Election ballots are a tricky subject. There are so many templates, and kinds used that voting is different between every election and every organization. Ballots are all designed with different formats, headings, subheadings, and fonts. This can make it extremely confusing for voters who are trying to make a difference.
When asked to design a voting ballot template, it may seem intimidating. How are you going to design something that is concise and easy to understand for everyone? What are some things that you need to keep in mind when designing it? Is there a wrong way to do it? All of these questions may come to mind. Luckily, there are a few pointers that you can use to make the best template you can.
What Is a Voting Ballot Template?
A voting ballot template is a template that is used to make a ballot for an election. Usually, this is something that comes up around elections. It is a document that one uses to list candidates running for a single post or for multiple posts on a single piece of paper. Voters mark their selections for votes on a piece of paper. It is useful for school elections, work-based elections, or other organizations in which you might need to make a decision for the fulfillment of a position. These are not normally used in official capacities, such as government elections.
Tips for Designing Your Ballot Template
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when designing a voting ballot.
- Use Lowercase Letters: Lowercase letters are easier for people to identify over uppercase letters. This is good to keep in mind, especially when trying to make your ballot accessible. Many learning disabilities identify lowercase letters more easily than upper case letters.
- Don’t center the ballot information: Centering the information on the ballot can make it unclear where to mark for voters. Leaving your information aligned to the left makes it easier for the eyes to visually track!
- Uses Visuals in the Instructions: Using visuals helps voters to clearly understand what they need to do. Whether that is checking the boxes or circling the candidate, they want to select. If you use visuals, it will make your ballot easier to understand and more concise.
- Draw the Voter’s Eyes To The Important Areas: Use font size and the layout of your ballot to draw the eyes of the voter to the important information. You should make your title the largest and most prominent thing on the ballot to ensure that the reader’s eyes are drawn to it. You can also bold the information. No candidate’s name should be larger than the others.
Election Ballot Templates & Examples
How to Fill up Ballot Templates?
Instructions for filling in a voting ballot are normally fairly simple. In most cases, voters need no further explanation than is given to them. To make sure that voters are filling their ballots correctly, you should include clear instructions such as these:
- Follow the instructions on the ballot to indicate your choice of candidate
- Only use the markers provided
- Make sure there are no stray marks on your ballot
- Be careful to not tear your ballot
- If your ballot is not marked correctly, you may be asked to complete a new ballot, and previous ballots may be discarded
If you include instructions this clear, it makes for a much better experience for your voters.
Election Ballot Templates for the Blind
While you may make a perfectly accessible template, it won’t always be accessible for everyone. For those with visual impairments – or blindness – a different template may be necessary. The use of a braille template can help them to vote more easily. You can also use an audio description program which will provide those with visual impairments an audio description that they will be able to hear. It will help them to choose the candidates they want to vote for more easily.
When making a ballot template, there are several common pieces of misinformation that can accidentally be given to voters. To avoid this, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
- Announcing a winner before all the votes are counted: If the voting process is finished, but not all votes are counted, you should not yet announce a winner, no matter how one-sided a victory may seem. This can lead to false victory claims and can allow for people to claim the election was rigged.
- “Lost and Found Ballots”: Many people claim there are ballots that have supposedly been “Found”. These are supposedly forged or faked votes in most instances. In other instances, there are claims that poll workers have intentionally misplaced ballots to influence an election. These things have no foundation, and having a clear and concise system can help to mitigate anyone trying to claim otherwise.
- Voting Fraud “Evidence”: Many false claims of voting fraud have been found by people who share their experience at polls. Aside from very rare instances, these stories are actually uneventful and contain no “evidence” of wrongdoing. These encounters are normally exaggerated by men and women who are trying to find a conspiracy where there is none. Making sure that your election is run with great voter understanding is the best way to eliminate any thoughts of this in your voters.
While making a ballot template can seem daunting because it is such an important task, it doesn’t have to be! Creating a ballot template is easy to do as long as you follow a set of guidelines to make it easy and concise for your voters to follow. Designing a clear template is the best way to keep voting mistakes from happening. Just keep in mind all of the information that you have learned, and you are sure to create a wonderful voting ballot template!