Counter to intentVoters’ mental models ofalternative counting methodsDana Chisnell@danachis@ChadButterfly
Not.
Ranked Choice VotingInstant Run-off VotingFusion or Cumulative Voting
How are thevotes counted?
Ballot design problems arewell understood
Ballot design problems arewell understoodsplit contests across columns   overvotingthere are responses on both            ...
Ranked ChoiceVotingadds a twist
San Francisco and Oakland,December 2011EVN, March 2012
Portland, Maine 2011
Alameda Co. demo ballot
Minneapolis 2011
New York state demo
Voter slate
How RCV works
n=52
n=52
n=52       Joe
What we found
Mental models People make inferences about how things work based on available information and context
Mental models
Mental models            This is what we            teach people
Mental models
Mental modelsSometimes it really is this simple -but not in the US
Mental modelsSometimes it really is this simple -but not in the US
Much more like signing for a mortgage
This is the ballotwe testNIST medium complexity ballot
Mental models
Mental models Point system
Mental models Point system Weighted
Mental models Point system Weighted Reversed
Alameda Co. demo ballot
Alameda Co. demo ballot
Point / weight system
Point / weight system
Point / weight system
1. Voters develop faulty   mental models
2. Voters don’t understand the   consequences of their actions
3. Voters vote counter to their   intentions
Portland, Maine 2011
Top 2 primary
Top 2 primary+ regular contests
Top 2 primary+ regular contests            + RCV
Top 2 primary+ regular contests            + RCV+ multi-candidate
Top 2 primary  + regular contests              + RCV  + multi-candidate+ retention contests
Top 2 primary  + regular contests              + RCV  + multi-candidate+ retention contests         + measures
Top 2 primary  + regular contests              + RCV  + multi-candidate+ retention contests         + measures6 different ...
We’re pretty sure there’s a problem
Implications andoutcomes
Poor design and instructionson ballots makeunderstanding, marking, and castingdifficult, time-consuming, andcomplicated
Poor design and instructionson ballots makecounting, verifying, and auditsdifficult, time-consuming, andcomplicated
Raises questions about what is beingsecured.
RCV = lost votes
RCV + VBM = lost votes
RCV + multi-language = lost votes
RCV
RCV+ VBM
RCV           + VBM+ multi-language
RCV           + VBM+ multi-language = thousands of      lost votes
Lack of trust in electionsLack of trust in officialsRecallsScrambling county boards
Security = Counted as cast
Security = Cast as intended +           counted as cast
This moment
Voter ed is not the answer.
Next steps
Next steps Develop & test versions of on-ballot instructions
Next steps Develop & test versions of on-ballot instructions Develop & test versions of pre-voting instructions
Next steps Develop & test versions of on-ballot instructions Develop & test versions of pre-voting instructions Study comb...
Next steps Develop & test versions of on-ballot instructions Develop & test versions of pre-voting instructions Study comb...
If it’s not usable, it’s not valid.
If it’s not usable, it’s not countable.
If it’s not usable, it’s not verifiable.
If it’s not usable, it’s not auditable.
If it’s not usable, it’s not secure.
Thank youRick Bond         Jared SpoolCyd Harrell       David CaryEthan Newby       Rebecca SherrillCallie Wheeler    Fran...
New tools.
Field Guides seriesResearch          Research          SOP and Usability   Researchcommissioned by   commissioned by   and...
Coming soon
Coming soonEffective electiondepartmentweb sites Research partially funded by Kickstarter & MacArthur
Coming soonEffective election Delivering usefuldepartment         voter educationweb sites Research partially   Research p...
Coming soonEffective election Delivering useful Effective designdepartment         voter education for vote-by-mailweb sit...
Coming soonEffective election Delivering useful Effective design       Designing multi-department         voter education ...
Field Guides To EnsuringVoter Intentcivicdesigning.org       /fieldguides
Dana Chisnelldana@usabilityworks.netcivicdesign@usabilityworks.netcivicdesigning.org@danachis@ChadButterfly
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods
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Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods

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Here I talk about some preliminary findings from exploratory research about whether voters encounter problems using ballots that include contests that are counted in non-traditional ways.

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Counter to intent: Voters' mental models of alternative counting methods

