Welcome to UserTesting HITs, an ongoing series that shares human insight trends (HITs) uncovered from studies conducted by the UserTesting team. We hope you find these insights interesting and that they inspire you to conduct similar studies of your own! In this study, you'll learn how US voters access election information in preparation for the 2020 elections.
According to Pew Research Center study, about half (49%) of US registered voters expect to have difficulties casting a ballot in the 2020 presidential election. To better understand what information challenges exist in preparing to participate in the 2020 election and make recommendations on how governments and organizations can eliminate information and access barriers to increase voter participation, we interviewed new, occasional, and experienced voters across the US to learn how they access election information.
For voters who didn't have a specific voter information website in mind, a Google search was their go-to tool, with most voters choosing from the top five search results, rather than choosing from the recommended content driven by Google's search ads.
Start with .gov, then .org sites
Voters chose sites that ended in ".gov" most, believing those sites to be the most trustworthy and up-to-date. If a .gov site didn't meet the voter's expectations, the most common (and trusted) next step was to try a .org site.
Experienced voters know where to look
When it came to experienced voters, most participants already knew where to start for information and often relied on their state's site for the Secretary of State or local political party-affiliated website to learn more about state and local candidates.
Heading into the 2020 election, some voters in the study expressed concerns about the reliability and trustworthiness of election information
I don't trust this [government] site. It' doesn't look updated.
The link that was broken needs to work! The website was fine, but when the link doesn't work and I can't check what it says the link will check [voter registration status] that's frustrating.
Have you conducted a similar study? Did these findings inspire you to run some experiments of your own? Insights are always best when shared, so share your biggest "a-ha" moments with us on Twitter with #RealHumanInsight.