VASTEC’s Accessible Ballot Service offers Election Officials fully accessible ballots for use by print disabled voters. Our proprietary semi-automated remediation process does not require the purchase, instillation or maintenance of an electronic Vote-by-mail system and preserves the integrity of the ballot structure ensuring the highest levels of information security and accessibility in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1984, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as well as applicable State statutes.
VASTEC ACCESSIBLE BALLOT SERVICE
Receipt of the styled ballot(s) and related materials, through an agreed upon transfer method
Remediation of the styled ballot(s), into an accessible complaint format utilizing proprietary processes and strict security protocols
Quality control accessibility and usability verification and validation by experienced screen reader experts who themselves are individuals with disabilities
Final visual quality control confirmation to determine full accessibility standard compliance and document structure integrity
Return of the fully remediated and accessible PDF ballot(s) back to the Election offices for public distribution
In addition to VASTEC’s Accessible Ballot Service, VASTEC also offers website accessibility audits and remediation for State and County elections offices including registration and voter content that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. These audits are centered around an accessibility conformance evaluation using manual and automated testing methodology for verification and validation in accordance with WCAG 2.0/2.1 AA compliance standards.
VASTEC WEBSITE AUDIT AND REMEDIATION SERVICES
- Initial audit and technical remediation plan
- Page-by-page analysis of the websites accessibility
- Expert remediation of the website source code
- Instructions on remaining issues ✔ Final certification of compliance documenting WCAG accessibility standards (VASTEC Verified Compliance Certification)
- Continuous monitoring services
SECURE SYSTEMS, FACILITIES, AND PERSONNEL QUALIFICATIONS
- Strict “chain of custody” procedures utilized
- Materials securely processed and kept in encrypted format
- Federally cleared personnel for handling of classified and sensitive (PII and PHI) records, HIPAA Certified
- Facilities maintained at high security levels and Quality Assurance Controls
VASTEC ACCESSIBLE BALLOT SERVICE
The VASTEC Accessible Ballot Service is neither a software nor voting system. Rather, it constitutes a front-end transformation of PDF ballot styles into an accessible format for ease of use with conventional assistive technologies, such as screen readers for the print impaired.
VASTEC project management will work directly with the Election offices to determine an agreed upon transfer method. This can include, but is not limited to, email, secure FTP link, secure hard/thumb drives, and/or Dropbox.
VASTEC utilizes a blend of proprietary and industry standard commercial products and software to remediate and quality control each page of material ensuring FULL accessibility and usability compliance. Our staff of highly skilled and experienced personnel execute the remediation within an “air gapped” platform, void of connectivity with the internet, in a highly secure production environment.
Each ballot style transmitted to VASTEC is encrypted and tracked continuously throughout the remediation process, within VASTEC’s secure environment and while at rest, until returned to the election offices.
Once remediated and verified for accessibility, each ballot style or sets of ballot styles, is returned to the elections office by an agreed upon transfer method. This can include, but is not limited to, secure FTP links, email, Dropbox, and/or thumb/hard drives.
How does an election office inspect and verify that ballot style remain in their native PDF format and comply with acceptability standards?
Upon receipt of the remediated ballots, election offices may utilizes software technologies such as CommonLook PDF Validator (https://commonlook.com/accessibility-software/pdf-validator/), or PAC3 (https://www.access-for-all.ch/en/pdf-accessibility-checker.html) to verify accessibility, at no cost. The ballot can also be visually inspected to verify its maintained its original PDF format and style.
Election offices may transmit the remediated accessible ballot to qualified voters by way of secure Dropbox, FTP link, and/or another alternative secure means of their choosing.
A VASTEC Remediated Accessible Ballot may be marked by an individual using an assistive screen reading technology in a similar manner to that of a non-assistive technology user. Once remediated, the ballot will be “read” by the screen reading technology and will allow for interactive fillable functionality.
VASTEC Remediated Accessible Ballots should be returned to the appropriate elections office in the manner described by the local precinct. This manner may include, but is not limited to, voters printing, signing and mailing the ballot through the US Postal Service, voters delivering the ballot electronically through a secure FTP connection, voters accessing and uploading the ballot to a secure electronic Dropbox and/or hand delivery of the ballot to the local election office.