Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan presented his much-anticipated voting makeover project this week at South by Southwest Eco, an offshoot of the famous music festival in Austin, Texas. The conference is a flocking ground of sorts for new products and technology that focus on social change. “South by Southwest was a great platform for us to come and share this specifically from a design element,” Logan said. “We felt like it was very well-received.” Since 2009, the county has been working on a major elections revamp that, if fully implemented, will allow voters to mark their choices using touchscreen devices, submit ballots via smartphones and vote on one of several days.
They will also have options like customizing their ballot’s font size and choosing a ballot from several languages. Plus, electronic sample ballots will allow voters to scan in their pre-chosen selections at the polls just as travelers can have their boarding passes scanned at the airport. The new voting system will still create a paper trail, as required by state law.
Logan presented the project at SXSW Eco with Matt Adams from IDEO, the design firm hired for the project. The new voting system began as an idea back in 2009 and has cost $8.9 million so far. That price tag will rise to $13 million in the coming months.