Civic Design

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ever onward: A hope for continued progress in election reform

The Bush Administration spurred major election reform in the US. This reform movement included technology, security, and accessibility. It urged improvements in plain language in public documents, transparency in process, and alternative ways and days for voting.

Election reform has resulted in some great things: ability to vote for many who were unable to vote independently before; examination of steps in the process that hadn’t received much attention before, such as recounts and record-keeping; research-based improvements in ballot design – and much more.

But there is more yet to be done. Many voters are disenfranchised – still – by suboptimal design and the lack of usability in election materials they receive, voting machines they use, ballots they mark. Here’s hoping that the new administration continues to see election reform as a priority and continues and expands funding for research sponsored by the federal government that will result in easier, more accurate voting.

-- Dana Chisnell

Note: This post reflects the views of the person who wrote and posted it. It does not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Usability Professionals' Association or its individual members.

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  • Hear! hear!

    I hope that we are entering the next phase, not settling for a job half done.

    There are a lot of election materials besides ballots and voting systems: registration forms, absentee ballot envelopes, and elections web sites, to name a few.

    As Dana says, identifying a problem is not enough. Making recommendations is not enough. Now, it's the work. State by state, county by county. It needs to be a priority, and it needs to be funded, and it needs the skills of usability, design and accessibility professionals.

    (Also speaking for myself, not for UPA)

    -- Whitney Quesenbery

    By Blogger Whitney, At 12:00 PM  

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