  1. 1. Counter to intentVoters’ mental models ofalternative counting methodsDana Chisnell@danachis@ChadButterfly
  2. 2. Not.
  3. 3. Ranked Choice VotingInstant Run-off VotingFusion or Cumulative Voting
  4. 4. How are thevotes counted?
  5. 5. Ballot design problems arewell understood
  6. 6. Ballot design problems arewell understoodsplit contests across columns overvotingthere are responses on both overvotingsides of namesarrows rather than bubbles marking incorrectlyformatting is inconsistent or undervotingtoo consistentinstructions are complicated all kinds of crazy thingsor lackingvoters don’t know how to lost votescorrect their ballots
  7. 7. Ranked ChoiceVotingadds a twist
  8. 8. San Francisco and Oakland,December 2011EVN, March 2012
  9. 9. Portland, Maine 2011
  10. 10. Alameda Co. demo ballot
  11. 11. Minneapolis 2011
  12. 12. New York state demo
  13. 13. Voter slate
  14. 14. How RCV works
  15. 15. n=52
  16. 16. n=52
  17. 17. n=52 Joe
  18. 18. What we found
  19. 19. Mental models People make inferences about how things work based on available information and context
  20. 20. Mental models
  21. 21. Mental models This is what we teach people
  22. 22. Mental models
  23. 23. Mental modelsSometimes it really is this simple -but not in the US
  24. 24. Mental modelsSometimes it really is this simple -but not in the US
  25. 25. Much more like signing for a mortgage
  26. 26. This is the ballotwe testNIST medium complexity ballot
  27. 27. Mental models
  28. 28. Mental models Point system
  29. 29. Mental models Point system Weighted
  30. 30. Mental models Point system Weighted Reversed
  31. 31. Alameda Co. demo ballot
  32. 32. Alameda Co. demo ballot
  33. 33. Point / weight system
  34. 34. Point / weight system
  35. 35. Point / weight system
  36. 36. 1. Voters develop faulty mental models
  37. 37. 2. Voters don’t understand the consequences of their actions
  38. 38. 3. Voters vote counter to their intentions
  39. 39. Portland, Maine 2011
  40. 40. Top 2 primary
  41. 41. Top 2 primary+ regular contests
  42. 42. Top 2 primary+ regular contests + RCV
  43. 43. Top 2 primary+ regular contests + RCV+ multi-candidate
  44. 44. Top 2 primary + regular contests + RCV + multi-candidate+ retention contests
  45. 45. Top 2 primary + regular contests + RCV + multi-candidate+ retention contests + measures
  46. 46. Top 2 primary + regular contests + RCV + multi-candidate+ retention contests + measures6 different models
  47. 47. We’re pretty sure there’s a problem
  48. 48. Implications andoutcomes
  49. 49. Poor design and instructionson ballots makeunderstanding, marking, and castingdifficult, time-consuming, andcomplicated
  50. 50. Poor design and instructionson ballots makecounting, verifying, and auditsdifficult, time-consuming, andcomplicated
  51. 51. Raises questions about what is beingsecured.
  52. 52. RCV = lost votes
  53. 53. RCV + VBM = lost votes
  54. 54. RCV + multi-language = lost votes
  55. 55. RCV
  56. 56. RCV+ VBM
  57. 57. RCV + VBM+ multi-language
  58. 58. RCV + VBM+ multi-language = thousands of lost votes
  59. 59. Lack of trust in electionsLack of trust in officialsRecallsScrambling county boards
  60. 60. Security = Counted as cast
  61. 61. Security = Cast as intended + counted as cast
  62. 62. This moment
  63. 63. Voter ed is not the answer.
  64. 64. Next steps
  65. 65. Next steps Develop & test versions of on-ballot instructions
  66. 66. Next steps Develop & test versions of on-ballot instructions Develop & test versions of pre-voting instructions
  67. 67. Next steps Develop & test versions of on-ballot instructions Develop & test versions of pre-voting instructions Study combinations of designs with instructions
  68. 68. Next steps Develop & test versions of on-ballot instructions Develop & test versions of pre-voting instructions Study combinations of designs with instructions Study combinations of voting modes on the same ballot
  69. 69. If it’s not usable, it’s not valid.
  70. 70. If it’s not usable, it’s not countable.
  71. 71. If it’s not usable, it’s not verifiable.
  72. 72. If it’s not usable, it’s not auditable.
  73. 73. If it’s not usable, it’s not secure.
  74. 74. Thank youRick Bond Jared SpoolCyd Harrell David CaryEthan Newby Rebecca SherrillCallie Wheeler Frank CastroChelsey Glasson Sandy OlsonSara Cambridge Nancy FrishbergLaura Paajanen Yelena NakhimovskyBeth Lingard Whitney QuesenberyBeth Pickard
  75. 75. New tools.
  76. 76. Field Guides seriesResearch Research SOP and Usability Researchcommissioned by commissioned by and Civic Life commissioned byEAC NIST Project NIST
  77. 77. Coming soon
  78. 78. Coming soonEffective electiondepartmentweb sites Research partially funded by Kickstarter & MacArthur
  79. 79. Coming soonEffective election Delivering usefuldepartment voter educationweb sites Research partially Research partially funded by funded by Kickstarter & Kickstarter & MacArthur MacArthur
  80. 80. Coming soonEffective election Delivering useful Effective designdepartment voter education for vote-by-mailweb sites Research partially Research partially Research to be funded by funded by funded by the Kickstarter & Kickstarter & MacArthur MacArthur MacArthur Foundation
  81. 81. Coming soonEffective election Delivering useful Effective design Designing multi-department voter education for vote-by-mail language ballotsweb sites Research partially Research partially Research to be Research to be funded by funded by funded by the funded by the Kickstarter & Kickstarter & MacArthur MacArthur MacArthur MacArthur Foundation Foundation
  82. 82. Field Guides To EnsuringVoter Intentcivicdesigning.org /fieldguides
  83. 83. Dana Chisnelldana@usabilityworks.netcivicdesign@usabilityworks.netcivicdesigning.org@danachis@ChadButterfly
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