Re: Ballots for elections with many races

From: Steve Chessin <steve_dot_chessin_at_sun_dot_com>
Date: Tue Apr 27 2004 - 19:35:43 CDT

>From Tue Apr 27 15:24:28 2004
>Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 15:24:14 -0700
>From: Arthur Keller <>
>Subject: Re: [voting-project] Ballots for elections with many races

>>>But I don't see how 100 Judicial Confidence votes can fit on one
>>>piece of paper. Maybe with a really small font. Or a creative use
>>>of space that e.g. groups together the Yes, No, and No Preference
>>>Judges within different boxes on the ballot. But overly creative
>>>typography and layout makes voter verification less simple and
>>>reliable. So do we just spill over to as many pages as are needed?
>>>Is it legal to only record the relatively rare "No confidence"
>>>votes, and just leave off the usual "Yes" or "No Preference" votes?
>>>What does the wisdom of the OVC opine on this matter?

>Oops, I misread this. The printed ballot should fit on one page; the
>user interface need not. Too little sleep.

The printed ballot need not fit on one page, unless the jurisdiction
has a law that requires it (in which case they may need to amend their
law to keep pace with technology).

Multiple pages for ballots (or equivalent) are not unheard of.

I believe DataVote punch cards (still certified for use in California)
can use both sides of the card (since the punches are made only near
one edge of the card as it faces the voter, not all over the surface).

Some optical scan machines can use both sides of the scan sheet, and
have for some elections. (I think this was the case in the March
primary for Contra Costa County, California.)

Multiple cards and sheets have been needed in some elections.

As long as you say something like "CONTINUED ON OTHER SIDE" and "CONTINUED
ON NEXT PAGE" in a large enough font on the bottom of odd/even pages,
respectively, or "PAGE <n> of <m>", you should be okay.

The bar code could just encode the races on that page, as well as
encoding "please scan next page for more races". (This will help the
Election Office staff who do the random spot-checks when they are
checking that the bar code audio matches the printing.)

You should use (or at least support) printers that can print both sides
of the page. A bit more in capital expense, but they'll reduce the
continuing cost, especially for whoever gets them next (when they're
more likely to be used for multi-page documents).

For those of you who live in California, go to and, if your county has a red
star next to it, click on your county, and enter your address and
party registration. See if your choices would have fit on one page.

For my ballot, I'd have these showing:

President: one choice
U.S. Senator: one choice
Representative: one choice
State Senator: one choice
Assemblymember: one choice
County Committee: six choices
Judge office 7: one choice
Judge office 18: one choice
County Supervisor: one choice
Water District: one choice
Prop 55: yes/no/(no vote)
Prop 56: yes/no/(no vote)
Prop 57: yes/no/(no vote)
Prop 58: yes/no/(no vote)
Measure 2: yes/no/(no vote)
Measure A: yes/no/(no vote)

for a total of 21 selections.

This would easily fit on one page. You'd need to research the most
races on a ballot. (Take a large city like San Francisco that has many
local ballot measures, and used to elect their board of supervisors at

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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:20 2004

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