Design problems continue to have a major impact on elections. In 2008, the Brennan Center for Justice publication Better Ballots documented how design errors continued to plague elections, leading to the loss of hundreds of thousands of votes. The report made several policy recommendations to alleviate this chronic problem. This report continues the work of Better Ballots, detailing a few of the biggest design flaws in the elections of 2008 and 2010. Unlike Better Ballots, which only discussed Election Day ballots, this report also includes voting machine error messages, provisional and absentee ballot envelopes, and voter education materials. The quality of design of all of these materials can be the difference between counting and losing voters’ intended choices. Download the Report (PDF)
What has happened in the last four years? In the commercial context, a lot. In particular, smartphones and computer tablets have convinced many people and businesses of the significance of design and usability. More generally, as detailed on page 9 of this report, important segments of the private and public sectors are increasingly using design and usability research to improve the ability of customers to use their products. Within elections there has been some progress, but there are still far too many flaws — mistakes that could easily be fixed before Election Day, saving hundreds of thousands of votes.
Full Article: Better Design, Better Elections | Brennan Center for Justice.