The visual story of the ballot, from early handwritten tickets to colorful and typographically outlandish examples from the 19th century.
Join us as we discuss how the humble ballot illuminates the noble but highly flawed process at the heart of our American democracy. Alicia Cheng traces the visual story of the ballot, from early handwritten tickets to colorful and typographically outlandish examples from that time. Responding to the explosive growth of an evolving electorate as well as a legacy of fraud, the struggle for suffrage, and concerns about voting security, the ballot reveals insights into our electoral process both past and present.
This Is What Democracy Looked Like, the first visual history of printed ballot design, illuminates the noble but often flawed process at the heart of democracy. An exploration of US ballots from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this volume examines the unregulated, ornate, and at times absurd designs that formed the very foundation of our electoral system. These ballots offer insight into a pivotal time in American history, tracing the explosive growth of an evolving electorate as well as a legacy of electoral fraud, disenfranchisement, and skulduggery embodied by such schemes as the tapeworm ballot and the Tasmanian Dodge.
A foreword by Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, and an essay by Victoria Bassetti, fellow of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, further explore the vicissitudes of the vote, bringing the story of the ballot up to the electoral complications of the twenty-first century.
This Is What Democracy Looked Like available for purchase here.
This event is in collaboration with AIGA NY and AIGA Wichita chapters.
Alicia Cheng is graphic designer and founding partner of MGMT. design. She has taught and served as a visiting critic at Yale University, Princeton University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, Barnard College, Parsons School of Design, the Cooper Union School of Art and the Rhode Island School of Design. Alicia served on the board of the AIGA/New York chapter and received her BA from Barnard College and her MFA from Yale University.
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