California Proposition Guide

Date Created


Project Team Size


Skills Used

Concept Development, Product Development, Speech-Enabled Interaction, Voice User Interface, Audio Editing

The KQED 2020 California Proposition Guide is an interactive voice voter guide created for the 2020 election (updated 2022). This guide created for digital assistants lets voters learn about California’s twelve statewide measures using one of the more powerful features of voice interfaces: search. The guide capitalizes on advances in natural language processing to support a conversational approach to finding information. The guide accommodates a casual inquiry style; propositions can be asked for by number, or by using a brief description or informal title, freeing users from memorizing specific proposition numbers.

Incorporating informal and less structured vocal intents is a key part of the design to promote users feeling more connected and engaged in the experience. The interactive guide supports follow-up questions on propositions such as “what does a yes or no vote mean?” Or, “who supports this measure?”

The guide also supports discoverability of related content, information on voting by mail, and important election deadlines. California propositions are a key component of California’s political system, often creating long ballots requiring many hours of research on the part of the voter. To adapt this work to a voice interface, we chose to create new content specifically formatted for smart devices.

Each proposition topic is explained by a KQED reporter who covers related topics as part of their regular reporting beat. Integrating human voices and personalities instead of built-in synthesized voices of digital assistants is one of the more exciting aspects of expanding our connection to news audio. Listeners are given a chance to connect to reporters they know and trust, to feel an even more personal connection with the content.

To experience KQED voter guide say “Alexa, open KQED 2022" You can also find it here on Amazon.

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