The Challenge

838 followers

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

Idea

Voting Vans --- REFINEMENT

Vans equipped with electronic voting machines could make scheduled stops at hospitals and rehab centers allowing people with disabilities to conveniently participate in the voting process.

Many people, especially those with some kind of disability, find it challenging to vote. Voting vans could help make the process more accessible and let the people actually experience voting. The vans, equipped with electronic voting systems, could make scheduled stops at hospitals, care centers, and special need schools, thereby giving people with special needs the opportunity to cast their ballots. The “Let the app suggest” concept could work well in this case. The vans would be staffed with a few poll workers and perhaps a security guard. The poll workers could work alongside the hospital/school staff to ensure the ballots are cast accurately and privately.

----------------------------------------------------

Building the Van

One option is to build vans specifically for this concept. The vans would have fewer seats and more room to maneuver wheelchairs/scooters. The vans could actually have booth structures and temporarily fitted voting machines. The vans would feel more airy and comfortable. In addition to in-van voting, the poll workers could also carry a few EZ Ballots or laptops to help those who cannot make it to the van.

Features:

  • Booth structures to ensure privacy
  • Electronic voting machines (computers) with accessible keyboards
  • Headphones and mic
  • Wireless connection and location tracking device
  • EZ Ballots or laptops


The one caveat here is the price. This could be a costly project, especially at a prototyping stage.

A way to offset the cost and increase van use would be to lease these vans to other city initiatives such as a mobile library, mobile test center, etc… during election off seasons.

------------------------------------------------------

Another option is to leverage public transport such as buses and shuttles. Although this is a cheaper option, it has some limitations. Due to many seats, maneuvering wheelchairs and scooters may become difficult. This means only one or two people may be able to vote at a given time. Also, it may be challenging to add temporary booth structures and voting computers. The poll workers would primarily have to depend on portable polling options such as laptops and privacy screens. However, if alternate rows of seats could be temporarily dismantled, these buses could be more effective.

Features:

  • Portable voting systems (tablets/laptop computers) with privacy screens.
  • Headphones and mic
  • Wireless connection and location tracking device

This option could prove more cost effective at a prototyping stage.

----------------------------------------------------------

Scenarios:

Tasha
is a woman in her 30’s who runs her own business. She has been blind since birth. She employs a “reader” who reads print materials to her. However, she uses a computer independently and prefers that method for accessing information. Tasha has heard about the voting van on the radio and that the van’s website is designed for accessibility and provides location tracking/schedules based on one’s zip code.

  • She checks the website to find a van near her
  • She learns that a voting van is scheduled to make a stop at the school for the visually impaired, which is about a mile away from her place.
  • But Tasha is a bit nervous, so she asks her “reader” to go along
  • Both catch a ride to the school and Tasha
  • There are 8 people ahead of Tasha and she patiently awaits her turn.
  • As she waits, a poll worker walks her through the process of casting a ballot in the van
  • Poll worker assists Tasha to the van
  • Tasha casts her ballot firsthand with some assistance.
  • Poll worker offers the “reader” an opportunity to cast her ballot as well

Charlie has autism. He is high-functioning and is able to read well. He spends his day at a special school. The van is here to help Charlie and others at the school cast their ballots.
  • Poll workers help Charlie and one more person to the bright and airy van
  • A teacher, who Charlie knows well, goes along to make Charlie comfortable in this unfamiliar situation
  • Teacher assists poll worker in walking Charlie through the voting app
  • After Charlie casts his ballot, the teacher diverts his attention and helps him back to the school

George is a retiree who has MS that affects his memory and his mobility. He lives in a retirement nursing home attached to a hospital. A voting van is scheduled to spend the day at the hospital. The nursing home assists the retirees to the van.
  • Caregiver wheels George to the van
  • Poll worker helps George understand how the system works
  • George sits at the private polling booth and puts on headphones
  • Poll worker pulls the privacy screen
  • He can hear step by step directions as he makes progress

However, George’s friend Jim, has sustained an injury and cannot make it to the van. In this case, the poll worker can take the portable laptop/tablet and a pop-up privacy screen to Jim and help him cast his ballot.


How will this concept improve election accessibility for everyone?
This process need not be limited to people with disabilities. Just as mobile blood banks, the van could also be setup as a temporary full day polling station to include caregivers, doctors, and visitors, enabling these individuals to cast their votes without having to get away from the facility for long. This could work well for larger hospitals and could be used in combination with voting centers during an early voting period. This concept is fairly scalable and is not restricted to hospitals. It offers convenient way for anyone who wants to vote. It eliminates the use of paper ballots by installing electronic machines thereby improving security. For example, the van could make stops at schools allowing teachers and staff to vote on campus. The van location could be tracked using a simple website so people could vote at a van near them. Although the van enhances convenience, it is much about employing empathetic people who make the experience positive and memorable.
How well does this concept adapt to the changing needs of different voter communities?
The van makes it very convenient for communities and people outside of nursing homes and special schools. This concept is very scalable, and depending on the number of vans and demand, the van could make stops around residential communities. Communities could organize #votepools http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/votepools/ to transport the elderly and those with special needs to the van.
What kinds of resources – whether time, money, people, partnerships, technology or otherwise – will be needed to get this concept off the ground?
This would need to be a city/county initiative with no strings attached to any political groups. The city would need to build a team of designers, engineers, and administrative staff to realize this concept. The city could consider partnering with tech companies to help outfit the vehicles. This could be a part of a CSR program and could gain goodwill in the community. Every van would need a skilled worker who could assist with technical difficulties and security personnel to ensure safety. The city could also team up with local nonprofits to get volunteers to work the van as poll workers, or hire people to work as poll workers.
My Virtual Team
Ashley Jablow Natalia Pachón Whitney Quesenbery Cansu Akarsu Vicenç Àlvaro Martha McGill Vincent Cheng Meena Kadri Ramanand J Rebekah Emanuel Alvin Tai Eduardo Cajavilca Jeffery Jones Suilen O'Neill Paul Reader Anne-Laure Fayard Christopher Ho Tracy Verrett Keith McConn Yarun Luon

Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

Edmund Ng

November 15, 2013, 03:59AM
On paper it sounds like a great idea but economically it might not be viable. Especially in areas like the United States where it's so huge. You'll probably need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase these voting vans.

More importantly it is not easy maintaining these vehicles and you will need to find parking spaces for it as well, leading to a lot of maintenance costs.

It's much more cost effective to just do the voting in schools which are free of charge. You'll also be able to get lot's of volunteers for the election process.


Edmund Ng
http://www.ceoconnectz.com

Whitney Quesenbery

January 29, 2013, 20:15PM
This is an old NPR story (from October), but here's another example of election officials taking polling places into the community.

"The trailer is the first mobile voting booth in Iowa. This polling place on wheels was set up by Marshall County Auditor Dawn Williams."

http://www.npr.org/2012/10/24/163560324/vote-while-you-shop-pop-up-poll-sites-sweep-iowa

Priyanka Kodikal

March 06, 2013, 00:24AM
Very interesting! Thank you so much, Whitney!

Chris Andrews

June 01, 2012, 15:48PM
This is very cool to read. We already have some new ideas for our already launched product!

http://mobilevotingprecinct.com/

Priyanka Kodikal

June 01, 2012, 23:13PM
Hi Chris, this is just awesome! I had been to your site earlier, and it really inspired me! However, i didn't see all the pictures you have there now. So i pretty much took inspiration for your voting mobile and designed one specifically for disabled people. Do you guys tour a lot?

Chris Andrews

June 15, 2012, 18:21PM
We toured extensively last year. All over the South East and Central US.
The MVP was actually used in Chesterfield, VA last week for their Primary Election!
ADA compliance was definitely the major concern for us during design of the vehicle.

Nathan Maton

November 26, 2012, 16:39PM
It is very cool to see a winning concept mingle with an exiting project in process.

Steve Chessin

April 27, 2012, 01:43AM
I like all of this except this part: "It eliminates the use of paper ballots by installing electronic machines thereby improving security." Actually, you reduce security when you eliminate paper ballots, as you no longer have an auditable paper record. Turn the "electronic voting machine" into an "electronic ballot marking device", that prints a paper ballot that the voter can verify, and is then deposited in a secure ballot box. Staff the van with two or three people so that fraud would have to be a conspiracy (just as it is with fixed polling places).

Priyanka Kodikal

April 27, 2012, 04:58AM
Hi Steve, I appreciate your input. Your suggestion is very valuable and I'll incorporate it shortly. I think for the most part we focused on the cool technology aspect. This also seems more feasible to implement. I'm also working on iterating this concept to adapt to areas with limited or no access to fair voting. Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.

Steve Chessin

April 27, 2012, 05:52AM
Yeah, a lot of folks get swept up by the technology but forget that voting is very different from banking and shopping. Online banking and shopping are not anonymous activities; you get a bank or credit card statement every month, and if there's unusual activity you can report it (and the bank or merchant or credit card company takes the loss - and they take lots of losses, which they make up with fees and interest rates and mark-ups). Voting is anonymous; if something happens to your electronic ballot on its way to being tallied you'll never know. Better to have a paper ballot with a documented and auditable chain of custody, even if an electronic device is used to create that paper ballot. (If you've never done it before, I highly recommend volunteering as a poll worker this November.)

Katherine Lao

April 16, 2012, 04:20AM
I love that this idea addresses the issue of mobility, but i think it also addresses the issue of access not just for people with disabilities but for lower income communities in which the issue of access, convenience and transportation is also an issue. This reminds of a mobile clinic model.

This concept reminds of the latest Modern Family episode in which the husband attempts to drive around elderly folks to get them to vote for his wife who is running for town council. In many ways, the mobile van can simply be a vanpool and perhaps leverage on existing transit services (combining the idea of using public transportation) that offers this specific service on voting day. Thus, potentially knocking down some cost issue but still addressing the idea of accessibility and voter engagement.

Ann Tyler

April 05, 2012, 13:44PM
I was extremely impressed with this idea and how the van makes it possible to reach a certain market of the population whose voice needs to be heard. I'm sure thousands of people every election wish they could vote but the obstacle of going through the polling process simply isn't worth it. With this van, various segments of the population, especially those with disabilities, can have their voice be heard. Their voice is very important and in a country where the person who speaks the loudest or spends the most usually gets their way, it's heartwarming to know they have developed a way for their voice to be just as loud. The issues they face in their day to day lives are different than most people and this van initiative is a major step towards recognizing these hurdles and helping them overcome them.

Priyanka Kodikal

April 06, 2012, 03:04AM
Thanks for the kind words Ann!

