MyVote accessibility upgrade draws applause

MyVote accessibility upgrade draws applause

MyVote-20160429

The Washington State Elections Division is drawing acclaim for accessibility upgrades to the state’s popular online voter information tool called MyVote.

Two of the nation’s leading election blogs called attention to the recent re-launch of the portal. Mindy Moretti over at ElectionlineWeekly called it “mobile-friendly, easy-to-use and, importantly, accessible.” She wrote that because the site was “already a pretty comprehensive personalized voter tool, the state didn’t need to expand any functionality and was instead able to focus on improving the user’s experience.” She noted that the upgrade was done within existing staff and budget, in-house.

Moretti’s piece was circulated nationally by election expert Doug Chapin at the prestigous Election Academy. His comment:

“Those of us in the field often talk about the desire to increase participation rates as high as possible; it only makes sense to ensure that the tools voters have available are usable and useful to everyone. Kudos to the team in Washington State for not only working to improve the MyVote site but doing so on an expedited basis knowing that voter interest will be sky-high this year. Thanks also to those advocates for voters with disabilities for both highlighting accessibility as an issue as well as working with election officials to make it happen.”

Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who had requested the upgrade, said she was gratified with the national attention for the project and hopes it will inspire similar accessibility advances around the country. The work was done in-house, on a very challenging timeline and in the midst of the heavy demands of the 2016 election cycle, she noted.

State Elections Director Lori Augino said her team met this week with the state Disability Advisory Committee to brief them and got positive feedback. She said one advisor called it a “super job” and another called it a model for other states and other state agencies. She added:

“They thanked us for taking this risk for all the right reasons and knocking it out of the park.”

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