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Using "crowdsourcing" to design more accessible elections

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 2 years ago

The Internet 1

An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Election Assistance Commission is sponsoring an online, open innovation challenge to search for creative answers to the question: "How might we design an accessible election experience for everyone?"

The goal is to develop ideas for how to make elections more accessible to everyone, especially people with disabilities.

Here’s how the process works. We start by trying to better understand the problem. Over the next few weeks, anyone can help us research the issues and share their experiences. People are sharing stories, insights and examples of voting systems or experiences that might relate to elections and accessibility from other contexts (e.g. using an ATM).

In a few weeks, we’ll start focusing on brainstorming solutions. Along the way, there will be opportunities for feedback and to refine concepts and solutions.

This is a very innovative use of technology and we are eager to see the results. All of the ideas generated by this challenge will be made freely available to anyone who wants to implement them. For example, Los Angeles County elections officials will be following this challenge in their pursuit of a modern voting system. In L.A. County alone, your ideas during this challenge can help improve the voting experience for 4.5 million voters.

You can see the challenge here:"

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Challenge ignores biggest issue (1)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#38931281)

It's easy to come up with various ways to make voting more accessible to people with issues that prevent them from voting "normally". Random ideas offhand: vote by mail, online voting, vote-mobile, computer with multilingual displays, pictures of canidates or symbols for parties, ...

But you can't actually use any of these without ways of preventing fraud, accounting for malfunctions, providing transparency, and ensuring that results can be properly counted. Yet their main challenge page doesn't mention those or other practical concerns with election security. How can they expect to get ideas that will be usable if they don't even bother to mention some of the biggest concerns? Taking a process that was designed without any thought to security and trying to attach some security after the fact never seems to turn out well.

More accessible elections is a good goal, but it seems like this approach is destined to result in ideas that are fatally flawed because they weren't created with the proper design criteria.
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