Bede Bennett Votedrop
Tauira / StudentBede Bennett
Kaiako / LecturersKatie Kerr, George Hajian
SchoolAUT Art + Design
A unique and thoughtful approach to help shake up a system that isn’t relevant for many. A novel take using technology to help behaviour change that impressed the judges with the tactile real 3D objects and design solution.
Turnout for local elections in Tāmaki Makaurau has hit an all-time low: 31%. Driving this low number is a lack of engagement from young people, who vote at even lower rates, sometimes as few as one in five casting their ballot. The system, as it stands, is not designed for young people. Without a shake-up, our supercity will continue to suffer from an undemocratic and unrepresentative local government. It is time to level up our local democracy and design a new system that engages and empowers all Aucklanders. Let’s go for a new high score in 2025 and achieve a record-breaking turnout in the Auckland local elections.
One reason for the low turnout among young people is the exclusive use of mail-in ballots for local elections. Many in this generation are not accustomed to using traditional mail services and find the process of voting by mail inconvenient and confusing. Although some ballot drop-off boxes are dotted around the city, which is a great solution, they are not currently the most engaging or visually enticing for young people.
‘Votedrop’ is a proposal for Auckland Council to level up voter turnout among young people in Tāmaki Makaurau. This work explores the implementation of experiential design for engaging and enticing young voters while also making the voting process more accessible and convenient for postal elections in Auckland. Ultimately, the goal is to increase voter turnout and promote a more vibrant and participatory democratic culture in our region, particularly among our rangatahi.
To engage young voters, a design strategy was developed using a data-driven and iterative approach. Focus groups provided valuable feedback, which was used to identify areas for improvement and refine the design. To reach younger voters, the visual identity of the outcome mimics retro gaming aesthetics, which aims to evoke a sense of nostalgia and warmth for younger voters who may have grown up playing those games, and it can also serve as a way of making the voting process feel more approachable and enjoyable. Additionally, the use of 3D rendering allows for a modern and relevant interpretation of retro gaming aesthetics, keeping the outcome fresh and innovative.
That’s Votedrop — a vibrant solution to a serious issue. Engaging retro gaming aesthetics, a captivating 3D approach, and convenient drop-off boxes all work towards making voting more approachable and enjoyable for young people. Votedrop is about levelling up voter turnout in Auckland and helping the city on its quest for a new high score in local democracy.