Missouri design firm creates innovative opportunities for new voters

by Peter Kray

Missouri design firm Hufft creates opportunities for new voters with innovative polling booths. Photo courtesy CSI
Missouri design firm Hufft creates opportunities for new voters with innovative polling booths.
Photo courtesy CSI

Voting season can be stressful for everyone, but in Kansas City, Hufft, a locally based fabrication and design firm, is helping create a fun, innovative way to welcome new voters to the political process by partnering with an online restaurant platform to support free Curbside Notary events at local coffee shops and eateries across the state of Missouri.

Hufft joined with Curbside KC, a platform that was created to support local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, with up-to-date information on which restaurants were open, and who was offering online ordering and delivery.

Curbside founder Danielle Lehman initially planned to find five locations to host events with a dozen notary volunteers, but ended up receiving inquiries from over 175 notary volunteers and was able to increase the number of events.

When Hufft offered to fabricate booths for each event, Lehman said, “I knew it was a great opportunity to have even more visibility in the community, so I wanted to do whatever I could to scale up the project and get as many volunteers out into the wild as possible.”

The design of each booth reflects a typical sidewalk A-frame sign, and is affordable and practical. 3Ž4” Baltic Birch plywood was chosen for all of the main components for the booths because of its strength, appearance, and cost. It can easily and accurately be programmed and milled on a computer numerical control (CNC) router. The screen mounted on the front is made of thin Lexan and attached through tabs with Velcro. These products and materials were selected so the booths could be quickly produced and easily moved from one event to another.

The flat-packed structure is held together at the top by a heavy-duty piano hinge. It is a tool-free assembly that starts on its back and held together by sliding the shelf component into a half-lapped joint. The A-frame is then tilted up and the Lexan screen slides into place with adjustable Velcro straps. Click here to learn more about this project on the CSI website.

Peter Kray is a content strategist with CSI. He can be reached at pkray@csinet.org.

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2 comments on “Missouri design firm creates innovative opportunities for new voters”

  1. I assume that this would be for election officials (some called us poll workers) only, I served as one and the space available would be inadequate,but safe unless positions were exchanged during the long day of elections. It would not be suitable for multiple voters use due to the enclosed space where virus can linger without some way to sanitize the space. The tight space at the top then becomes a problem. Just a few thoughts.

    1. MO requires mail in ballots to be notarized. These were designed to house the Notary; placed outside. Voter brings their ballot to the “desk” with proper ID to get their ballot notarized. They can then drop at official ballot stations / polling locations, or mail in.

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