Guidance on language on ballots
When I was in
Instruction language is often controllable locally
While statutes or regulations may specify certain types of instructions that you must include on a ballot, often the wording is not constrained. Measures are a different story.
There are some basic guidelines, for language on ballots, most recently a set by NIST ‘authored by Ginny Redish.
Using best practices drawn from several disciplines related to writing instructions, the Ginny reviewed 100+ paper ballots from all
Nearly all the ballots reviewed violated some best practices. Just some of the 20 practices that ballots are not following include using familiar common words, using short sentences, putting instructions in logical order, telling people about consequences before they act, and explaining the context before telling people what to do.
Download the two NIST documents on ballot language. Use the guidelines on your ballots. And tell us how well your ballots do in usability tests.