Ballot and election design

AIGA Design for Democracy began to focus on election design in the wake of the 2000 presidential election, seeking to apply information design principles of clarity and simplicity in order to make voting easier and more accurate for all U.S. citizens.

Design for Democracy developed solutions for subsequent elections in Illinois (Cook County and Chicago) and Oregon—detailed in Marcia Lausen’s 2007 book, Design for Democracy: Ballot and Election Design (University of Chicago Press/AIGA)—as well as election design guidelines for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

In 2005, Design for Democracy began work with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), resulting in the establishment of national ballot and polling place design guidelines in 2007, which were distributed to 6,000 election officials across the country in 2008 and featured in The New York Times online in the months leading up to the November 2008 election.

Design for Democracy continues to support states and local election jurisdictions, election officials, legislators, equipment providers, printers and designers, as they apply the national guidelines to local election materials. In addition to recent work with the states of Florida, Kansas, New Jersey, New York and Ohio, AIGA Election Design Fellows are on site in Oregon and Washington.

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