Mitigation Strategy

One major consequence or potential catastrophe of the anti-voter-suppression strategy of encouraging absentee ballot voting for people who might face a lot of the structural issues presented by in-person voting (long lines because of understaffed locations or lack of poll locations at all, faulty machines, limited early voting locations, lack of transportation) is that there is the potential for a huge number of these votes to get rejected as has happened many times in previous elections (where absentee ballots get ignored because they were sent in too late or the signature didn’t match — see here for some common reasons that absentee votes get suppressed). Although absentee voting would help avoid a lot of physical voter suppression tactics, we start to rely heavily on the chain of events that allows an absentee ballot to be counted. My mitigation strategy is to examine each of the steps that an absentee ballot goes through in its life cycle, from printing to filling out to actually getting counted, and use this flowchart to list out all of the potential breaking points where a vote could be suppressed. Then I would like to use this flowchart to create an informational website that people can access or create print materials from (to distribute to their communities) that addresses and might help people avoid the pitfalls at each step, and have all this information in a unified place. The base information for this site is something that I’m hoping to include in my design portfolio based off my interviews (for example, an eye-opening interview that mentioned how mail-in ballots could be suppressed by domestic power dynamics between wives with overbearing husbands).

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