Better Design, Better Elections

Local media continues to be drawn to Votelab: Designing for Democracy, a Wintersession studio that challenged students to examine national election policies and propose inventive ways to increase voter turnout. Last night NBC 10 aired a news story on the designers’ efforts to make Rhode Island’s election materials more consistent and user-friendly. 

“The [Rhode Island voting process] just seemed incredibly confusing and intimidating,” explains Evan Brooks 14 GD in the segment (above). “By designing [ballots] in a neater way, it saves work for both the Board of Elections and the volunteer poll workers.”

Students recently met with state officials to propose that all polling signs be printed on bright blue paper. According to Brooks, the change would make it less irksome for voters to navigate their way to the election booths. They also tweaked the font on the ballots to make it easier for constituents to distinguish between English and Spanish text. The proposed ballot redesigns could be implemented in time for November’s election.

Rhode Island Public Radio also covered the studio in an Artscape story that aired at the end of February.

To learn more about Votelab, check out this news story on

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