In this era of smartphones and the Internet, the way Americans cast their ballots is a bit outdated. Los Angeles County, which is home to the most voters in the country, uses technology that is more than 50 years old. But a campaign of innovation could soon bring change at the ballot box across the United States. In one unorthodox Silicon Valley workspace, a team of developers is trying to change the way we vote, by first determining how we want to vote, reports CBS News correspondent Carter Evans. Blaise Bertrand leads the design team at IDEO, a firm that encourages “out-of-the-box” thinking. IDEO’s human-centered approach is responsible for creating some of the most innovative products in our lifetime, from Apple’s first computer mouse to a talking defibrillator. For the past two years, they have taken on another project — developing a new voting machine for Los Angeles County.
Dean Logan, the registrar-recorder for Los Angeles, where 5 million registered voters currently cast ballots on ink-based machines, says that voting systems in this country historically haven’t been designed with the voter in mind. “This is the same, essentially, voting booth that was used since 1968,” Logan said.
IDEO is tackling the issue by creating a new voting machine fit for the smart-phone era. It runs on a touchscreen-operated tablet that can be upgraded as technology evolves. “That’s the idea,” Bertrand said. “We want this to be universal because currently it’s not necessarily universal.”
IDEO recently tested the new system with LA County voters. Voters like Jeorgen Mendez called the process “self-explanatory.”