The Voting Problem Interview

The Voting Problem Interview

I interviewed Rowyn Lea. She is a freshman at UW and she is a user that we are targeting for our solution to the voting problem. The interview was conducted on Sunday April 17th at 1 pm. The intent for the interview was to find out why the problem we are trying to solve exists, what could possibly be included inside of the solution, and the format that our solution should be in since that will influence the effectiveness of the solution.

I learned a lot of interesting facts and ideas that will help the project proceed towards the intended audience. The problem that our application hopes to address is that mostly young adults but some adults have a hard time figuring out how to vote. Our application hopes to solve this problem by educating users on the rules and regulations of this state only (scope) and convincing users that their vote does matter.  Although my interviewee believes in voting in local elections because you have more of a voice in local elections because your voice means much more in the smaller local pool. Same applies to state elections in comparison to national. If everyone had the mindset that “my vote doesn’t matter” then nothing would ever change. You should vote because it is your civil duty, that is how you have an impact on society. If you don’t vote then you cannot impact society. This is statistically true, sometimes only a couple hundred people is the voter turnout for local elections.

One thing that is a problem is the problem of gerrymandering, where congress people change the voting districts to suit their reelection. Keep voting for what you want to do and complain to your local congressperson about the gerrymandering. She has talked to her local congresswoman who seems very reasonable and willing to listen to the voters. I bet most elected officials will. For people that still do not believe that their vote is impactful, it would be beneficial to show previous elections and voting rates. Who voted for what so you can convince people that your vote matters in such a small pool of voters.

Another thing to think about is why a college student wouldn’t choose to vote in local elections, but vote for their home district. For changing districts Rowyn did not know how and she does not see herself as influenced by local politics because we are in a university bubble that is “not affected by” city politics. It’s also easier to vote for home district because of familiarity with politics and policies so it’s easier to make an informed decision.

It was concluded that a website would be a more effective solution then an application because people new to an area are more likely to look online for local information as opposed to an app store. It might be good to consider adding things like a digital copy of the voter’s pamphlets, politician’s websites, information about in person voting and how to change your voting residency, and finally show who is currently elected so voters can decide whether to vote for them again. Also statistics as stated above. All this together would be beneficial whether someone decided to change their local residency or not because they can still see their home district information.