In Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, voters used the following ballot for the November 2002 midterm election.
The Problem: Voters were presented with a ballot that divided the Governor’s race into two columns.
The Result: Not surprisingly, the Kewaunee County ballot led to many mistakes in the Governor’s race, with an astounding 11.8% of voters recording no vote for this race (in contrast to a 1.1% residual vote rate statewide for this race). No doubt, many of these lost votes were caused because voters selected one candidate from the first column and one from the second, rendering their vote in the Governor’s race invalid.
Individual contests are now presented in the same column to avoid mistakes and no votes. Additionally, statewide, congressional as well as legislative and state contests have also been moved to separate columns.
(Color on scroll over added to illustrate point and would not appear on real ballot.)
Re-designed “Ideal” Ballot
This ballot takes into account most of the recommendations from the study.