Robert Boler
service + software designer

/ VotingPlan

header-voting-reminder@2x.png

Rock the vote by planning ahead

Helping busy people get out to the polls in America’s least-voting state

  • Client Texas voters (independent project)

  • Roles initiator, product designer, content writer

  • Duration 2 weeks

  • Traits #product design #behavior design #web app

Texas ranks dead-last in voter turnout

I guess even apathy is bigger in Texas.

Seriously though, why do so many people fail to vote? Especially younger voters? One hypothesis: Younger adults are busier and less committed to a routine, making it less likely that they will carve out time to vote. Especially in a less popular election like midterms. Think end-of-semester exams, holiday planning, and seasonal workplace crunches.

People care. They march and protest and show support for one another. But they don’t care as much at the time that they can take action as citizens, during elections season. How do you fix that?

Bottle up the motivation and send it forward in time

Given the limited time and resources since the inception of the idea, what’s a simple but effective tool to shift people’s initiative to vote forward in time?

  • A web app (no installation needed)…

  • that lets a user choose the best time to vote…

  • limited to the Early Voting period (no lines)…

  • and reminds them of their initiative when it matters.

In other words: Create a calendar event.

A quick-draw experience

There are other sites that try to help people remember to vote, but they typically require lots of information (name, email, ZIP code, etc.). We wanted something that just did one thing, really quickly. No follow-up marketing. No barriers.

When a voter uses our reminder tool, all they have to do is:

  1. See why they should care

  2. Select a date and time

  3. Add the event to their calendar of choice

  4. And of course, optionally share the tool with others

Any other details (registration information, locations, acceptable forms of I.D.) are shown on the page after the event is created, as well in within the event description itself.

Putting it into action

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VotingPlan.org was successfully deployed and shared with all the Volunteer Deputy Registrars in Travis County, and as far as possible through Texas beyond that. The illustrious Ian Schumann was the developer.

In just a couple of weeks, hundreds of people visited the site. Our hope is that this led to a higher turnout among busy Texans of all ages, and saved them time by urging them to beat the long lines of Election Day.

(Header image by Trent Yarnell)


 

To learn more about this project, other design work, or random bicycle trivia,

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