Jumping in a bit late. These are my thoughts not those of the Low Vision Task Force.
First, if we change the underline color to #707070 (just a tad darker) and it will pass with a contrast ratio of 5.0:1.
After a bit of research I could not find anything on contrast of only the underlining of links.
But I did find lots of information on reading and links. They are included below. Of note is the first study  using eye-tracking to see how we read hyperlinked text. They tested with colored links (no underlines), including grey hyperlinks. Hyperlinks on "unfamilar" words caused rereading of passages. Color of the hyperlink was not a factor, except grey. Hyperlinks that had poor contrast (grey) caused rereading, because reduced contrast is more difficult to process.
"Therefore efforts made in Web development to avoid using blue as the hyperlink colour and instead using a different colour may have no positive influence for the reader reading the text, but instead make it more difficult for the reader to know what is a hyperlink when they are expecting it to conform to the convention of hyperlinks being denoted in blue....
A hyperlink is not just a salient word in a passage of text, it denotes that more information that may be relevant lies behind that hyperlink....
These experiments have shown that coloured text does not hinder reading, but also that hyperlinks can cause us to reread previous content if the word is a low frequency/difficult word in order to re-evaluate the content. ...
The key lesson here is that Web designers should only hyperlink important words in pages, taking extra caution with words that are uncommon or ones that may be difficult to process.- http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/356635/1/On_Measuring_the_Impact_of_Hyperlinks_on_Reading2013.pdf
1. On measuring the impact of hyperlinks on reading (Fitzsimmons, 2013) -
pdf of poster session - http://www.gemmafitzsimmons.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/WebScience_OpenDay_On-Measuring-the-Impact-of-Hyperlinks-on-Reading.pdf
2. Guidelines for Visualizing links (Neilsen, 2004) - https://www.nngroup.com/articles/guidelines-for-visualizing-links/
3. Should all links be Underlined (Martin, 2007) - http://www.usability.gov/get-involved/blog/2007/05/underlining-links.html
4. Beyond Blue Links: Making Clickable Elements Recognizable (Loranger, 2015) -https://www.nngroup.com/articles/clickable-elements/
5. A Comparison of Link Readability Techniques (Graves, 2004) http://www.ewp.rpi.edu/hartford/~rhb/cs_seminar_2004/SessionD3/graves.pdf
6. Comparing Link Marker Visualization Techniques – Changes in Reading Behavior (Obendorf & Weinreich, 2003) - https://vsis-www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/getDoc.php/publications/119/www2003.pdf
Jim Allan, Co-Chair Low Vision Task Force (W3C/WAI)Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756
voice <a href="tel:512.206.9315" value="+15122069315" target="_blank">512.206.9315 fax: <a href="tel:512.206.9264" value="+15122069264" target="_blank">512.206.9264 http://www.tsbvi.edu/
"We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." McLuhan, 1964
On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 8:43 AM, Jonathan Avila <[hidden email]> wrote:
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