First, I hacked my own voice mail. Then, when colleagues came around to see, several volunteered their phones, too. The alleged phone hacking at the heart of the scandal at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid can be performed here in the U.S. — and easily.
Listen to a discussion of the new ballot design bill from the Brian Lehrer Show above.
Your ballot may be getting a makeover.
In the primary and general elections last fall, voters across New York City struggled with new paper ballots. But local officials said many of the design issues, and even incorrect instructions, are written into state law.
Today, state Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan) is announcing a bill that would change the election law to allow for clearer ballots -- with the aim of making it easier to vote.
UPDATE: Check out the New Little Map Below! We've taken our data set and mapped it.
Each Thursday in June, the Brian Lehrer Show and Andrew Beveridge of Social Explorer will discuss New York’s diverse communities - areas of ethnic concentration you may not know about or are changing quickly. ...
New Yorkers are famous for crossing streets whenever they feel like it, taking a blasé attitude toward crosswalk signals. But the signs tend to capture the attention of pedestrians when the "walk" and "don't walk" icons are lit up at the same time, which is the case at intersections all over the city.
John Keefe, WNYC's senior executive producer for news, talks about this weekend's Great Urban Hack, an event to promote the intersection of journalism and technology. The over-night, open-source "hackathon" is being co-sponsored by WNYC.
Ever think "they should figure out a way to..."? Here's your chance. Tell us what you'd want a bunch of tech nerds to work on to help you be more efficient, more informed and more engaged in New York City Life. Leave your comment below!
Instructions on a sample ballot for the general election tell voters to fill the "oval above" a candidate's name -- when the correct oval is actually below each candidate's name. The Brennan Center for Justice, which has challenged some of the city's voting procedures, found the error after obtaining a sample ballot from the city Board of Elections.
Now that so many people read books on screens, the designers at IDEO's New York office have been wondering how they might enhance the experience beyond what's available on Kindles, Nooks and iPads.
We've been asking you to send in your primary day reports, particularly your experience with the new ballot design. You tell us your stories when you text BALLOT to 30644 and we call you back.
Your reactions so far have been mixed: Some people found the new paper ballots simpler - Jim Petzke said it was as "easy as eating a piece of pie." We had lots of reports of nearly empty polling stations and people who were "in and out in five minutes."
But many of you reported problems. Organisational issues at the polling stations included missing ballots, broken optical scanners and long lines. Wayne Alan Blood wrote to our Facebook page to say that he had been "unceremoniously turned away" because the ballots never arrived.
There were lots of complaints about the paper ballots themselves. Voters called the print "tiny", and the design confusing and difficult to understand.
But the most outrage was voiced over what many of our listeners felt was a lack of ballot secrecy: Meryl Salvinger said poll workers told her to scan her ballot face up "which seems kind of crazy, with a poll worker standing standing right there, looking at it. I didn't really care, but that could be a problem for some people." Another caller, Greg Hofer, was livid:
"My voting booth was two pieces of manila file folders taped together at the end of the poll workers table. Anyone could have walked behind me and seen how I voted. In the forty years that I have voted, and I have never missed an election, this is the first time I felt exposed ... and I was absolutely appalled."
And it's not just the IAFC crowd that is finding trouble, Mayor Bloomberg has called the voting troubles a "royal screw-up."
Below is a running list of the reports we've received, updated throughout the day...
Make sure your vote counts: Before heading to your polling place, learn about the mistakes you might make while voting.
Ballot-design expert Jessica Friedman Hewitt, former managing director of Design For Democracy, took a look at New York City's "Demonstration" election ballot. She and a team of designers came up with these tips to remember:
New York City's new paper ballot includes several trouble spots where voters could easily make mistakes, like those made by WNYC's Brian Lehrer and Azi Paybarah when they tried, according to experts in ballot design.
→ VIDEO: Hi, I'm A Paper Ballot! Watch Brian and Azi Struggle With The New Voting System