Katalina Mustatea

April 03, 2012, 20:47PM
Many jurisdictions have the problem that expensive voting machines are only used once every four years and then must be stored in church basements and schools. This is not only a space and storage issue, but also a security issue - no one really knows who has access to those machines in between elections. Since machines have repeatedly been shown to be easily, embarrassingly hackable even when they are well guarded, this is not a trivial problem.

What strikes me about the Voting Van idea is that it solves not only an access problem, but potentially can also solve the safe storage problem above. The details would have to be worked out, but I can imagine extending Voting Vans to many, if not most, polling sites - after an election, the voting machines they transport can all go to some central storage facility (where security is presumably more tight than in an isolated church basement).

Nice work.

Priyanka Kodikal

April 06, 2012, 03:09AM
Great thinking Katalina! I never thought about that...if you have any ideas, please share. I'd love to incorporate those....

Paul Reader

April 09, 2012, 08:44AM
Great point, and again in conjunction with the EZ Ballot and Ipad Ballot concepts there is the prospect of reducing the need for so many bulky machines - maybe eventually making them unnecessary.
Hope you get the opportunity to follow through with this Priyanka.
Good Luck!

Cansu Akarsu

March 28, 2012, 22:47PM
Congrats my friend, great process and concept!

Priyanka Kodikal

April 06, 2012, 03:06AM
Cansu...Thanks so much and congratulations to you too! I've really enjoyed incorporating your concept into mine. I look forward to more collaboration...

Paul Reader

March 28, 2012, 21:12PM
Congratulations on another leading concept Priyanka.
Looking at some of the other winning concepts that have also featured in your refinements I am hoping that we will be able to follow the realisation of all of these.Thinking about taking the voting to the people rather than the other way about reminds me of some things like bread and milk delivery that (in Australia at least) have largely disappeared. While these deliveries were often by appointment there was always the opportunity for impulse buying too. The same will be true of Voting Vans and the fuel/environmental impact of one van vs several cars is not a small consideration either, which may yet see the revival of fresh food delivery too.

Priyanka Kodikal

April 06, 2012, 03:03AM
Thanks Paul! I was thinking about the environmental impact of the an too. Several vehicles are using vegetable oil instead of gasoline. Perhaps the van or delivery trucks could convert to use veg oil :)

Taylor Dalton

March 26, 2012, 02:28AM
I'm really impressed with the continuous flow of comments and refinements for this particular concept. I missed the "concepting phase" but love how adaptable this idea is. Nice job addressing concerns over mobility (perhaps using ADA requirements in the US) and privacy. I do wonder about costs if election officials would be required to staff the vans, and how much extra time/money that might be. Also the possibility that people may take advantage of those less able by putting pressure on the way they vote as they provide assistance to the vans (thinking about my grandmother, with Alzheimer's, and the number of people that try to tell her what to think). I hate to think people are that deceiving, but might want to include ways to prevent that type of influencing as much as possible?

Ashley Jablow

March 22, 2012, 20:29PM
I'm excited about the updates you've made during Refinement, Priyanka – plus how well you've outlined your idea by formatting the text in the submission form :)

Frances Harris

March 21, 2012, 15:51PM
This is a wonderful idea. It (like Whitney’s idea of mark-it) are examples of flexible solutions that, although employ technology, are not technology limited. A mobile van has the potential – as others have pointed out here – of linking registration with casting a ballot. (This, in particular, was cited by some I interviewed as a confusing process, especially after moving to a new community.) And, most importantly, a van can travel to rural areas where lack of transportation resources often hinders community participation. For example, depending on paratransit (which is notorious in many areas for being unreliable), a ride from a friend, or a bus can lead to feeling pressured at the polling place. People are afraid they may miss their ride home if voting takes too long, or that they are inconveniencing the person who is giving them a lift.
I have one suggestion – which has been mentioned by others. There are many mobile medical units out there that travel to hard to reach areas. I’m most familiar with ones that provide regular primary care to children in rural or economically depressed urban areas, or disaster areas. It might be possible to place a voting “specialist” on board at regular intervals to register, answer questions, or even help cast a ballot. Vans also provide a wonderful grass roots opportunity to learn about the locations of local populations in need, which may have been overlooked.

Ashwin Gopi

March 21, 2012, 03:34AM
The Exploring Creativity class and the OpenIDEO student chapter at NYU Poly had a prototyping workshop where we refined your concept! You can check it out here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOIoYyRmQtY

Meena Kadri

March 21, 2012, 10:05AM
Super cools guys... we're loving your prototyping moves!

Anne-Laure Fayard

March 21, 2012, 11:21AM
Yesterday class was about prototyping yesterday and we had a great presentation by 2 designers of IDEO NY office for the first part discussing prototyping - what types of prototypes and why. We played with the how. :-)
The refinement phase was the perfect context!

Priyanka Kodikal

March 21, 2012, 12:07PM
This is super cool guys! Thanks for choosing this concept to prototype! Anne - you're prototyping class sounds super fun. I soooo design school!

Would you mind if I added this video, with credits, to the concept?
Let me know...

Priyanka Kodikal

March 21, 2012, 12:08PM
Meena - Is it possible to make minor updates in the evaluation phase?

Anne-Laure Fayard

March 21, 2012, 12:31PM
Hi Priyanka, we would be proud to be associated to the concept.
BTW, I wanted to add that the students used Angela as a persona for the prototyping. A few things they realize as they started prototyping beyond the importance of prototyping itself: a folded seat that could be taken up for wheelchairs, having an entrance AND an exit to facilitate the flow, making sure that the users have privacy and support while being independent. They spend some time thinking about the experience / journey of Angela and the role of the different actors (poll workers, driver, security) in the process.
It is a great class to teach and yesterday was a very nice session.

