Technology developed at UF to help special needs voters

FOX 35 News at 10 p.m.

- At the University of Florida, there is technology that is revolutionizing how people who live with disabilities are able to cast their own votes.  It’s called the Prime III. It’s an accessible voting system created by UF’s Doctor Juan Gilbert and his team of students. Created over a decade ago, it’s been developed over almost 20 years.

Dr. Juan Gilbert, Inventor of Prime III, is the Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Chair, and the Department Chairman of the Computer and Information Science & Engineering College of Engineering. “The idea is to create one system that everyone can vote on, independent of your ability, or disability.”

It’s a software the runs on a web browser. You can vote by touching the screen or simply saying the word “Vote”. You could also press a button. If you can’t speak or, move your arms for example you can even blow into a microphone to make a voting choice. Your voting choices print out.  Dr. Gilbert said, “We’re changing the way voting is done in the United States of America.”

Jessica Jones, a PhD. Student, said works on the Prime III project. She is hoping it makes a real difference for people living with disabilities.  “I want them to know that there are people working to make the world and technology better, and usable for you. You do matter. We’re here to help.”

They tell FOX 35 this technology is going to be used Tuesday’s New Hampshire’s Presidential Primary. “Scary and exciting,” Jones said with a smile and laugh. “It makes me think about, in the past, my ancestors didn’t even have the right to vote. Now, I’m working on a system that helps the country vote.”

The team says they’re working with election officials here in Florida to get this technology here to our state, and others across the nation.


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