NY Ballot Design Revisions Walkthrough


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A walk-through of changes proposed by experts for New York State's ballot design rules.

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NY Ballot Design Revisions Walkthrough

  1. 1. Voter friendly ballots for New YorkChanges to New York State Election Law,for more usable ballot design and instructions Design for Democracy Usability in Civic Life
  2. 2. 2 The current ballot is cluttered and hard to read.Party emblems and the All capital letters and centered text makes it“finger” add clutter harder to read Voting ovals to the right of the names Extra information near the candidate names adds clutter Instructions use complex language and are placed where they are less likely to be read Front of Broome Country 2010 General Election Sample Ballot
  3. 3. 3Instructions on the back are difficult to read Instructions are lengthy and use complex language Instructions for contests and for questions and propositions are bundled together. The location makes them less likely to be read. The small font size makes them difficult to read. They are easily lost next to the propositions Back of NYC 2010 General Election Sample Ballot
  4. 4. 4The new ballot concept (front)This concept shows both the impact of revisions to the law, anda design based on the Election Assistance Commission ballot designbest practice guidelines.
  5. 5. 5The new ballot concept (back)Only ballot questions or propositions, along with instructions for voting onthem on the back of the ballot.
  6. 6. 6Shorter, clearer instructionsplaced where they will be read Mark the oval to the left of the name of your choice. To vote for a candidate whose name is not printed on theballot, print the name clearly under the words "Write-in", staying within the box The number of choices is listed for each contest. Do not mark the ballot for more candidates than allowed. If you do, your vote in that contest will not count. If you make a mistake, or if you want to change your vote, ask a poll worker for a new ballot. Instructions can be varied to match the ballot layout for ! different systems §7-106 (6): Provides instructions that are clearer and shorter §7-106 (7): Places instructions on the upper left hand corner where they are more likely to be read §7-106 (6): Provides, at a minimum, an illustration to show how to properly mark a paper ballot
  7. 7. 7Instructions for contests and ballot questionseach placed near where they are used. To vote on a question or proposal, mark the oval to the left of your choice. Para votar en una pregunta o propuesta, marque el óvalo a la izquierda de su preferencia. If you make a mistake, or if you want to change your vote, ask a poll worker for a new ballot. Si comete un error o deséa cambiar su voto, pida una papeleta nueva a un trabajador electoral. Instructions can be varied to match the ballot layout for ! different systems §7-106 (8) Provides separate and specific Instructions for questions and propositions
  8. 8. 8Reduced clutter near candidate names makesvoting options easier to read Removing extra information and using an easy-to-read ! narrower font allows text to be larger §7-106 (9) B: To the extent practicable, voting ovals should be to the left of a candidate’s name §7-106 (9) H: To the extent practicable, party emblems should not be printed under each candidate’s name §7-106 (9) C: To the extent practicable standard capitalization is used throughout ballot
  9. 9. 9Reduced clutter on the back allows forlarger type in proposals and ballot questions Removing extra information on the back of the ballot makes ! room for text in 12 point type, large enough for voters to read.
  10. 10. 10Reduced clutter near party names and optionalshading makes the ballot easier to scan Optional shading differentiates intructions and contest ! headings from voting choices §7-104 (7): Removes the requirement that the “image of a closed fist with an index finger” be printed to point towards a party row. §7-106 (9) F: Provides flexibility for County Election Officials to use shading to differentiate instructions from, when their systems allow them to do so.
  11. 11. Notes from the Election Assistance Commission’s 11Ballot Design Guidelines All capital letters display text as a The guidelines recommend using solid shape, making it harder to a single sans-serif fonts with read clean strokes, such as Arial, Univers, or Verdanato give the ballot a unified appearance. Illustration from Ballot Design Basics, AIGA
  12. 12. 12 Larry Norden lawrence.norden@nyu.edu Whitney Quesenbery Usability in Civic Life whitneyq@wqusability.com Drew DaviesDesign for Democracy drew@oxidedesign.com