A couple weeks ago Rebecca led this great workshop on voting systems. We began the day sharing our last voting experience and how voting works in our own countries. I have never had such an open discussion on voting itself, usually politics is the name of the game and it was so interesting learning about how voting works in other countries. I never knew it was against the law not to vote in Brazil! We talked about the implications and difficulties that arise in each system as well.
Later we separated into groups and chose topics to explore. My group focussed on polling. We discussed the irritations we have with polling and how powerful they can be in an election. Why do we give so much trust in numbers when there is so little transparency in data collection? Why aren't people more critical of the way the media uses these polls? How can we make polls more effective, or at least transparent?
Our experiment for the day was creating a poll about polls. So meta. We used different polling methods to see which might have the most engagement according to our small sample size. And gave as much information about who the poll included and excluded as possible. Working on a one-day project and engaging in something new was a really great experience. Even though this workshop is based in voting, the experiments helped me realize I might be able to use transparency in my own data collection and subsequent design methods.