Designing for Democracy

As the Floridian ‘butterfly ballots’ used in the 2000 U.S. presidential election showed, poor design can have far-reaching consequences. With new ballot design guidelines now in place, The New York Times identifies common design problems found on ballots and ways to improve clarity and vote accuracy.

It’s good to know people are thinking about issues such as this and striving to improve the problems.

On Nov. 4, most ballots will repeat design mistakes made in previous elections. Many of these errors are avoidable. This year, the United States Election Assistance Commission released ballot design guidelines. Using these guidelines, we at AIGA developed this feature to identify common design problems and offer improvements.