The clouds have rolled in over Portland but the sessions continue at the 2007 Pacific NW Elections Conference.
The second day consists of breakout sessions that provide professional training (required?) for elections officials. I attended an interesting talk by Marcia Lausen of the Design for Democracy project (affilated with the American Institute of Graphic Artists).
Marcia primarily focused on ballot design issues and work she has done with Cook County, IL. Examples of their work is available here, University of Chicago press is publishing a book in August, also called Design for Democracy, that looks not only like a very useful guide for elections officials, but an attractive “coffee table” gift for the elections geek in your family.
Overall the presentation was great, but I was a bit disappointed that Marcia didn’t seem familiar with other work being done on ballot design and usability issues, including some scholars affiliated with the Voting Technology Project which hosts this blog.
I mentioned during the Q&A that a quick google search on “ballot design research” comes up with these links: