Challenges of balancingusability and securityin future voting systemsDana Chisnell@danachis@ChadButterfly
How are thevotes counted?
How are thevotes counted?
If it’s not usable, it’snot secure.
NowCurrent designdemands muchof voters
Cataloged 147 election websitesConducted 41 remote moderatedusability tests
Voters areballot-centricthey’re focused on that act,not conscious of the overall process
What’s on the ballot?
?    ?    ?
?    ??
!    ?
If voters don’t know whatis on the ballot   they are more likely to go to third-party   sources   they are less likely to ...
Website design problems arewell understoodsites are hard to find      find other sourcesnavigation reflects                  ...
San Francisco and Oakland,December 2011EVN, March 2012
Portland, Maine 2011
Alameda Co. demo ballot
Minneapolis 2011
New York state demo
Voter slate
How is my vote counted?
Ballot design problems arewell understoodsplit contests across columns   overvotingthere are responses on both            ...
How RCV works
n=52       Joe
Mental models People make inferences about how things work based on available information and context
Mental models                This is what we                teach people
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 Point system Weighted Reversed
Point / weight system
Intent is loaded Preparing to vote Knowing what to expect Interacting with the ballot
What’s on the ballot?           What are my options for voting?  absentee              early voting        Election Daywha...
what’s the                  where do I vote?                where do I vote?deadline to apply?what do I have todo to get o...
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
straight party voting   + regular contests               + RCV   + multi-candidate+ retention contests         + measures6...
We’re pretty sure there’s a problem
FutureCombinations addcomplexity.Complexity compromisessecurity.
Votersbear a cognitive burdenthat design can relieve.
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.
complex ballots = lost votes
complex ballots + vote-by-mail   = lost votes
complex ballots+ multi-language     = lost votes
RCV           + VBM+ multi-language     = 1000s of      lost votes
Lack of trust in electionsLack of trust in officialsRecallsScrambling county boards
Security may add to thecognitive burdenwithout thoughtful design.
Security = Counted as cast
Security = Cast as intended +           counted as cast
This moment
Voter ed is not the answer.
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...
And...Andrea Moed        Doug HankeKristen Johansen   Karen McGraneBoaz Gurdin        Krysta ChaunceyAshley Pearlman    Ka...
New tools.
Field Guides seriesResearch          Research          Usability and Civic   Researchcommissioned by   commissioned by   L...
Coming soonDesigning             Writing voter         Guiding voters   Poll workerelection              education        ...
ComingsoonAnywhereballotfunded by ITIF(EAC AVTI)
Field Guides To EnsuringVoter Intentcivicdesigning.org       /fieldguides
If it’s not usable,it’s not secure.
Thank you.
Dana Chisnelldana@usabilityworks.netcivicdesign@usabilityworks.netcivicdesigning.org@danachis@ChadButterfly
Usability and security in future voting systems
Usability and security in future voting systems
Usability and security in future voting systems
Usability and security in future voting systems
Usability and security in future voting systems
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Usability and security in future voting systems

  1. Challenges of balancingusability and securityin future voting systemsDana Chisnell@danachis@ChadButterfly
  2. How are thevotes counted?
  3. How are thevotes counted?
  4. If it’s not usable, it’snot secure.
  5. NowCurrent designdemands muchof voters
  6. Cataloged 147 election websitesConducted 41 remote moderatedusability tests
  7. Voters areballot-centricthey’re focused on that act,not conscious of the overall process
  8. What’s on the ballot?
  9. ? ? ?
  10. ? ??
  11. ! ?