Paul Reader

March 21, 2012, 12:37PM
Good question Priyanka! There are just so many creative and collaborative opportunities still to be explored. I think many of us feel we could be adding and refining right up to the end of evaluation.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 21, 2012, 14:30PM
Anne - great! I'll post it soon. Also, I completely agree with having an exit door. that would certainly help with the flow... I'll iterate the drawing soon... Thanks!

Meena Kadri

March 21, 2012, 20:18PM
Sure guys... feel free to continue to iterate your concepts through the Evaluation phase (& beyond) Just keep in mind that the sponsor, IDEO team and evaluators from our OpenIDEO community may miss your updates as they complete the evaluation form. But there's certainly no reason that iterations & conversation (+ on some challenges, Realisation efforts from members of our community) can't happen beyond the Concepting & Refinement phases.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 17, 2012, 22:45PM
I want to give a shout out to the OI community for their amazing feedback that helped further this concept! Refinement posted! Would love to hear your thoughts!

Jeffery Jones

March 19, 2012, 15:16PM
I am a fan of the initial concept and feel that you've incorporated the 1st round of revisions well. Everyone from Cansu to Anne-Laure to Whitney and the whole virtual team have really helped to take the concept to the next level.

At the end of the day, and the most important point of all, is that I can easily see this being an effective reality on a global scale. I eagerly look forward to seeing the final result of all the hard work that has gone into this.

Congrats again...

Anne-Laure Fayard

March 20, 2012, 02:30AM
I agree with Jeffrey. You did a great job in evolving the concept and it's been really nice exchanging ideas with you and others on this concept.
BTW I wanted to share with you another option on which you could build upon at least for the prototype phase: it's public transport but for people with disabilities: http://www.mta.info/nyct/paratran/guide.htm#what_is
it's access-a-ride a paratransit service: "The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that entities providing fixed-route bus or subway service also provide paratransit service for individuals unable to use public bus or subway service for some or all of their trips. Paratransit is the term used for a “demand-response” service in which an eligible customer must reserve a trip in advance. MTA New York City Transit administers Access-A-Ride (AAR), the paratransit service for New York City. The service is shared-ride, door-to-door, or feeder service."
for an image, see http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/nyregion/thecity/22acce.html?_r=1
just a thought...

Priyanka Kodikal

March 20, 2012, 04:48AM
Anne, that's a cool option! didn't have a clue about the Access-A-Ride Service. I'd love to incorporate this into the concept...I'll do my best to add it in before refinement finishes. BTW, most credit goes to all of you who have helped me better the concept! Thanks much!

Jeffery, I agree wholeheartedly, that the OI community has been monumental in the development of the concept.

Cansu Akarsu

March 16, 2012, 22:53PM
Hi Priyanka, why don't you equipt your vans with tablets/ipads, using my app:) This way, when there are not elections, the same vans and their tablets/ipads can be used for educational purposes:))

Anne-Laure Fayard

March 17, 2012, 03:53AM
The tablets / ipads are nicely aligned with Jeffrey's suggestion of extending the notion of mobility from the vans to hand-held devices. I also like the idea of solving the issue of the use of the vans (discussed in other comments and with a variety of options) outside of election periods.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 17, 2012, 20:28PM
Cansu, I have actually included your concept in my update! I'll post it soon... :)

Whitney Quesenbery

March 16, 2012, 17:00PM
Congrats Priyanka. The combination of Voting Vans and #VotePools could be powerful in addressing transportation and mobility issues. It would be especially valuable during an early voting period.

I wonder what the minimum requirements for a Voting Van are? Does it have to be a custom-outfitted vehicle, or could existing ones like mobile blood banks, book mobiles or even mobile project offices work.

I could see it being outfitted so that voters come inside, but also that poll workers could use it to drive to a location and then go inside, for example at a nursing home. In either case, it would be a strong visual presence, reminding everyone about the election.

Could it also be used for voter education and outreach before the election?

Priyanka Kodikal

March 16, 2012, 17:18PM
Hi Whitney,

I certainly like the combination and I'd also like to think about using EZ ballots http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/ez-ballot/

We had some discussions here about custom outfitting the vans. Although it would be great to have customized vans, using existing transportation options may be more feasible. So I'm leaning toward using more portable devices that may be carried in and out of the van.

Could it also be used for voter education and outreach before the election? I would say - Absolutely!

I'll have a refined version up soon. Hope to get more feedback from you on that...

Jeffery Jones

March 16, 2012, 15:27PM
The simplicity of this concept is great & effective.

With all due respect, I suggest taking the idea a step further:

Although the van is mobile, another level of accessibility would be to have hand-held voting devices that communicate with the van hub.

Those who can physically make it to the van can vote, for others who still find this too challenging, the hand-held devices would come to them with trained personnel guiding them through the process.

This would help overcome any technological hurdles the device may present; trained personnel would be available on a one-on-one basis. The proximity of the van will also alleviate any data transfer/power issues in areas where internet/electricity is not available. Especially in 3rd world countries or other rural areas.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 16, 2012, 17:11PM
That is a great idea! perhaps we can merge two concepts here: voting vans + http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/ez-ballot/
I like the idea of scaling the concept to meet needs in rural areas.
I'm working on refining my concept and should have it up in a day or two...would love your feedback...

