Democracy is a design problemHow changes in design changethe outcome of elections                               Dana Chisn...
Democracy is a design problem
Design affects world peace.
Why voting is harder than it seems                                     8
Legislation              9
VotingSystems           10
Costs In Maryland, cost per voter increased by 179% going from paper-based systems to touchscreens                        ...
Costs Paper has costs, too  printing  postage  storage                        12
History          13
Skills         14
There are 3,247 counties (or equivalent) in theUSSecretaries of state issue ballot templatesCounties design, print, and di...
Voting is still hard                       16
Poor ballot design  frustrates voters  undermines confidence  contributes to Election Day problems                         ...
All voters are affected  thousands of votes are lost or miscast  all voting technologies are affected  greater risk for so...
Instructions   QuestionsContests                                19
Classic problems splitting contests into different columns placing different contests on the same screen placing response ...
Better Ballots: Re-designed Ballot, Kewaunee CountyKeep contestsin samecolumn
Better Ballots: Sarasota County, FL (2006)
Better Ballots: Sarasota County, FL (2006)
Better Ballots: Sarasota County, FL (2006)
Classic problems inconsistency in format and style not using shading, bold text not writing short, simple instructions pla...
Better Ballots: Los Angeles County                                     Format                                     consiste...
Top 10 design principles Use lowercase letters        Use accurate instructional                              illustration...
Before and after                   28
Cedar County:May 2006 for ES&Soptical scanners
Cedar County:November 2006 forES&S optical scanners
TEST BALLOT                                                  GENERAL ELECTION                                             ...
NOVEMBER 4, 2008                                            MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIAINSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS:•    Use only t...
ProgressLessons from crises
Sarasota       34
No testing =lost votesKing Co. 2009 undervotes were disproportionateto other countiesresulted in legislation about ballot ...
EnsuringfranchiseMinnesota SoS tests vote-by-mail after 2008senate recounts                                  Before
EnsuringfranchiseMinnesota SoS tests vote-by-mail after 2008senate recounts                                     After
DEMONSTRATION BALLOT                                                                                                      ...
39
Recommended                                  03/08/2011$03:47:00pm$Youfilledintoomanyovalsin3contests.Thesevoteswillnotcoun...
Research andstandardsElection Assistance Commission andNational Institute of Standards andTechnologyVoluntary Voting Syste...
Brennan   Center Design forDemocracy              42
Field Guides seriesResearch          Research          SOP and Usability   Researchcommissioned by   commissioned by   and...
Coming soonEffective election Delivering useful Effective design    Designing multi-department         voter education for...
Field GuidesTo Ensuring Voter Intentcivicdesigning.org       /fieldguides
Be anelection worker
Observe    elections     HUGE PROJECTon poll worker security! We need participants         everywhere                     ...
Volunteer to  proofread
Use theaccessible   system             http://trace.wisc.edu/voting/ 49
Join our   projectsAIGA Design for    DemocracyUPA Usability in     Civic Life
Epilogue           51
Why can’t I vote on the internet?SecrecyError toleranceSecurityDisagreement about the level of risk                       ...
Why aren’t all voters using the samevoting system?                                       53
The 10th AmendmentIt’s a states rights issue.                              54
DanaChisnelldana@usabilityworks.netwww.usabilityworks.net415.519.1148@danachis
Democracy is a design problem
Democracy is a design problem
Democracy is a design problem
Democracy is a design problem
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Democracy is a design problem

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Want to see a wicked problem? Just look at designing ballots. This is from a talk I gave in 2012 at UPA and ACM meetings around the country.

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Transcript of "Democracy is a design problem"

  1. 1. Democracy is a design problemHow changes in design changethe outcome of elections Dana Chisnell 1
  2. 2. Democracy is a design problem
  3. 3. Design affects world peace.
