Design students reimagine election ballot

The typical signage at a Rhode Island voting place is not coordinated and sometimes not easy to understand.

A solution from design students at the Rhode Island School of Design is to make the signs at least the same color.

"You can follow the additional bright blue signs inside," said Evan Brooks, a RISD senior.

Brooks is one of a team of students who showed what they think are improved signs and ballots to the Board of Elections on Tuesday.

"It just seemed incredibly confusing and intimidating. There's no structure to it. You have to take everything out and sort through it, and just by designing it in a neater way saves work for both the Board of Elections and the volunteer poll workers who have to set everything up," Brooks said.

The students took a shot at improving the ballots too, and found little changes can make a noticeable difference in usability.

"We changed the alignment to make sure people can read it better, and we changed having the English and the Spanish text clearly distinguishable," said Mariam Quraishi, a RISD junior.

As far as art school students getting into the nitty gritty of elections, they think it's perfect.

"It's a connection relationship that you wouldn't normally expect but when you think about it, graphic design is communication through form and that's what these people are trying to do," said Kelsey Lim, a RISD senior.

The project grew spontaneously at a meeting where RISD students were talking about getting more college age students to vote. The designs could be adopted for Rhode Island's November election.