Thanks!

Jeffery Jones

March 16, 2012, 18:32PM
Thanks for the reply, no need to comment back as I know you are busy.

I did see the ez-ballot device, and like that concept for developed nations. The one underlying miss across the board is empathizing with new countries where democracy and voting is alien.

These concepts are wonderful, but please put yourself in a country where women are treated as subordinate beings; not as individuals. Countries where the word of the town's elder holds more weight than the truth. Towns where your choice to vote can also be your life.

Although these scenarios seem dramatic to some, it is the reality of many in their worlds.

The voting van can be discrete in these countries where democracy is in its fragile infancy. The teams can be trained to anticipate the dangers. And the devices allow individuals to vote without congregating in large group settings.

Just food for thought & Congrats again on your idea! Best of luck!

Anne-Laure Fayard

March 17, 2012, 03:50AM
Hi, I agree Jeffrey on the possibility to extend this concept to rural areas and developing countries.
The possibility of connecting hand held devices to the van and building up on its mobility and connectivity is a great idea. For a concept in another challenge, I had explored a little bit this idea: http://www.openideo.com/open/amnesty/concepting/amnesty-international-iii-shift-van-/

In the context of developed countries, I could also see your concept Priyanka building upon a network of people: http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/community-clerks-let-the-people-already-working-with-underserved-communities-act-as-election-clerks/

Priyanka Kodikal

March 17, 2012, 22:48PM
Jeffery,
This is really powerful, and I can hear the passion in your words! I didn't get a chance to include this in my first iteration, but I certainly plan on adding it soon. Thanks for your feedback!

Meena Kadri

March 19, 2012, 20:58PM
Great discussion guys! It's been fab to watch the collaborative development of this concept – including use of the personas. Way to go!

Comfort Olowo

March 16, 2012, 14:03PM
I think it would be a huge improvement, if these vans were implemented. people that have problems leaving their homes and who have disabilities can be focused on with individual vans being sent around. Superb idea!

Priyanka Kodikal

March 16, 2012, 16:21PM
Thanks! I'm working on refining the concepts to make it more viable. If you have any ideas, please feel free to chime in...

Paul Reader

March 16, 2012, 17:00PM
Adding my congratulations too Priyanka.
Would happily see all voting coming to the disabled rather than the other way around.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 16, 2012, 17:19PM
Thanks Paul! You've certainly helped be take the concept further. Refinements coming soon!

Christopher Ho

March 16, 2012, 14:02PM
I really like your idea! The conecpt of enabling those in hospitals and rehab centers (including those who work there) will really bring the rest of those voters that were once under represented. Another application could be in isolated communities or counties.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 16, 2012, 16:17PM
good point. Thanks!

Suilen O'Neill

March 16, 2012, 05:32AM
I love this idea. Book mobiles and mobile blood drive vans can double as mobile polling stations. This in combination with the mobile network idea can bring a polling station to someone's front door.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 16, 2012, 17:21PM
yup! yup!

Paul Reader

March 16, 2012, 17:45PM
Although my concept for queue control was predicated on fixed polling stations it might also have some application for your vans. Clearly a waiting 'room' is not practical but giving voters a place in the queue and then informing them of their turn might also be relevant.

OpenIDEO

March 15, 2012, 22:36PM
Congrats Priyanka on this post joining our Top 20 shortlist! We loved that your concept brings voting to people where they are, rather than the other way around.

During this Refinement phase, it might be helpful to consider how to incorporate into your concept all of the great feedback and builds contributed by the community. You might also check out Cornellopenstorm's related concept for more inspiration: http://bit.ly/w4FzCA. 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.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 16, 2012, 16:19PM
Thanks! i am stoked! over the next couple of days I will be incorporating a lot of the community feedback to refine the concept.

Anne-Laure Fayard

March 15, 2012, 18:51PM
Congrats Priyanka! Looking forward to seeing your concept evolved with all the lively conversations that emerged around it.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 16, 2012, 16:19PM
absolutely! Thanks!

Cansu Akarsu

March 14, 2012, 21:19PM
Hi Priyanka, may be you should look into how to use the vans when there are no elections. Do you think there should be vans dedicated to voting? Or do you think existing transportations like school buses or ambulances can be used one time during elections?

Priyanka Kodikal

March 15, 2012, 01:18AM
Hi Cansu, you bring up a great point! To have exclusive van for this purpose could be expensive. I'm not sure how well the current transport options would fit the needs of the voting van. They tend to have fixed seats and little room to move around. What if, after the elections, the van could be leased out for other purposes/events? do chime in....Thanks!

Paul Reader

March 15, 2012, 02:03AM
Using some of the portable voting options would reduce the need for space and maybe make fitting out the vans easier so they could be used for other things too. If they are fitted with wi-fi that could be used for online roll checking but for other purposes at other times too.

Anne-Laure Fayard

March 15, 2012, 02:41AM
Using the portable options is a great idea. Re. using public transport, it seems that it is done successfully. http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/inspiration/voting-in-public-transport/
if you assume that public transport should allow easy access.

Paul Reader

March 15, 2012, 03:45AM
Agree about public transport except for those who can't/don't use it of course and for some (but not all) privacy might be an issue.
I still hold to the belief that providing as many practical options for the majority means easier solutions for minorities.