  4. 4. Why voting is harder than it seems 8
  5. 5. Legislation 9
  6. 6. VotingSystems 10
  7. 7. Costs In Maryland, cost per voter increased by 179% going from paper-based systems to touchscreens 11
  8. 8. Costs Paper has costs, too printing postage storage 12
  9. 9. History 13
  10. 10. Skills 14
  11. 11. There are 3,247 counties (or equivalent) in theUSSecretaries of state issue ballot templatesCounties design, print, and distribute ballotsThere are many more elections every year thanyou realize 15
  12. 12. Voting is still hard 16
  13. 13. Poor ballot design frustrates voters undermines confidence contributes to Election Day problems 17
  14. 14. All voters are affected thousands of votes are lost or miscast all voting technologies are affected greater risk for some groups of voters 18
  15. 15. Instructions QuestionsContests 19
  16. 16. Classic problems splitting contests into different columns placing different contests on the same screen placing response options on both sides of names using arrows rather than bubbles on paper ballots leaving in disqualified candidates 20
  17. 17. Better Ballots: Re-designed Ballot, Kewaunee CountyKeep contestsin samecolumn
  18. 18. Better Ballots: Sarasota County, FL (2006)
  19. 19. Better Ballots: Sarasota County, FL (2006)
  20. 20. Better Ballots: Sarasota County, FL (2006)
  21. 21. Classic problems inconsistency in format and style not using shading, bold text not writing short, simple instructions placing instructions too far away not telling voters how to correct paper ballots 25
  22. 22. Better Ballots: Los Angeles County Format consistently
  23. 23. Top 10 design principles Use lowercase letters Use accurate instructional illustrations Avoid centered text Use informational icons (only) Pick one sans-serif font Use contrast and color Use big enough type functionally Support process and Decide what’s most navigation important Use clear, simple language 27
  24. 24. Before and after 28
  25. 25. Cedar County:May 2006 for ES&Soptical scanners
  26. 26. Cedar County:November 2006 forES&S optical scanners
  27. 27. TEST BALLOT GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 4, 2008 MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIAINSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS:• Use only the marking pen provided, or a ball-point pen with black ink.• To vote for a candidate, completely blacken the oval next to your choice, like this . Do not vote for more than the number of candidates to be elected.• When there are two (2) or more candidates to be elected for the same office, blacken the ovals next to each of your choices.• To vote on a measure, blacken the oval next to the word YES or next to the word NO.• Write-in candidates: To vote for a qualified write-in candidate, blacken the oval next to the blank line for the office and write the name of the person on the line. Do not vote for both a write-in candidate and a candidate whose name is on the ballot for the same office.• All distingushing marks on the ballot are forbidden and void the ballot.• If you make a mistake, tear your ballot, or want to change your vote, return it to the election official and obtain another. FEDERAL DISTRICT PROPOSITION 3: CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL BOND ACT. GRANT PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT MARIN HEALTHCARE DISTRICT, PROGRAM. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Vote for One Party (1) DIRECTOR Authorizes $980,000,000 in general Vote for no more than Two (2) obligation bonds for construction, BOB BARR Libertarian expansion, remodeling, renovation, WAYNE A. ROOT furnishing and equipping of eligible JOHN MCCAIN Republican ARCHIMEDES RAMIREZ children’s hospitals. Fiscal Impact: State SARAH PALIN Neurosurgeon cost of about $2 billion over 30 years to pay CYNTHIA MCKINNEY Green PETER CHRISTIAN ROMANOWSKY off both the principal ($980 million) and ROSA CLEMENTE Minister/Entertainer/Artist interest ($933 million) costs of the bonds. ALAN KEYES American Independent HARRIS (HANK) SIMMONDS WILEY S. DRAKE, SR. Retired Physician Payments of about $64 million per year. RALPH NADER Peace And Freedom SHARON J. JACKSON MATT GONZALEZ Incumbent BARACK OBAMA Democratic FRANK PARNELL YES NO JOE BIDEN Physician/Businessman PROPOSITION 4: WAITING PERIOD AND PARENTAL NOTIFICATION BEFORE UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE, TERMINATION OF MINOR’S 6TH DISTRICT PREGNANCY. INITIATIVE Vote for One (1) MEASURES SUBMITTED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. TO THE VOTERS Changes California Constitution, prohibiting abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 JOEL R. SMOLEN Libertarian hours after physician notifies minor’s Registered Investment Advisor STATE parent, legal guardian, or, in limited cases, MIKE HALLIWELL Republican PROPOSITION 1A: SAFE, RELIABLE HIGH- substitute adult relative. Provides an College Professor SPEED PASSENGER TRAIN. exception for medical emergency or LYNN WOOLSEY Democratic To provide Californians a safe, convenient, U.S. Representative parental waiver. Fiscal Impact: Potential affordable, and reliable alternative to driving and unknown net state costs of several million high gas prices; to provide good-paying jobs dollars annually for health and social and improve California’s economy while services programs, court administration, STATE reducing air pollution, global warming and state health agency administration
