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Research Report

Better Design, Better Elections

Published: July 31, 2012

Design defects in ballots, voter instructions, and voting machines contributed to the loss of several hundred thousand votes in the most recent national elections. In addition, in the 2008 and 2010 general elections combined, as many as 400,000 people had their absentee or provisional ballot rejected because they made technical mistakes completing forms or preparing and returning the envelope. This comprehensive study outlines simple measures election officials can take before November to cure design defects and ensure every voter can cast a ballot that counts.