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Every election cycle, there’s discourse over how puzzling the mail-in voting form is. When it comes to the design of absentee ballots, they are even less user friendly. Because of COVID-19, the number of main-in voters increased for the 2020 Presidential Election, as well as the number of confused faces filling out ballots. The last thing that needs to happen is for an engaged citizen to encounter any barriers of difficulty. However there are several points of friction during this process that need to be addressed. 

More specifically, seven US citizens were briefly interviewed to understand their perspective and hardships of mail-in-voting. It was found that they felt a lack of trust in the government voting system because in the past there was no confirmation of the vote. And two, the voter was overwhelmed and unsure how to mail their ballot which resulted in procrastination and/or missing the deadline for submission. When the citizen completed the ballot, there was a struggle for the final push to accurately and confidently finalize the last steps (intention-action gap, hassle factor). Through these insights, one of the greatest areas of opportunity to target a moment intervention was the final step to mail the ballot.

In order to address this issue, a redesign of the Instruction Pamphlet was created. More specifically a QR code intervention was added as a means to track a citizen’s voting progress. The easy-to-access QR code sends the voter to a redesigned government site that provides easy to understand updates along the way. The behavioral design strategies that helped inform this intervention was: providing a clear sense of progress, simplifying the process, making information more visual, and removing obstacles and uncertainty. This intervention was hoping to achieve reduced hesitation and confusion, and confidence in submitting their ballot in the mail.

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