  12. If voters don’t know whatis on the ballot they are more likely to go to third-party sources they are less likely to show up at the right polling place they’re likely to undervote down-ballot they are less likely to turn out
  13. Website design problems arewell understoodsites are hard to find find other sourcesnavigation reflects don’t know where to godepartment don’t know how to get tolabels are jargon contentdates and deadlines don’t know when to actare vague get distracted or lost in thegraphics are gratuitous site, lose trustsites are not accessible disenfranchisement
  14. San Francisco and Oakland,December 2011EVN, March 2012
  15. Portland, Maine 2011
  16. Alameda Co. demo ballot
  17. Minneapolis 2011
  18. New York state demo
  19. Voter slate
  20. How is my vote counted?
  21. 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
  22. How RCV works
  23. n=52 Joe
  24. Mental models People make inferences about how things work based on available information and context
  25. Mental models This is what we teach people
  26. Mental modelsSometimes it really is this simple -but not in the US
  27. Mental modelsSometimes it really is this simple -but not in the US
  28. Much more like signing for a mortgage
  29. This is the ballotwe testNIST medium complexity ballot
  30. Mental models Point system Weighted Reversed
  31. Point / weight system
  32. Intent is loaded Preparing to vote Knowing what to expect Interacting with the ballot
  33. What’s on the ballot? What are my options for voting? absentee early voting Election Daywhat’s the where do I vote? where do I vote?deadline to apply?what do I have todo to get one?when is it due?
  34. what’s the where do I vote? where do I vote?deadline to apply?what do I have todo to get one?when is it due? who is in office now? do I need ID to vote? what’s the deadline for registering?
  35. 1. Voters develop faulty mental models
  36. 2. Voters don’t understand the consequences of their actions
  37. 3. Voters vote counter to their intentions
  38. Portland, Maine 2011
  39. straight party voting + regular contests + RCV + multi-candidate+ retention contests + measures6 different models
  40. We’re pretty sure there’s a problem
  41. FutureCombinations addcomplexity.Complexity compromisessecurity.
  42. Votersbear a cognitive burdenthat design can relieve.
  43. Poor design and instructionson ballots makeunderstanding, marking, and castingdifficult, time-consuming, andcomplicated
  44. Poor design and instructionson ballots makecounting, verifying, and auditsdifficult, time-consuming, andcomplicated
  45. Raises questions about what is beingsecured.
  46. complex ballots = lost votes
  47. complex ballots + vote-by-mail = lost votes
  48. complex ballots+ multi-language = lost votes
  49. RCV + VBM+ multi-language = 1000s of lost votes
  50. Lack of trust in electionsLack of trust in officialsRecallsScrambling county boards
  51. Security may add to thecognitive burdenwithout thoughtful design.
  52. Security = Counted as cast
  53. Security = Cast as intended + counted as cast
  54. This moment
  55. Voter ed is not the answer.
  56. If it’s not usable, it’s not valid.
  57. If it’s not usable, it’s not countable.
  58. If it’s not usable, it’s not verifiable.
  59. If it’s not usable, it’s not auditable.
  60. If it’s not usable, it’s not secure.
  61. 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
  62. And...Andrea Moed Doug HankeKristen Johansen Karen McGraneBoaz Gurdin Krysta ChaunceyAshley Pearlman Karen BachmannDonald A. Cox Rosa MoranKamaria Campbell Josie ScottPaul Schreiber Rachel GoddardJenn Downs Samantha LeVanJacqui Adams Kate AurigemmaMichelle Milla Erin LimanJosh Keyes Alessandra BrophyJosh Bright Andrea Fineman
  63. New tools.
  64. Field Guides seriesResearch Research Usability and Civic Researchcommissioned by commissioned by Life Project commissioned byEAC NIST NIST
  65. Coming soonDesigning Writing voter Guiding voters Poll workerelection education through the security bestdepartment materials polling place practiceswebsites Research partially Research partially From research Research to be funded by funded by funded by EAC funded by the MacArthur MacArthur and work by National Science Foundation Foundation Design for Foundation Democracy
  66. ComingsoonAnywhereballotfunded by ITIF(EAC AVTI)
  67. Field Guides To EnsuringVoter Intentcivicdesigning.org /fieldguides
  68. If it’s not usable,it’s not secure.
  69. Thank you.
  70. Dana Chisnelldana@usabilityworks.netcivicdesign@usabilityworks.netcivicdesigning.org@danachis@ChadButterfly

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