Paul Reader

March 15, 2012, 04:03AM
There is so much potential for integrating concepts in the refinement phase I am looking forward to trying to map them in CMaps

Anne-Laure Fayard

March 15, 2012, 13:08PM
There is indeed a lot of potential for integration across concepts.
My point was not necessarily about using public transports instead of the vans but using some buses (which should already be made accessible) to become voting vans during the elections period. Similarly, the idea would be to piggyback on the bus lanes.

Paul Reader

March 15, 2012, 13:39PM
Great idea AL - sorry for the misinterpretation, For some reason I had a picture of "rush hour" transport in my mind.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 15, 2012, 14:30PM
I'm loving the discussions here! Using already accessible buses as voting vans makes a lot of sense Also, portable polling options could be used effectively. I think there is a concept floating around for portable polling systems. Hopefully we can build more on this during the refinement phase :)

Paul Reader

March 15, 2012, 15:33PM
There are several ideas for portability, and where they can be deployed
basically similar but each having useful features - here are a few:
 http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/tablet-toting-door-to-door-voting-volunteers/ from Nathan Tan;
Andrew Baranak's http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/ipad-absentee-voting/ ; and
Tina Lee's http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/ez-ballot/
and complementing use of vans Ting-Han Huang's
http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/year-round-voting-center-stores-equipped-with-voting-kiosks/

Ting-Han Huang

March 21, 2012, 15:59PM
Priyanka, I think it is great that you use voting vans as a hub for voters to come and vote, and also as a hub for poll workers to reach out to those who couldn't come to vote.
I also like the thought of providing alternative usage during election off seasons to offset the voting van's cost.
You mentioned traditional buses' seat design as a problem for using them as voting vans; this reminded me of a video clip about chairs that could be easily folded/extended: "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr9oOOd4PFo" Every year some old buses are being retired; if we could figure out a way to install chairs like these on the new buses, maybe these new buses would become suitable to use as voting vans as they are equipped with seats that are adjustable.

Keith McConn

March 14, 2012, 14:03PM
Good idea.
However, perhaps traffic could become an issue, possibly impeding the deployment of these vans, or even being caused by them. This problem is of course situational, as only some communities would be heavily sensitive to traffic flow. Perhaps bus lanes, like those in New York City should be used for these vans, or to deploy them early and in a staggered pattern?

Priyanka Kodikal

March 15, 2012, 01:22AM
Hi Keith, the idea here is to deploy these vans in areas such as schools, hospitals, etc. Sure, bus lanes would work great.

Anne-Laure Fayard

March 15, 2012, 02:42AM
Bus lanes is an option that was indeed considered by S.O.Y team (based in NY): http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/bringing-the-experience-to-your-community/

Tracy Verrett

March 13, 2012, 18:55PM
In addition to voting vans onsite, use medical vans that are already in existence to bring the vote to those who already use those services. Example: http://www.opendoorhealth.com/opendoor/locations/mobile-medical

Priyanka Kodikal

March 15, 2012, 14:35PM
Great idea Tracy! In some of our discussions, we are exploring the possibility of using preexisting vans, buses, etc... instead of building an exclusive van. feel free to join the discussion.

Eduardo Cajavilca

March 09, 2012, 10:07AM
Hi Priyanka,
This is a great concept; very feasible and effective. One additional feature of this concept could be to add an online tracking system where voters can monitor where these voting vans are deployed and stationed. Such tracking system would be similar to the one used to track down food trucks in the city.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 11, 2012, 15:22PM
That's a great idea! I am currently at an event where you can catch a shuttle, and attendees can use the exact same online tracking system to see where these shuttles are! I'll update this concept soon!

Thank you!

Yarun Luon

February 29, 2012, 08:29AM
Hi Priyanka,

This is a great concept! Not only could voting vans be deployed to hospitals or residential areas, they could also be valuable if sent to business parks where people on busy schedules could come out to vote during coffee or lunch breaks. In this fashion, voting vans would serve a similar role to food trucks by providing a convenient means for people with busy schedules. Additionally, voting usually occurs during business hours and a business park during business hours will have lots of people.

Voting vans could park in a central location of the business park and have the people come to them or they could travel between the parking lots of several companies throughout the election day. The difficulty of the former is the people on the periphery of the business park may not be motivated to travel the distance to vote. The difficulty of the latter is figuring out where the voting van is when you want to vote, but this could be mitigated via Twitter or information posted online.

The same concept can be used in assisting people to register to vote before election day therefore familiarizing them with the voting van process for the actual election day.

http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/inspiration/just-like-a-food-truck...meeting-voters-on-their-turf/

Priyanka Kodikal

March 05, 2012, 06:04AM
Hi Yarun,
I like your thinking! This concept could work well for registration...I'll incorporate that..Thanks!

Alfredo Reynoso

February 29, 2012, 01:13AM
Priyanka,

I love the idea, I believe that your Voting Van, mixed with some additional features as Nat Manning's "Crowds sourcing", could be extremely efficient in servicing several distant communities, or better said, unresourceful voters in a single day. Of course the target audience should be carefully mapped in order to allow providing the service to the most limited voters. (either by distance or by personal physical capabilities).

Priyanka Kodikal

March 05, 2012, 06:05AM
Thanks much!

