Re: ballot usability

Subject: Re: ballot usability
From: "Jonathan Soukup" <JSoukup -at- at-track -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 09 Nov 2000 12:36:15 -0600

I took a look at the ballot yesterday and didn't find it all that complicated, but I recognize how someone would want to take issue with it.

I recently did some part-time work for a friend which requires customers to fill out some government forms. The forms have to be filled out perfectly or they will spawn a flurry of paperwork in review. The form spells out every category completely. You know, last name, first name, middle name, address, city, state, county, zip code, etc. I'd say about 80% of his customers fill it out wrong and I have to make them correct it before they turn it in.

I have to remind myself that it's probably not ignorance that causes these errors, but I think folks just get in a hurry and don't pay attention.

The other thing that I'm reminded of, is the last punch ballot I filled out (in another state of course). I remember seeing a statement saying something like:

Punch only one candidate per election. If you make a mistake on your ballot, please see the election official for a new ballot.

It was something like that. Actually, the whole thing looked a lot simpler than trying to fill out my last 1040 tax form.


>>> RWS <rshade -at- fast -dot- net> 11/09/00 11:05AM >>>

I saw the ballot on CSPAN early this morning and I can easily understand
how someone could get confused - especially someone with compromised eyesight.

Also, I thought I heard on CSPAN that there were 19,000 double-punched
ballots in Palm Beach County, not 2000.

Usability was the first thing I thought of when the picture of the ballot
appeared on the TV screen.

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