The Challenge

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How might we design an accessible election experience for everyone? read the brief

Idea

Create a support community of Poll Stations & Workers (Updated)

A crowdsourcing service providing tips, advice, best practice, tools & knowledge from other poll stations around the country & potentially globally to provide support for poll workers to deliver best in class universal design experience for everyone.
A website and community outreach program to enable poll workers to share and learn best practice around how to setup their polling station to maximize the citizen experience. A strong aspect of this would be how to enable universal access. Topics could be created that address specific user groups, advice on how to speak to people with disabilities for instance. 

The community could pose questions such as 'How can I created a more private experience for my poll station?' or 'How can I help cater for those with Autism?'

Specific strategies and techniques that have been tried could be shared and feedback could be given, or 'builds' on that specific approach provided by others who have tried it out and have improvements.

Thanks to everyone who helped improve this idea:

How will this concept improve election accessibility for everyone?
By creating a continuous innovation approach of knowledge sharing, community building, and new ideas. Users can create a profile either as a voter or a poll worker (or potentially a local government worker). As a poll worker, during the profile building process, the user can specify which areas they are most interested in improving as well as view data on what voters think needs changing. Options might be based around accessibility areas or around design aspects of the space. The site is organized into Issues, Solutions, and Discussions. In the Issues area you can find your local poll station and rate, comment, or make suggestions for how it should be improved, or even ask questions which will show up in the poll worker or local government's profile when they next login. Solutions can be shared by everyone, but solutions that have been tried and validated can be scored, evaluated, and given constructive feedback to help them improve. Each Solution can be adapted and implemented in an open source fashion in other poll stations. When this happens, the Solution increases its overal score. A bit like www.Instructables.com, the Solutions can be given step by step instructions in a DIY fashion to help Poll Workers implement ideas.
My Virtual Team
Whitney Quesenbery Mamta Gautam Ting-Han Huang Nymphaea Notschaele

Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

Ashley Jablow

March 22, 2012, 22:49PM
Really nice mockups Lucy! I also like your thinking about dividing the site into Issues, Solutions and Discussions.

Ting-Han Huang

March 21, 2012, 05:29AM
Lucy, I like the idea of improving the voter's experience through improving the poll worker's experience. It reminded me of your other concept ("Train the Poll Workers with Empathy Tools"). It seems harder to provide every election office with the same amount of knowledge, but it seems easier to provide every election office with the same set of empathy tools. Maybe there is some way of combining these 2 concepts to make the sharing of poll worker's experience more convenient?

Lucy Campbell

March 21, 2012, 19:04PM
Thanks I've been really inspired by your comments and tried to build in some of the feedback. There's some more I'd like to add though, so any feedback you have is great.

Mamta Gautam

March 16, 2012, 17:40PM
Hey Lucy ,have a look at my concept .
http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/national-database-for-rating-voting-system/.
I was looking to develop a database that incorporates feedback and view points from electoral officials , poll workers and voters -for different county's to decide which is the best practice under what constraint.
The support community would help in maintaining and updating the database form a poll-workers point of view. may be the poll workers can directly add to my database concept ... just a thought !
cheers .

Lucy Campbell

March 21, 2012, 19:03PM
Thanks I've been really inspired by your concept and tried to build in some of the elements - i think there could be an even greater combination of the two concepts though!

OpenIDEO

March 15, 2012, 20:45PM
Congrats on this post joining our Top 20 shortlist Lucy! We really liked that your idea taps into poll workers, a crucial community to consider in any of our concepts.

During this Refinement phase, let's think about what this crowdsourced platform might actually look like, whether through sketches or even basic mockups. You might also check out Daniel's related concept for more inspiration: http://bit.ly/xXnRq6. For more information on specific ways to iterate and update your concept, check http://bit.ly/oi_voterefine and http://www.bit.ly/oi_refine.

Charlene Lam

March 11, 2012, 00:20AM
Supporting poll workers is a great idea -- they are at the front line, and just as in a retail setting, the voters' experience with them colors their whole experience. A Wiki is a good option, as would be an iPad app for accessing information about how to serve different voters' needs.

iPads are expensive though, so we should also consider going old-school, with telephone hotlines for poll workers who need assistance. In the US during Thanksgiving, turkey supplier Butterball has a toll-free number for cooks with questions about everything from how long to cook a 14-pound turkey to how to quickly defrost a bird. Why not a similar toll-free number for poll workers, who could access pre-recorded messages for different situations or be connected to a switchboard of polling center experts, some of which could be based out of poll stations themselves?

Lucy Campbell

March 21, 2012, 19:05PM
great points Charlene, I'll try and incorporate that into my next iteration. I've made a few changes already so any further thoughts you have are most appreciated.

Nymphaea Notschaele

March 01, 2012, 06:53AM
If I were to setup a poll station I would be interested in the best practices that would benefit all (or as many target groups as possible). I could be helpful when each solution is tagged with which types of disabilities benefit from it.
This platform could also include a description of the barriers a person with a spesific disability face in the elction process. That would help the poll workers to understand why a solution works.

Lucy Campbell

March 21, 2012, 19:05PM
Thanks I've been really inspired by your comments and tried to build in some of the feedback.

Whitney Quesenbery

March 01, 2012, 05:41AM
One thing we've seen is that there are a lot of great ideas and resources around the country (and world), but it seems to be hard to build on them so that every election office has access to all of the best practices. Supporting collaboration and sharing materials is a great idea.

Paul Reader

March 01, 2012, 08:18AM
Agreed Whitney - there is half an attempt on the EAC site where membership of a network is available to election officials.There are so many great similar concepts around the idea of sharing information we need a way to amalgamate them and then refine them collaboratively.

Whitney Quesenbery

March 01, 2012, 14:41PM
Yes. I'd suggest that it would be great to have input not only from election officials and poll workers. But also from voters. Create a stronger feedback loop and a way to capture the small practices that can evolve into more formal programs.

Lucy Campbell

March 21, 2012, 19:03PM
Thanks I've been really inspired by your comments and tried to build in some of the feedback.

Darren McNally

March 01, 2012, 00:38AM
I've been thinking of an idea like this as well. Have you thought of specific mechanisms to accomplish this? I was thinking of a Wiki and/or a chatroom.

Lucy Campbell

March 01, 2012, 00:42AM
Hi Darren, I think a wiki could do it, but maybe a sort of mash up of yahoo answers, OpenIDEO and a wiki?

Lucy Campbell

March 01, 2012, 00:42AM
Feel free to build on this with your own version of it if you have specific ideas!

Paul Reader

March 01, 2012, 08:07AM
Can see this fits with my comments on the http://vote.gov project and Daniel's broad best practice crowd sourcing. It also fits to some extent with my latest concept for mapping polling booths and supplying information to help voters decide where and when to vote.
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