Designing a better ballot
Marcia Lausen’s recent book, Design for Democracy: Ballot and Election Design took center stage in an article on ballot design appearing in last Sunday’s International Herald Tribune. Noting the relevance of Lausen’s book, Alice Rawsthorn writes for the IHT:
With Super Tuesday now behind us, and the November 2008 presidential election looming, it seems timely to consider how to avoid a repetition of the 2000 punch-card catastrophe. Marcia Lausen, a graphic designer and professor of graphic design at the University of Illinois at Chicago, does so in the book Design for Democracy: Ballot and Election Design. As well as analyzing what went wrong in Florida eight years ago, she suggests how the design of ballots and the rest of the voting process could be improved in the future.…
Often, good information design is rooted in sticking to simple rules. Obvious though many of those rules may seem, the U.S. electoral debacle of 2000 illustrates the peril of ignoring them, while Lausen’s book shows how effective they can be.