Increasing Local Voter Turnout  |  May 2018
Service Design, Research

“How might we increase local voter turnout?”

We approached this question by looking at the sub-categories of potential voters in local elections, and determining which categories of voters vote less frequently in local elections. We ultimately settled on thinking about millennials and their turnout in local elections. Millennials are people who came of age in the early 21st century. More specifically, we are using the definition of millennials which includes Generation Y (those born between 1981 and 1991) and Generation Z (those born between 1991 and 2001).

We used a variety of research tools to explore the core question, the above methodological steps, and our specific focus on millennials. We conducted desk research and reading about the topic. We conducted 20 interviews of citizens able to vote, the vast majority of whom are in the millennial age range. Many of the interviews were with millennials with a similar profile to a HKS millennial, and we acknowledge that impacted the thoughts we heard. We also conducted interviews of several stakeholders, including an Alderman, a state legislature Candidate, and the COO of Democracy Works. We also used a variety of design tools including journey maps, service blueprints, stakeholder maps, future stories, and physical prototypes to better understand users and the barriers to local voting.

Collaborators: Aliya Bhatia, Aleksandra Milcheva, Erica Pincus, Namrata Saraogi, Catia Sharp
Advisor: Dana Chisnell, DPI 676M Designing Government, Spring 2018

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