RETHINKING URBAN ELECTIONS_ /.11012016
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
Our proposal examines the importance of existing public spaces as democratic archetypes that facilitate social interaction and promote political education. We are proposing a re‐thinking of the poll site as a civilizing environment, much in the tradition of the ancient Greek agora, or “marketplace,” where political discussions can freely take place. Additionally, in an age where time is invaluable, the electoral process needs to be sensitive to the restrictions of the voters, as well as the poll workers. Election Day should be a national holiday that celebrates freedom of thought. That way, voting is transformed from a mandatory procedure into an all‐ inclusive social event. As it currently stands, the voting process with the three trial system and the affidavit ballot is complicated and disheartening for many voters. Furthermore, public transportation can be instrumental for political advertising, subliminally engaging commuters in the voting process. This proposal argues for cooperation between the government and private institutions. The college campus can be used as a forum for political discussion, and simultaneously as a poll site, bringing together academics with people living in the surrounding neighborhoods. We offer a rebranding of the voting experience and a commemoration of obtaining the right to vote.
AJMAL AQTASH/GEORGE DIMOS