Summary paper ballot

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Wed Jun 23 2004 - 13:37:06 CDT

There has been some discussion on whether "summary paper ballot" or
"paper summary ballot" is a better term. As you can imagine its not an
excruciatingly large difference but it is important to decide and then
use the term precisely. Its important to create this lexicon to give
policy makers the tools the need to discern and describe difference

The genesis of this issue was a need to describe the concept of a
ballot which is not the commonplace markable paper ballot that we are
all used to. This new OVC ballot is a full and complete listing of the
voters selections but it is not markable by the voter since it itself
is not the device used to make selections. It is thus "reduced" but
"complete" and "filled in", and the word "summary" seems to convey
this. However it does need to be called a "ballot" also because we are
emphasizing that it is the legal record of the vote.

thus logically the adjective "summary" is modifying the term "ballot".
  one can have a paper ballot that is not a summary ballot.

However, if you just say the terms "paper summary ballot" and "summary
paper ballot", that logic-be-damned, the latter has a better ring to
it and is easier to say. This distinction is important, at least to
me, because I spend a lot my time talking not writing about these

Hence the root of the dilemma.

My feeling is that the solution is to realize we need to define two
phrases as its too much of a mouthful to go around saying or writing
"paper summary ballot" in every instance, when I think that after the
first couple invocations the concept of "paper" will become implicit.

My nomination there for is to settle on two phrases that emphasize the
distinctions one is making.

summary ballot
summary paper ballot.

a summary ballot could in principle be an electronic one and the term
is equally useful in that context. When paper is implicit to the
context already dropping the shorter phrase summary ballot is more
handy than the fully qualified verision. The second phrase is used
when one wants to emphasize the paper explicitly hence moving the
"paper" close to ballot in this context is useful, and as a bonus
easier to say than he other way around. But I will add my favoritism
of this order is only slight.

the key point is that it is important to to use the terms precisely and
that having a shorter to type or easier to say version aids this goal.

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Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:22 2004

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