Anne-Laure Fayard

February 27, 2012, 20:55PM
Great concept Priyanka and I like the updates you made to increase accessibility not only to hospitals and rehab centers.
The blood banks is a good metaphor. Your concept also reminded me on inspiration on voting while commuting:http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/inspiration/voting-in-public-transport/
There might be something to learn on the security issues.
You could also imagine some buses from public transports as booths. I also liked Vincent's idea below of having temporary voting pools set up in major hospitals.
Natalia's point about using these vans to facilitate and increase registrations is also a very good idea.
Really nice idea!

Paul Reader

March 13, 2012, 19:52PM
Agreed AL - the use for registrations also fits well with Andrew Baranak's Ipad Absentee Voting
http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/ipad-absentee-voting/
where the Ipads could be used for registration purposes between elections - or the similar concept from Nathan Tan
http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/tablet-toting-door-to-door-voting-volunteers/
for the use of tablets.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 14, 2012, 00:45AM
Hi Anne,

Thank you so much. Everyone here has really helped me build and develop this concept.
When you say security issues, do you mean security for the van or for the voters?
With regards to registration, I think it is certainly possible. But I don't know if it is very feasible for the van to make two trips . I'm having a hard time coming up with a solution. If you have any ideas, please suggest. The more we collaborate, the better it gets!

Hi Paul,

I agree! We could certainly use the tablet concept to felicitate registration. I think it complements the voting vans well. Thanks for your input!

Paul Reader

March 14, 2012, 01:30AM
Hi again Priyanka
Here in Australia we use a consolidated online roll for registered voters. If anyone is not on the roll they can cast a provisional vote (like a postal or absentee vote that will be counted once registration is confirmed). There was a concept somewhere for registration at the time of voting too.
Maybe these thoughts can be of some help - there is less risk in doing online registration if the vote is sealed and held to determine if the voter is legitimate.
If the unregistered voter is concerned about privacy issues they can be given the choice of a provisional vote or just registering for the next election. There are many ways that a provisional vote can be made more secure although my preference is for trusting the election officials/volunteers since in most cases they will have no interest in how any one voter has actually voted.

Priyanka Kodikal

March 15, 2012, 01:13AM
Nice! Also, I like the idea of being able to register at the time of voting.

Anne-Laure Fayard

March 15, 2012, 02:44AM
I agree that registration at the time of voting is an option to consider. I'm sorry if I was unclear but I did not mean having two trips. I was more thinking of integrating the 2 steps of the voting process (registration and casting a ballot).

Priyanka Kodikal

March 15, 2012, 14:32PM
Agreed! I'm all for integrating registration and casting a ballot.

OpenIDEO

February 27, 2012, 14:25PM
Congrats on this pos being today's onsite Featured Concept!

Priyanka Kodikal

February 27, 2012, 15:12PM
Exciting! Thanks!

Priyanka Kodikal

February 27, 2012, 04:59AM
Voting Vans - updated. Thank you virtual team!

Meena Kadri

February 27, 2012, 05:22AM
Nice one! Keep up the conversation & let's spell out as many specifics as we can envision!

Whitney Quesenbery

February 23, 2012, 21:45PM
Hi Priyanka,

You are right that this concept would not have to be limited to people with physical disabilities. In fact, there are many people who might be able to use a mobile polling station because it's hard for them to travel, or simply because it's nice and convenient. In fact, it might be an advantage to encourage more voters to use a mobile service. This could be used in combination with voting centers during an early voting period.

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 23:32PM
Great input! Thanks!

Natalia Pachón

February 23, 2012, 21:29PM
Hi Priyanka,

I definitely think that this is an idea which has a lot of potential, it might be good to consider this kind of approach not only at the time of vote, but also at the registration phase, because that is actually another obstacle for people in the election process, then it will be possible to have accurate information of what are the disabilities and where exactly they are.

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 23:33PM
Absolutely! If you have ideas on how to use the system for registration, do share... Thanks!

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 19:07PM
Thank you ideators for your valuable feedback! I'm working on an update, which will include a lot of your suggestions.

Meena Kadri

February 23, 2012, 05:38AM
Fab idea Priyanka! If you are keen to incorporate any of the ideas from the collaborative discussion here – feel free to update your post using the Update Entry button up there on the right. Let's bring on the builds!

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 18:49PM
Absolutely Meena! The feedback is indeed valuable and has gotten some wheels turning in my head. I'll update this concept shortly.

Chris Andrews

June 01, 2012, 15:48PM
This is very cool to read. We already have some new ideas for our already launched product!

http://mobilevotingprecinct.com/

Vincent Cheng

February 23, 2012, 04:38AM
Excellent idea Priyanka! Particularly appreciate you coming up with such a strong use case for mobile voting vans: hospitals/rehab centers where the voting population is not large enough to warrant a full-day polling station, yet are currently being disenfranchised.

Also wondering whether for large hospitals in people dense areas, whether they (and election offices) have explored setting up fixed full-day polling stations during elections, say through a temporary re-purposing of cafeteria or lobby space.

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 18:50PM
That's a great idea Vincent! I'll incorporate that in my update.

Ramanand Janardhanan

February 23, 2012, 04:23AM
Very interesting idea. For the security issues, we could learn from other domains, such as those vans that refill money at ATMs. For privacy, perhaps the same features that are applied at ATMs - a card to get access to the machine's operation and a secure & private space.

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 18:51PM
Nice! I like your idea about security and privacy. Your concept really inspired me :)

Martha McGill

February 23, 2012, 00:39AM
This is a smart solution for the problem of accessibility, but it also addresses a second issue: convenience! It could work in the same way as mobile blood banks and animal shelters, and increase voter participation even among those who do not have a disability.

