how Electoral Commissions might be embracing emerging electronic voting technologies. Indeed there are numerous public documents relating to the merits of replacing paper forms and also the merits of telephone assisted voting.
Use of Telephones in Elections
Telephone services in an election context could be considered for:
- Automating aspects of voter enquiries/help lines
- Automating Remote and/or Absentee voting options
- Automated forwarding of forms for Victoria’s postal voters
- Vision impaired telephone assistance
- Complaints management
- Information service for wheelchair venues
- Non-voting infringement service (payments)
- Novel applications, such as those available via the mobile phone application (referred to below):
o an electronic communication board
o a voting centre locator
o Enrolment checker
o information about enrolling and voting in a particular election