This PhD project is an experiment into participatory methods in voting systems. Its goal is to explore how electronic voting and electronic democracy applications can support different types of participation (e.g. direct push-button democracy, deliberation etc.). To extract the design requirements of technology for democracy, I develop exploratory prototypes that serve as technology probes to explore psychological and sociological constructs that drive participation.
Digital voting is used in a variety of contexts from politics to mundane everyday decisions. One of the motivations underlying many group decision-making systems is the promotion of participation, yet there is little research that explores how features of digital voting systems can be designed to facilitate this, other than providing multiple voting channels. In this research project we propose a framework that explores the design space of digital voting from the perspective of participation. We ground our discussion in the design of a system BallotShare, designed to enable the study of group decision-making practices.
BallotShare can be found and used here: ballotshare.com