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Ballot Box Device- Adapt to VOTER'S Individual CELL PHONES

Every voter has different needs. Around 85% of disabled Americans have their own personal cell phone device that they are comfortable with using, and adapt to their needs- the voting process can utilize these mobile devices.

Photo of Mei Hsieh
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The problem with current voting machines is that not only are they confusing and intimidating to use, most people are forced to adapt and learn the new device technology on one special occasion, and also in such a short time period. It takes into account that all users have different needs and most users are already experts on their own personal mobile device.

The Ballot Box is a device similar the Square device that collects credit card information using a audio input jack on cell phones. It is a low-tech coded program that could launch on your cell phone- smart phone or not. This is an alternative to people voting by way of pen and paper, yet still provides a physical way of information that can be recorded, collected, discreet, and not replicated. This program would also eliminate the need for assistance, because voters understand how to use their own electronic devices. 

How will this concept improve election accessibility for everyone?

This concept is can be applied universally because, you don't have to be handicapped to be seen using this option. It erases the perception of clunky electronic devices being specialized only 'for the disabled.' It allows all mobile device users (90% of Americans, or 85% of disabled) to use the technology they work with every day. This recognizes that mobile users have a prior knowledge of how to use their own program- so it lowers the confusion. The program would also launch a voting program that would ask one question at a time, rather than overwhelming the user with all questions on a singular page.

How well does this concept adapt to the changing needs of different voter communities?

This concept was designed to be able to adapt to all kinds of cell phones. It recognizes that technology, trends, and cell phones will change- so it's just a program that can be re-used or rewritten for any 'new'/updated cell phone.

What kinds of resources – whether time, money, people, partnerships, technology or otherwise – will be needed to get this concept off the ground?

This device would have to be mass produced in order to successfully work, but could potentially be more cost effective than several giant (clunky) devices that try to be the 'one-fits-all' model. The technology would have to be developed for different kinds of cellular phones- text based (NOKIAs), smart phone, or flip phones- but the government could recruit/pay the developers to write the program.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashwin Gopi

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:

Photo of DeletedUser


Great video! I think the role playing really helps make this concept more clear.

Photo of Paul Reader

Hi Daniel could you please take a quick look at my post here about not being able to watch the video (my dial-up connection makes watching videos difficult - especially on vimeo)?
Just would like to know if I have the rough gist of this concept.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Sorry Paul about the video.
Thanks Daniel for the comments. In fact, the students involved in prototyping this concept all agree on the usefulness of prototyping and role playing...
The 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. :-)

Photo of Paul Reader

Thanks for the explanation AL - I can't watch Mei's video either so I thought I would try to describe the concept with my analogy hoping that I had the idea roughly correct.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Paul, I think your analogy makes sense. In fact, students spend a lot of time discussing the process of plugging in and what would happen with the device and the ballot. That made us discuss what is voting: marking the ballot and / or putting it in the ballot box and having it registered.
I also wanted to add that a few things that came out from this workshop beyond the importance of prototyping was understanding the interface between the ballot device and the phone, the role of poll workers in this process and how the ballot device would be "set up" and how the vote would be recorded and then the device "cleared" and reused.

Photo of Paul Reader

Wow thanks for that feedback AL. I dont feel I have done justice to collaboration on this and a few other concepts partly because I am busy updating mine but also because I had been focusing on things I understood early in the concepting phase.

Photo of Mei Hsieh

Very Cool! Thanks everyone- it was so exciting seeing my idea being developed and role-played out, it definitely explains things a little more in depth/ gives a good sense of what the interaction experience would be like.

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