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BrennanCenter: Potential Ballot Trouble in OH: Split Contests

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-01-08 03:03 PM
Original message
BrennanCenter: Potential Ballot Trouble in OH: Split Contests
Edited on Wed Oct-01-08 03:15 PM by mod mom
Potential Ballot Trouble In OH: Split Contests
By Lawrence Norden 10/01/08


By the our count, at least twelve Ohio counties have split the presidential contest over two columns on their paper ballots for this November's election. This "column split" often confuses voters and results in double voting in the presidential raceand an uncounted vote. Today the Brennan Center urged election officials and advocates in Ohio to make sure that voters are aware of the split, and to make sure they vote only once for president.

The twelve Ohio counties whose ballots spilt the presidential race over two columns are: Ashtabula, Athens,Auglaize, Champaign, Delaware,Lawrence, Logan, Madison, Ottawa,Seneca, Shelby, and Wyandot.

As a quick glance will show, it's no surprise that many voters cast two votes for president when the contest is listed across two separate columns. The one on the right is from Auglaize County (click to see larger).

In July, the Brennan Center published Better Ballots, a study of ballot design flaws in the last several elections and their impact on those elections. The study showed that ballots that featured a single contest split into two columns, as seen in the illustration of Auglaize County's ballot above, frequently confused voters. A split contest like this is often seen by voters as indicating two separate tasks (i.e., vote once in each box) and can lead to unintentional overvoting.

In 2002, in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, for example, the ballot listed the candidates for the gubernatorial election in two columns. Nearly 12% of voters in the county did not have a vote counted in the race; this compares to only 1.1% of voters statewide. The low number of votes recorded in the gubernatorial election in Kewaunee County was undoubtedly because many voters believed the governor's race was actually two races, and voted twice in that raceonce for one of the candidates boxed in together in the first column, and once again for one of the candidates boxed in the second column. As a result, none of their votes for Governor counted.

-snip

http://www.brennancenter.org/blog/archives/potential_ba... /


I am attempting to find out that this has been addressed and will let folks know what I hear.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-01-08 05:28 PM
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1. yikes
Yeah, this is bad news.
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yourout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-01-08 05:59 PM
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2. Bad news and probably not an accident.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-01-08 08:10 PM
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3. I'd omit the "probably"
Anybody who has been paying attention would know better than this. So it's either incredible ignorance, or malice.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-01-08 09:09 PM
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4. re: "either incredible ignorance, or malice"
Plenty of each to go around. :(

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