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Voting Challenge: Using Themes for Concepting

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If you’ve checked out our Voting Challenge Concepting phase, you’ve most likely seen the Themes listed at the top of the page. Themes act like jumping-off points to help us focus on different opportunity areas for our ideas.
To pique even more creative, flexible, and innovative Voting Challenge concepts, we thought we’d take a minute to offer up some starter concepts according to each Theme. How might you use these initial ideas to spark your own concepts?
As always on OpenIDEO, these starter concepts are here to be built upon. So read on, get inspired, and add your ideas to our Voting Challenge!

Design for Flexibility

Designing for flexibility and adaptability is crucial when accessibility needs vary from voter to voter. What flexible solutions might we create to suit different needs?
For example, how might we design:
  • An adjustable touch screen voting system that can be raised or lowered to fit voters of various heights
  • Easy-to-grip voting materials for people with limited dexterity or arthritis

Educate Everyone

What tools and resources could we design to help everyone – from voters and poll workers, to election officials and caregivers – feel more prepared, educated and informed around election accessibility?
For example, how might we design:
  • A training video for caregivers in hospitals and nursing homes to teach them about the voting services available for their patients
  • A video game or simulation that helps new or nervous voters understand what they’ll experience on election day

Improve the Experience

The traditional polling place is all about people, process and technology. How can we improve one, two or all three to better suit accessible voting needs?
For example, how might we design:
  • Video chat-enabled polling places that connect non-native speakers with multi-lingual virtual assistants
  • A smart phone app that estimates polling place wait times for voters

Rethink Where We Vote

Traditionally voting takes place in a polling station – but what if it could happen anywhere? How can we redefine the space and place of voting?
For example, how might we design:
  • A website that helps election officials determine the best locations for new polling places in their areas based on certain accessibility criteria
  • A mobile polling place that drives through neighborhoods and enables voting on the go

Support Independence

How might we design new tools, resources or processes that enable any voter to cast a ballot independently, on their own, and in private?
For example, how might we design:
  • A website that enables voters to alert election officials of their voting needs and the time they plan to vote so help is waiting when they arrive
  • A ‘conversation-free’ section of polling places for people who use audio ballots or who feel overwhelmed to give them a quiet space to prepare and cast their ballot.
Remember, these early ideas are here for you to build on, repurpose and revise – how will you use them to inspire new solutions for accessible voting? Head over to Concepting and chime in.
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