Wednesday, October 20, 2010

City Board's Mistake on Ballot Instructions

After obtaining and posting a copy of New York City’s poorly designed sample ballot, a careless mistake on the instruction page has been brought to our attention that will surely further confuse voters on Election Day if action is not take immediately.

Instruction (2) reads: “To vote for a candidate whose name is printed on this ballot fill in the oval above or next to the name of the candidate.”

Unfortunately, as you can see below (click for a full image), in the sample ballot the ovals connected to the candidate appear below the candidate’s name. A voter who follows the directions and chooses the oval above the candidate’s name will actually be voting for a different candidate than she intends.

The Brennan Center sent this letter to attorneys for the City Board of Elections as well as the State Board of Elections, asking that they take immediate action to correct this error by changing both the instructions on the ballot as well as the instruction in the privacy booths. Furthermore, we requested that the City Board include a warning in the privacy booths against “double-voting.”

We hope that the City Board will comply with our request and we will keep our readers informed.

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