Let Me Be The First To Predict A Nightmare

Here is the sample ballot for the Special Election to fill Charlie Norwood’s seat.

People are not used to having names for one race go both across and down the page. I predict mass voter confusion and a disaster. Or at least a lot of people claiming voter confusion and disaster.

You do have to admit, this is a rather unusual design most voters are not used to seeing.

BTW: Advantage Paul Broun on this bizarre arrangement.


  1. JayHanley says:

    I haven’t seen sample ballots from other counties, so I’m not sure if the design will be uniform across the district. It should be noted that ballot in the link will be the model for the absentee and provisional ballot. I’m also not sure on how the machine layout will be.

    Erick’s right. I’ve been working with elections for a good while and have never seen an arrangement like this for one race.

  2. SevenHillsDem says:

    People will look to the first column corners, I think. That’s what I did. This means Broun and Marlow will have legit opportunities and Whitehead may be screwed.

  3. Holly says:

    Hm, I don’t know. I think you’re going to have a low turnout of only very dedicated voters. I’m thinking there will be very few who go to the polls who won’t already know who they’re planning to vote for.

  4. bowersville says:

    While I agree that turn out will be low and most voters will know who they will vote for prior to entering the booth, this ballot format is not only bizarre, it is absurd.

    It looks like a checker board and we’re not playing checkers, we are voting.

    All the ballots I have ever seen, even pre-Diebold, were formatted in columns. Voters have become accustomed to voting down the 1st column, then proceeding down the 2nd column….

    In this modern e-machine age, there is no excuse for even the appearance of any voting confusion. Are there not enough spaces in the 1st column for 10 candidates and a write in?

  5. atlantaman says:

    Being addicted to politics, I’ve become fairly cynical regarding the average voter – but if someone finds that ballot confusing or too difficult then we really need to be asking ourselves if some people should be barred from voting.

    Seriously, should someone who would have difficulty matching the round block with the round hole and the square block with the square hole be determining the leaders of our country?

  6. Andre Walker says:

    Atlantaman, voting should be made as easy as possible so that even a caveman can do it. Maybe Karen Handel should change her name to Katherine Harris.

  7. LymanHall says:

    I voted absentee on the machine this week. It is two columns, so you dont have to scroll down. Marlow is right across from Whitehead. If anything, Whitehead could get some Marlow votes. But again, I think this special election will feature interested, attentive voters.

  8. Clint Austin says:

    Andre – please tell me you’re kidding…

    As for “ballot confusion” – if you can’t figure out a ballot, you shouldn’t be picking… well, you know how it goes. Amazing that this logic is lost on so many people.

    p.s. One should not assume the sample ballot will look just like the ballot on election day. Done some work in Augusta and have found there is sometimes a divergence.

  9. ugavi says:

    This race will be determined on who can get their voters out, not a ballot.

    Comparing Katherine Harris to Handel. I used to give you some credit for be some what intelligent before that stupid comment.

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