11. 03. 2004
UPA Voting and Usability Project
UPA (Usability Professionals' Association) is conducting a Voting and Usability study that will work to create an easier voting process for future elections by improving the usability of ballots and procedures.
Through education, advocacy, and participation in standards and design projects, we focus on people within the election process. We believe that usability and the voting experience should be the starting point for the design of any voting system, and are the key to creating ease of use, efficiency and confidence in democratic elections worldwide.
I voted in Maryland, one of the few states to switch entirely to touch-screen machines. The process was easy: you slip in a smart card like you're going to the ATM, pick your candidates, then you have an option to review your choices before you submit your vote. I was puzzled by one thing, though; when I selected a candidate, a big red check mark appeared on the touch screen by that candidate's name. While the instructions clearly state that the red check designates your choice, it still made me uneasy for a second since red generally means "stop" or
"your payment is LATE" or various other negative things.
If you encountered anything during the voting process that you believe could be improved, please do report it to UPA by using their online form.
Are Electronic Voting Machines Reliable? - From National Geographic.