  28. 28. NOVEMBER 4, 2008 MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIAINSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS:• Use only the marking pen provided or a ball point pen with black ink.• To vote for a candidate, completely blacken the oval to the left of the name, like this . Where two or more candidates for the same office are to be elected, blacken the oval to the left of each of your choices.• To vote on a measure, completely blacken the oval next to YES or NO.• To vote for a qualified write-in candidate, completely blacken the oval next to the blank line for that office and write the name of the person on the line.• If you make a mistake, damage your ballot, or you want to change a vote, take your ballot to an election worker and get another. All distinguishing marks are forbidden and void the ballot. FEDERAL DISTRICT PROPOSITION 2: STANDARDS FOR CONFINING FARM ANIMALS. PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT MARIN HEALTHCARE DISTRICT, INITIATIVE STATUTE. Vote for One Party (1) DIRECTOR Requires that certain farm animals be Vote for no more than Two (2) allowed, for the majority of every day, to BOB BARR Libertarian fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, WAYNE A. ROOT stand up and turn around. Limited JOHN MCCAIN Republican ARCHIMEDES RAMIREZ exceptions apply. SARAH PALIN Neurosurgeon Fiscal Impact: Potential unknown CYNTHIA MCKINNEY Green PETER CHRISTIAN ROMANOWSKY decrease in state and local tax revenues ROSA CLEMENTE Minister/Entertainer/Artist from farm businesses, possibly in the range ALAN KEYES American Independent HARRIS (HANK) SIMMONDS WILEY S. DRAKE, SR. Retired Physician of several million dollars annually. Potential RALPH NADER Peace And Freedom SHARON J. JACKSON minor local and state enforcement and MATT GONZALEZ Incumbent prosecution costs, partly offset by increased BARACK OBAMA Democratic FRANK PARNELL fine revenue. JOE BIDEN Physician/Businessman YES NO UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE, PROPOSITION 3: CHILDREN’S 6TH DISTRICT HOSPITAL BOND ACT. GRANT Vote for One (1) MEASURES SUBMITTED PROGRAM. INITIATIVE STATUTE. TO THE VOTERS Authorizes $980,000,000 in general obligation bonds for construction, JOEL R. SMOLEN Libertarian expansion, remodeling, renovation, Registered Investment Advisor STATE furnishing and equipping of eligible MIKE HALLIWELL Republican PROPOSITION 1A: SAFE, RELIABLE HIGH- children’s hospitals. College Professor SPEED PASSENGER TRAIN BOND ACT. Fiscal Impact: State cost of about $2
  29. 29. ProgressLessons from crises
  30. 30. Sarasota 34
  31. 31. No testing =lost votesKing Co. 2009 undervotes were disproportionateto other countiesresulted in legislation about ballot design 35
  32. 32. EnsuringfranchiseMinnesota SoS tests vote-by-mail after 2008senate recounts Before
  33. 33. EnsuringfranchiseMinnesota SoS tests vote-by-mail after 2008senate recounts After
  34. 34. DEMONSTRATION BALLOT [Insert Chinese Translation] SAMPLE BALLOT FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION - City of New York - County of Kings - November 2, 2010 [Insert Korean Translation] A B C D E F G RDH H WRITE-IN CANDIDATO POR 1. BEFORE VOTING THIS BALLOT, Democratic Republican Independence Conservative Working Families Green Rent is 2 Damn Libertarian ESCRITO [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] High [Chinese] PLEASE READ THE [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] INSTRUCTIONS ON [Korean] THE OTHER SIDE OF 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F 1G 1H WRITE-IN THIS BALLOT. Andrew M. Carl P. Andrew M. Carl P. Andrew M. Howie Jimmy Warren 1. ANTES DE EMITIR Cuomo Paladino Cuomo Paladino Cuomo Hawkins McMillan Redlich [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] SU VOTO CON [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] ESTA PAPELETA, [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] SÍRVASE LEER LAS [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] INSTRUCCIONES EN EL DORSO DE ESTA PAPELETA. Electors for Robert J. Gregory J. Robert J. Gregory J. Robert J. Gloria Alden Governor and Duffy Edwards Duffy Edwards Duffy Mattera Link [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] LieutenantNew York sued [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] Governor [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] 2. BALLOT PROPOSALS [Spanish] ARE LOCATED ON THE 1 OTHE SIDE OF THIS [Chinese] K J ✺ I BALLOT. 