January 31, 2012

Elections 2.0: Personalized Voting

A RECENT post on the Election Updates Blog introduced the concept of 'personalized voting.' The idea came to Thad Hall while attending an Accessible Voting conference.

Mr. Hall explains - "the group broke into 4 groups, discussing different aspects of the voting process - from the pre-voting registration and voter information component through voting modes (remote and in-person) and ballot design."

"Several groups independently agreed on the need for two things in the voting process. First, there should be more options for voting - early, absentee, and vote centers - because it provides individuals with special needs options for voting that can accommodate their needs. Second, and more interesting, several groups wondered why each of us do not have the ability to create a voter profile that specifies the voting experience we want to have."

So now, think about the possibilities.

After you registered to vote you could complete a survey either online, on a mobile device or on a scannable document that asked you for your voting preferences.

The survey could ask a voter to make 10 choices (or more). For instance, voters' choices would include:

1. I would like to receive a voter guide before the election - by mail or via email.
2. I would like to receive a voter guide with large print.
3. I would like to receive a ballot in a different language.
4. I would like to be a permanent vote by mail voter.
5. I would like to receive a list of early voting locations.
6. I have a Handicap Parking permit and will need that parking at my polling place.
7. I will be using the accessible voting machine at my polling place.
8. I would like an email reminder of my polling location.
9. I would like an email notification that my absentee ballot was received.
10. I would like election results sent to me for "my election contests."

The goal of personalized voting is to put all the choices a voter could make into one "app." The app would be simple to use and provide voters with a preference-enhanced experience that would simplify the "nuts and bolts" of elections and all of the choices voters have a right to make.

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