RE: ballot usability

Subject: RE: ballot usability
From: "Adrianne L. Sessions" <asessions -at- oxmol -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2000 13:00:36 -0500

I agree that the ballot was confusing, and should have been created by a

As far as the outrageous number of double-punched ballots, I also want to
add that with the technology that is available today, I find it appalling
that this type of mistake can happen. There is absolutely no reason why
ballots with votes for 2 choices for the presidency should be accepted by
any state. There should have been a system in place where each ballot is
scanned before the voter leaves the premises. It's very simple--if there are
errors, the machine rejects it, you check your ballot for the error, and you
do it again until you get it right.

That's the way it works where I am.


> I saw the ballot on CSPAN early this morning and I can easily understand
> how someone could get confused - especially someone with compromised
> Also, I thought I heard on CSPAN that there were 19,000 double-punched
> ballots in Palm Beach County, not 2000.

Does anyone know whether the presidential choices were the only ones on that
ballot with choices on facing pages?

My initial reaction is that yeah, I can see where that ballot would confuse
some people. It was done with good intentions, but poor execution that
resulted in a less usable layout. But, how may of those double-punched
ballots occurred on other elections on the ballot, and what is the usual
percentage of "bad" (double-punched, etc.) ballots in an election with this
many issues? It's an excellent example of what can happen when you leave
usability issues to an "amateur."

It's also strange that Buchanan is saying that he thinks most of his 3000
votes in the area with the confusing ballots belonged to Gore, considering
that I understand the Reform party has carried over 2500 there in the past.

David Berg

David Berg

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