From 2000 to 2008, Studio/lab participated in a comprehensive U.S. election design reform initiative that began within the Chicago Chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, in response to the infamous Palm Beach County Florida “butterfly” ballot. The project involved designers, social researchers, and election officials nationwide. The AIGA initiative continues with a design-driven pursuit to make civic interactions more understandable, efficient, and trustworthy.

Marcia’s book, Design for Democracy: Ballot + Election Design, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007. This work is the basis for federal election guidelines distributed by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. A 2007 National Endowment for the Arts grant supported distribution of Design for Democracy to all members of Congress and to each State Elections Director.