Los Angeles Voting System

An innovative voter-centered approach to voting for Los Angeles County, the Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) project was developed by the LA Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk in conjunction with IDEO and Smartmatic’s Los Angeles-based design and development team to address an aging voting system and an increasingly large and complex electorate. The award-winning project sought a collaborative approach to voting system design that puts voters at the center and maximizes stakeholder participation through a fully-accessible voter-centered approach to voting system design and development.  Under the specter of the coronavirus pandemic, LA still saw an estimated 852,000 voters turn out to cast their votes in person using Ballot Marking Devices during the 2020 Presidential election.

The primary UX goal for this auspicious project was the delivery of Voting Solutions for All People.

My role as Lead Experience Designer was to implement and develop the design language, systems features, diagnostics, work flows and interactions for all the new digital touchscreen voting systems employed across LA County beginning with the March 2020 Presidential Primary election. Originating with core research and initial design concepts by IDEO, our local UX team fulfilled on design language in Sketch, Invision and Zeplin with direct coordination with the onsite engineering teams.

In addition, I developed additional workflows, complete diagnostic screen architecture and motion graphic animation using After Effects for the Ballot Marking Devices.

Design Documentation, Animation and User Testing Samples

Ballot Marking Device Main Voter Flow Screens (click to enlarge)
Icon Library in Low Contrast Mode
After Effects animations created for specific introduction and educational screens.
More button interaction and animation for additional contests.

Testing and Validation

I lead user engagement, training and service design projects for user and volunteer election workers on-site at Vote Centers, including accommodating stringent accessibility requirements for voters who are seeing or hearing impaired or with low-to-no motor control. I facilitated full user validation testing on Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs) with blind, color-blind and standard voters and lead initiatives for modifications based on findings to guarantee accurate election results.

Modifications to be made after successful user tests with blind participants.

Our team also worked directly with LA County to develop backend, election worker administration tools at the newly built warehouse to house 33,000 BMDs, load election files and administer diagnostics before they are delivered to the over 1,000 Vote Centers for individual elections.

Test Lab 3 run-through of complete end-to-end poll worker set-up and voter process
BMDs in use during the 2020 Presidential Election at the Staples Center amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Complete VSAP UX Case Study Deck

“We can now say, with confidence that the voting model we’ve adopted in L.A. County is sustainable. From a 95-year-old voter to a generation Z voter and everything in between, the system worked as it was designed and it got overwhelmingly positive reviews in its utility and in the intuitive ease of its use.”

Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
Dean Logan


What Voters Say:

Additional Press and Awards

Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal’s Emily Glazer explains how Los Angeles County is remodeling its voting experience for the county’s 5.4 million voters during its 2020 election debut. Voting changes could extend across the U.S.

AdobeXD Wireframe Podcast
On the AdobeXD podcast, I discussed the design challenges associated with developing a user-friendly and accessible interface for Ballot Marking Devices on a system that needed to be secure, performant and intuitive.

VSAP Interactive Sample Ballot Technology Awarded for Improving Citizen Experience
The Center for Digital Government recently announced the winners of its 4th annual Government Experience Awards. Los Angeles County’s Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) and its Interactive Sample Ballot (ISB) technology were among the winners in the County Government Experience category.

Los Angeles Times
L.A.’s $300-million voting system gets high marks as votes trickle in across California.
Read More

Learn more about this project at VSAP.LAvote.net

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