November 10, 2021
The Inaccessibility of Many State Voter Registration Websites
Jinyan Zang, Alyx van der Vorm, and Juan Guzman
- Testing with a screen reader tool, VoiceOver on MacOS, revealed that 8 state voter registration websites were inaccessible to a visually impaired user: Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Kansas, and Mississippi.
- In addition, 14 state voter registration look-up websites—sites that can be used to look up a voter registration and other election information—were inaccessible with a screen reader: Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
- The 5 states that passed all our accessibility tests – California, Maryland, Oklahoma, Virginia and Washington – had strict web accessibility standards as requirements for official state websites.
- However, 13 out of the 18 states that had either an inaccessible voter registration or voter registration look-up website also had strict web accessibility standards as requirements for state websites.
- A few simple fixes, such as adding more labels to web forms, next page buttons, and submission buttons, would address many of the problems that made the websites we tested inaccessible when using a screen reader.