Civic Design

Friday, July 25, 2008

Brennan Center recommends usability testing of ballot designs before Election Day

In the Brennan Center's review of ballot designs and instructions for its report Better Ballots, the task force writing the report found that

  • hundreds of thousands of voters have been disenfranchised by ballot design problems
  • there has been little or no federal or state guidance on ballot design that might have been helpful to elections officials who define and design ballots at the local level
  • usability testing is the best way to ensure that voters can use ballots to vote as they intend

The recommendation to include usability testing in the ballot design process is a major revelation in the election world. The UPA Voting and Usability Project has developed the LEO Usability Test Kit to help local elections officials to do their own simple, quick usability tests of ballot designs.

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