Tactile Voting Aid for the blind and partially sighted

When they needed design ideas for a new product to help the blind and partially sighted, Northern Ireland based polling station equipment manufacturing company Pakflatt, who we've worked with on several projects before, came back to us with the brief for a new voting aid

Because of a change in the law, the Home Office required a way of helping blind and partially sighted people to vote without assistance. Traditionally they had to take an assistant into the booth to help in casting their vote. The law insists that all ballot papers are the same so a non electronic system had to be devised.

Our design solution is a simple, low cost, die cut, sheet plastic template with a series of 'doors' with integral hinges, each one marked, with an embossed number and with the Braille equivalent, that fits over the standard ballot paper. The voter can locate the correct door by touch and thus make their mark in confidence. Because of its flexible, low tech tooling Selector can be made and cut to length to suit the size of any ballot paper.

At launch, over 60,000 Selectors were ordered by the Home Office and the Design Council chose it as one of the hundred best examples of British Product Design for the Great Expectations Exhibition in New York.