Designing a revolutionary new voting system for the people of Los Angeles
With nearly 5 million registered voters, Los Angeles County represents the largest voting jurisdiction in the United States. Guaranteeing every citizen the right to an accessible and intuitive voting experience has been the highest priority for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office, which oversees the election process.
To revamp its antiquated voting system that dates back to the 1960s, L.A. County hired IDEO to build its next-generation replacement, a modular system that could adapt over time. And just as importantly, one that would be designed, developed and owned by the county.
Working closely with L.A. County staff, IDEO designers created a voting system that addresses the complexities unique to that voter base, including its vastly diverse population and its myriad election laws and policies. It was imperative for designers to build a system that would be useful and accessible to all types of voters: those who are vision and hearing impaired, in wheelchairs, have learning disabilities, are unfamiliar with technology, speak languages other than English – voters of all ages and backgrounds.
Their goals: to create one device for equal access, to define a voting process that feels familiar to voters, balancing both emotional and functional needs, and to build a system that’s adaptable over time.