[RRCC] – Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan announced today the Department’s participation in an open innovation challenge aimed at providing new approaches to the County’s aging voting system. Asking the question, “How might we design an accessible election experience for everyone,” the voting challenge will run from January 24th – March 22nd. The public at large is invited to participate in this challenge on the OpenIDEO website: www.openideo.com.
The challenge is being conducted in partnership with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) Accessible Voting Technology Initiative and is funded by a competitive grant from the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission. The challenge will run on OpenIDEO, the open innovation platform run by design and innovation firm IDEO. OpenIDEO’s online community will submit inspirations and concepts around making the voting experience more accessible to everyone. “Our goal is to generate innovative solutions that will improve the election experience for as many voters as possible regardless of age, ability or situation. We are thrilled that LA County will be working with us to make sure all citizens can vote privately and independently. This is e-government at its finest”, said Daniel Castro, Project Director of the ITIF Accessible Voting Technology Initiative.
This initiative aligns with the County’s broader effort to modernize the current voting system through a collaborative, participatory, and transparent process. The underlying goal of the initiative is to design, acquire, and implement a new voting system that meets the needs of current and future Los Angeles County voters. The County launched its Voting Systems Assessment Project (VSAP) in 2009 and since then has been working with community groups to learn about voter needs and preferences. Working with a project advisory committee representing a broad spectrum of interests, in 2011 the Department adopted a set of general voting system principles that serve as the foundation for the development of the new system. The County now seeks to engage the genius and talents of the best and brightest designers, academics, and experts in various fields to help envision how this new system might look. “As we look to the future of voting in Los Angeles County, we want to craft a vision that encompasses the diversity, creativity and desires of the community we serve. The online crowdsourcing challenge is an exciting and innovative approach aimed at inviting broad participation in the ongoing discussion and design of our future voting system”, Logan said.
The use of open innovation as a way to improve the voting experience is unprecedented, not only in Los Angeles County, but also nationally. These types of online crowdsourcing challenges have been used by many corporations, government entities, and non-profit organizations as a way of gaining access to the skills and expertise that exist outside of their organizations, but which may be helpful for problem solving. Some organizations that have used this strategy to find solutions include: General Electric (GE), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NOKIA and Proctor and Gamble.
Participate in this challenge by going to http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/brief.html.
About the ITIF Accessible Voting Technology Initiative
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit think tank at the cutting edge of designing policies that will boost economic growth and improve quality of life in the United States and around the world. The ITIF Accessible Voting Technology Initiative is a project funded by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to make voting processes and technology more accessible. ITIF is partnering with researchers from universities across the United States and the National Federation of the Blind. This challenge is one way we are exploring new ideas for improving elections. For more about our project, go to http://elections.itif.org.