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Researchers assessed state election websites for the Pew Center on the States between May-November 2010, using detailed criteria evaluating the content, lookup tools, and usability. Websites may have changed since they were assessed. See methodology (PDF).
- Voting information lookup tools that allow users to find out their registration status, polling place location, and status of provisional ballots.
- Polling place locator based on street address, allowing users to find this information regardless of registration status.
- Detailed contact information for election officials.
- Full texts, summaries, and nonpartisan analyses of ballot measures.
- Exemplary use of a website search function, offering easy access to a simple-to-use, empty search field on every page.
- Uncluttered, easy-to-skim pages that feature excellent accessibility for users with visual disabilities through scalable fonts that allow them to easily change the website's text size, and high contrast between text and background colors.
Recommended improvements include:
- Present key information for voters more prominently in the center of the home page, which is largely blank, instead of the right-hand sidebar, where it might be missed.
- Offer lookup tools that allow voters to view sample ballots (22 states offer) and absentee ballot status (29 offer).
- Create a section geared toward people with disabilities (36 states offer) that provides instruction on how to use special voting machines in polling places (33 offer) and information about the availability of poll worker assistance (46 offer).
- Provide registration information about state residency requirements (44 states offer) and guidance for students (36 offer), those who are homeless (35 offer), hospitalized voters (27 offer), and residents of long-term-care facilities (25 offer).
- Explain how to obtain a replacement for a lost or damaged absentee ballot (18 states offer) and whether absentee voters can get help with marking ballots (18 offer).
- Provide candidate information, including e-mail addresses (19 states offer) and websites (20 offer), incumbency status (9 offer), statements (6 offer), and occupation (6 offer).
- Improve navigation through “breadcrumbs” to help users determine where they are on the site.
Noteworthy Feature: Arizona's site offers online voter registration in English and Spanish.
Initial Quick Fix: Provide a noticeable link from the state website homepage to the voting information site.
Summary: Arizona presents average voting information content and three out of five recommended lookup tools. Space on the home page is underutilized, and users might not see the links for important information.
www.azsos.gov/election was assessed for content, lookup tools, and usability.