Saturday, June 28, 2008

As we approach election day.

By 1938 Hitler had set his sites on "anschluss," the incorporation of Austria into the greater German reich. While historians aren't sure how many Austrians supported being subsumed into Nazi Germany--estimates range from 40% to 60%--it was something Hitler wanted. He couldn't just take-over Austria--he would have faced huge diplomatic pressure and perhaps war earlier than he wanted. So, the Nazi's held a plebiscite. 99.7% of Austrians voted "Ja."

Above is the voting form that was used in Austria 70 years ago. The large circle on the left is for a yes, or "Ja" vote. The smaller circle is for "Nein." ie the designers of this form did all they could to design-coerce people to vote the way they wanted--the Nazi way.

Design matters.

Who will be designing the voting forms this November?


Tore Claesson said...

It reminds me of a three panel cartoon strip. The wizard of Oz.
Election day. Voting machine. Two round holes. One FOR the king one AGAINST.
Peasant puts a hand in the against hole.
Hand gets cut off and a sign flashes "Try again".
More and more the world feels that way.

george tannenbaum said...

During the Austrian Plebiscite, anonymous voting was disallowed. Of course you would openly proclaim your fealty to the Nazis. There would be no reason for a closed vote. 99.7% of those allowed to vote (Jews were barred) voted yes.