2. LAS PROPUESTAS DE [Korean] Taxpayers Freedom Anti-Prohibition PAPELETA APARECEN [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese]for usability [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] EN EL DORO DE ESTA Vote Once PAPELETA. Vote una vez 1K 1J 1I [Chinese] [Korean] Carl P. Charles Kristin M. Paladino Barron Davis [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean]problems MARKING INSTRUCTIONS: Gregory J. Eva M. Tanya INSTRUCCIONES Edwards Doyle Gendelman DE MARCADO: [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] Correct Mark: [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] Marca Correcta: A B C D E F GTesting Comptroller Democratic Republican Independence Conservative Working Families Green Libertarian [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Spanish] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Chinese] 2 [Korean] 2A 2B 2C 2D 2E 2F 2G WRITE-IN Vote Once Thomas P. Harry Harry Harry Thomas P. Julia A. John Vote una vez DiNapoli Wilson Wilson Wilson DiNapoli Willebrand Gaetani [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean]Training [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] A B C D E F G ✺ Attorney General Democratic Republican Independence Conservative Working Families Libertarian Freedom [Spanish] [Chinese] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] [Chinese] 3 [Korean] 3A 3B 3C 3D 3E 3F 3G WRITE-IN Vote Once Eric T. Dan Eric T. Dan Eric T. Carl E. Ramon J. Vote una vez [Chinese] Schneiderman Donovan Schneiderman Donovan Schneiderman Person Jimenez [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] A B C D E F G RDH H Democratic Republican Independence Conservative Working Families Green Rent is 2 Damn Libertarian [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] High [Chinese] 38 [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] 4A 4B 4C 4D 4E 4F 4G 4H WRITE-IN United States Kristen E. Joseph J. Kristen E. Joseph J. Kristen E. Cecile A. Joseph John Gillibrand DioGuardi Gillibrand DioGuardi Gillibrand Lawrence Huff Clifton Senator [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Spanish] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] 4 [Korean] K J I Vote Once Vote una vez [Chinese] [Korean] Tax Revolt Taxpayers Anti-Prohibition [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] 4K 4J 4I Bruce Joseph J. Viva Blakeman DioGuardi Morgan [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese]
  35. 35. 39
  36. 36. Recommended 03/08/2011$03:47:00pm$Youfilledintoomanyovalsin3contests.Thesevoteswillnotcount: e d t tl s eReturnyourballotU n Ignoremessage.CastballotGet$your$ballot$back$to$correct$it.$Ask$a$ Ignore$this$message$and$cast$your$poll$worker$for$a$new$one.$ ballot$with$votes$that$will$not$count.$ ReturnBallot Cast 40
  37. 37. Research andstandardsElection Assistance Commission andNational Institute of Standards andTechnologyVoluntary Voting System Guidelines -VVSG 2.5
  38. 38. Brennan Center Design forDemocracy 42
  39. 39. Field Guides seriesResearch Research SOP and Usability Researchcommissioned by commissioned by and Civic Life commissioned byEAC, book NIST, book Project, book NIST, bookfunded by funded by funded by funded byKickstarter Kickstarter Kickstarter Kickstarter
  40. 40. Coming soonEffective election Delivering useful Effective design Designing multi-department voter education for vote-by-mail language ballotsweb sites Research Research Funding yet to be Funding yet to be sponsored by sponsored by secured secured John D. & John D. & Catherine T. Catherine T. MacArthur MacArthur Foundation Foundation
  41. 41. Field GuidesTo Ensuring Voter Intentcivicdesigning.org /fieldguides
  42. 42. Be anelection worker
  43. 43. Observe elections HUGE PROJECTon poll worker security! We need participants everywhere 47
  44. 44. Volunteer to proofread
  45. 45. Use theaccessible system http://trace.wisc.edu/voting/ 49
  46. 46. Join our projectsAIGA Design for DemocracyUPA Usability in Civic Life
  47. 47. Epilogue 51
  48. 48. Why can’t I vote on the internet?SecrecyError toleranceSecurityDisagreement about the level of risk 52
  49. 49. Why aren’t all voters using the samevoting system? 53
  50. 50. The 10th AmendmentIt’s a states rights issue. 54
  51. 51. DanaChisnelldana@usabilityworks.netwww.usabilityworks.net415.519.1148@danachis
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