The Sample Ballot
In discussing the usability of the Palm Beach Country "Butterfly Ballot", the question of the Sample Ballot often comes up. Was it helpful or confusing in comparison to the actual voting situation? To help people investigate that, I was able to obtain one of these booklets. I think that looking at it helps understand additional usability issues.
I took photographs of each of the pages with a digital camera using a flash and cleaned up the contrast/gamma a bit to make them more readable. (These are just for educational purposes -- they are snapshots, not scientific photos.) I have reproduced reduced sized versions below and linked my full 1280x960 copies (they are about 200KB or so each).
Some of the things to look at:
The actual instructions: Usability testing usually shows that the specific words used can make a difference. For example, it says that you can obtain another ballot card if you make a "mistake". Does it explain what constitutes a "mistake"? Does it say whether or not you can punch more than once?
The layouts of the various pages: When you look at the booklet as a whole, you can see patterns or non-patterns that readers may see. For example, the alignment of the top of each section -- are they arbitrary or are they meaningful? What each side of the presidential pages says about alignment may determine whether or not you'd expect the column of holes in between.
Here are the pictures:
Introduction pages (226KB image)
Instruction pages, including a photo of the ballot card (270KB image)
Pages 1-L and 1-R (210KB image)
Pages 2C and 3A (219KB image)
Pages 6C and 7A -- there is no page 4 or 5 (210KB image)
Pages 8A and 9 (253KB image)
Page 10 and form for becoming a poll worker (256KB image)
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