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This Year’s Butterfly Ballot

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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-08 12:04 PM
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This Year’s Butterfly Ballot
In Florida’s “butterfly ballot” debacle of 2000, voters in Palm Beach County were so confused by the odd layout that many appear to have voted for the wrong candidate by mistake. At the time, there was a lot of talk about improving ballot design. Eight years later there are still far too many badly done ballots. North Carolina may have the country’s worst. It is already causing confusion with early voters. And if the presidential race is close, it could change the outcome.

Like a number of states, North Carolina allows its voters to choose a straight-party ticket. To do that, voters can mark one box and cast votes for all of the nominees of their preferred party. But North Carolina’s ballot has an unexpected twist. Even if a voter checks the straight-party box, he or she must vote separately for a presidential candidate.

North Carolina’s ballot explains the need to check two boxes, and election officials make an effort to inform voters of the drill. But the ballot is still far too confusing.

This peculiar form of straight-ticket voting was adopted in the 1960s, to help the state’s Democrats keep getting elected, even as a growing number of voters began to choose Republicans for president. Not surprisingly, North Carolina has an unusually high rate of undervotes, ballots that do not record a vote for president. In the last two presidential elections, the rate has been about double the national average.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/27/opinion/27mon2.html?t...
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-08 12:14 PM
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1. Where I live in WI we use the ballot with optical scan
where you simply connect the two lines to the right of the candidate's name. It sounds simple and foolproof, but people still screw it up. I have seen examples of where people have put an X in the space between the lines, such as: -- X -- or they circle the entire candidate's name. Sure it is not hard to go back and ascertain which candidate was selected, but never underestimate people's ability to not follow directions.
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