Confusing and Sloppy Copyediting on the New Ballot?

Change is usually associated with being a good thing, but sometimes going from a trusted method to a new and improved method can cause problems and bring about questions that were non existent before! Lets take a look at the new optical scanning method to reading paper ballots. So the person casting the vote will need to fill in the “bubble” on the paper to check off who they are voting for. Once the vote is cast, the paper ballots are fed to a machine which reads and records the votes using an optical laser.

So what’s the big issue and confusion?

Poor instructions!

New Yorker’s have had a rocky transition from the familiar mechanical voting machines to another method which can be compared to a “Scan-tron” type ballot. These paper ballots are then collected and read by optical scanners just got a little more difficult.

It has been reported that a legal scholar at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice discovered an error in the instructions sent out with the city’s sample ballot. FANTASTIC, right?

In the sample ballot that was sent out the instructions tell voters to fill in the oval above the name of the candidate they want to vote for.

Lawrence Norden, the Center’s senior counsel, said Thursday those instructions are wrong.  Voters should be filling in the oval below the candidate’s name – not above it.

We have been using the levered machines for over 4 decades – now the confusion is all about some bad copyediting!

What do you think about this? Did you receive your sample copy? Is this really the case?


One thought on “Confusing and Sloppy Copyediting on the New Ballot?

  1. The can’t tamper with the machines anymore, so they misprint the ballots and then give the wrong voting instructions on how to fill out the ballot.
    I wonder how many of the misprinted ballots were destined for minority voting districts?

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