Articles by Dana Chisnell

Ms. Chisnell, co-director of the Center for Civic Design with Whitney Quesenbery, is an elections nerd who researches design in elections. She has trained thousands of election officials on plain language and usability. She’s the lead on a project to develop a series of Field Guides To Ensuring Voter Intent.

Democracy is a Design Problem

The Butterfly Ballot Changed Everything It was a form—an election ballot—that changed everything about design in elections in the United States. It came to be called the butterfly ballot, and it was used in Palm Beach County, Florida in the presidential election in 2000. Up to this point, a usable ballot was one that the […] [Read More]

Plain Language Makes a Difference When People Vote

Abstract The authors report on a study in which 45 U.S. citizens in three geographic areas and over a range of ages and education levels voted on two ballots that differed only in the wording and presentation of the language on the ballots. The study sought to answer three questions: Do voters vote more accurately […] [Read More]

Comments on: “A Methodology for Testing Voting Systems” published in JUS, Volume 2, Issue 1

In the article, “A Methodology for Testing Voting Systems” (JUS, November 2006, pp7-21), Selker, Rosenzweig, and Pandolfo discuss their methodology for usability testing of voting systems. With so much at stake in the usability of our ballots and voting systems, we can only applaud any research in this field. There is little history of research in […] [Read More]