Civic Design

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Voting: The 233-year-old design problem

Whenever I talk about my involvement in voting and elections, whoever I'm chatting with invariably asks:

Why is it so hard to design a good looking ballot that prevents voters from making mistakes?

Why doesn't the whole country use the same voting system?


Design in elections is a wicked problem. And I think designers will be fascinated with learning what the constraints really are. So, I decided to take it to big audience - South by Southwest Interactive 2011. I need your help to get on the program. Please go to the 'panel picker' and vote for my session.

Just to give you a head start, here's the description:

Do you think the "butterfly ballot" was an isolated problem? How did the hanging chad become a world-class design problem? Did you know our 43rd president was chosen because of a decision made about font size? By someone who was not a trained designer? Did you know that the presidential election in 2000 was not the first - or last - time that design problems affected the outcome of an election? If you're trained in design, interested in fair elections, or looking for a way to affect world peace, come to this panel. This is probably the most important panel in the Free World. And we're not kidding.

Please vote Yes, This rocks! before August 27, 2010. 

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