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 18:53PM
Thanks Martha! You're right, this would be similar to mobile blood banks...

Cansu Akarsu

February 22, 2012, 21:50PM
This is such a great concept! What kind of voting booths do you think can be involved in the van? Do you think the voting booths can be so mobile that the poll clerks can take them upstairs in the buildings for people who can not go out?

Our concepts look similar: http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/super-clerks/

May be super vans can take super clerks who carry mobile voting booths to upper stories of buildings?

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 19:00PM
Hi Cansu, First of all, I love your sketches and I'm so inspired to sketch some scenarios too. I really like your super-clerks concept. I think the two concepts could work well together. I'm looking into the kind of booths that would work for mobility, and I'll add that to my update shortly.

Yup, it would be great if the booths/machines were portable.

Cansu Akarsu

February 23, 2012, 19:09PM
Let me know if you need anyone with sketching;)

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 19:24PM
That's sweet Cansu. What program are you sketching in?

Whitney Quesenbery

February 23, 2012, 21:48PM
Perhaps this could be a separate concept, focusing on how to make a really portable kit with everything someone needs to set up a portable polling place - a way to check a voter's registration, provide the ballot to the voter, receive and transport the cast ballot.

It might be interesting to see several different concepts that explore variations on this general idea, but are focused on different ways of making a polling place mobile. There's a lot of richness to explore.

Cansu Akarsu

February 23, 2012, 23:22PM
Priyanka, I just hand sketch, scan, and edit a bit in Ps.

Whitney, yes lets do it. In that case, may be we should also rethink what 'mobile' is. Should it be set up at a specific place and be used for many hours, should it be carried around, etc?

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 23:31PM
Whitney, that's such a great idea! I'm wondering whether you could leverage handheld devices for this purpose.

Cansu, that's pretty much what I do, just not as good as you though :)

Thomas Hørup

March 16, 2012, 08:32AM
I wonder if it would be possible to build a compact voting booth which folds in a backpack. The clerk would basically be carrying the voting booth on her back with privacy curtains and the whole lot. Super-mobile and confidentiality ensured as the clerk has her back to the voter. :-)

Vicenç Àlvaro

February 22, 2012, 21:38PM
Dear Priyanka,
that's a great idea in terms of adaptability. It makes sure that lots of people whom can't vote will have the chance.
My only concern about it is the privacy. Do you think about vans with ballot boxes or supplied with an electronic system to vote? And, can elections assume an increase of legal representatives to fill all the vans and assure that the process is accomplished lawfully?

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 19:04PM
Hi Vicenç
I appreciate your questions and concerns about privacy . I am definitely thinking about an electronic system for voting and perhaps you could help me further build on this concept. I am working on an update and will post it shortly.

Vicenç Àlvaro

February 28, 2012, 19:44PM
More than glad to help!
Perhaps an option to avoid having lots of people (public servants or responsible people to protect the process) distributed in vans, could be to have a TV circuit in each van, allowing a group of controllers to guarantee the regularity of the process from a base. It also can be recorded as a way to make sure everybody is safe and no forced to vote (this group of people are the most weak and we must take care of them).
If, as you say, the system is done digitally, it can also be double safe as there is no way to interrupt the voter when is inside the private cabin. And outside the cabin is observed.
I would consider to mix this idea with the possibility of ballots in other days. As it happens with the vote by post (at least in Spain people vote by post weeks before elections), these vans could be running for a week or something before elections day, it reduces the number of vans necessary to cover a region.

Paul Reader

March 13, 2012, 19:43PM
Good discussions here - particularly like the early voting option.
I had thought that vans could be fitted out with mobile kiosks along the lines of Andrew Baranak's Ipad Absentee Voting
http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/ipad-absentee-voting/
which can be configured to use audio, paddle and sip & puff equipment as input.
If these produced a small physical ballot like a bus ticket
 http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/bus-ticket-ballot
that voters could then cast and receive a receipt.

All of this could take place either inside a private cabin or if necessary taken to a patient's bedside for example.

Ashley Jablow

February 22, 2012, 21:30PM
Nice idea Priyanka! As a build, I think this van could also travel to neighborhoods and offer voting for people who don't speak the local language. It could be staffed by native speakers from the community who could help facilitate and provide ballot materials in other languages. Also, I know other community members have started talking about privacy and security in their concepts – how might you ensure that votes are kept safe and secret while the van is in transit?

Priyanka Kodikal

February 23, 2012, 18:47PM
Thanks Ashley! You bring up a great point regarding privacy concerns. I'll be updating this concept shortly.

Camilla Vachet

February 24, 2012, 09:47AM
Really interesting concept. I like the fact that you considered hospitals in your project. But what about people staying at home? Maybe your concept could include a way of localising them, permitting the van to get to this people directly. The problem would be that these people need to register somehow. Maybe using a website or through an app as suggested in some other concepts. Volunteers could than help in the van. As mentioned by Ashley volunteer could be associated with certain areas in order to cover the cultural/language gap (maybe they can register on the same website). Finally regarding security paper votes should be excluded and replaced by some kind of secured ID-number/pincode so that people just voted through a mobile device by entering their code.

These were just some thoughts that crossed my mind while reading all the comments and concepts. Hopefully you will find that some of it is usefull ;)

Good luck with your concept!
Login
Close
Login to OpenIDEO
 
or