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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
By Steven L. Taylor

Speaking of the North Carolina ballot, here’s a screencap of the portion of the ballot with the instructions for voting for president (taken from the Alamance County sample ballot):

One will note that this section is above the “straight ticket” section.

Granted, the instructions are pretty clear. Still, the basic rule for ballot design should be simplicity. Any complication that can be avoided, should be avoid. For example, as a ballot designer, one has to anticipate that there will be voters who will rush to the “Straight Ticket” section and not pay as careful attention as they should. On the one hand, it is clearly the responsibility of all voters to read the instructions, on the other, it is the state’s responsibility in a democracy to make the voting process as easy as possible. There is also the possible problem that the semi-literate would be able to recognize “Straight Ticket” and go there while no being able to read and comprehend the instructions.

Sample ballots for all NC counties can be found here: Index of ftp://www.app.sboe.state.nc.us/enrs/samples/.

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2 Responses to “More on the NC Ballot”

  1. Greg Weeks Says:

    Yes, there are complaints that in the past two presidential elections, 2-3% of NC ballots did not have a vote for president because people voted straight ticket and didn’t pay attention.

  2. Talmadge East Says:

    I think this really just hurts Democrats down the ticket because I feel we will see the biggest influx of new voters (likely African-American) and they may just vote for Obama rather than the ticket.


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