Ballot Design

In the wake of the California recall election is this Slate article about ballot design by Jessie Scanlon. The 133 candidate California recall ballot is truly terrible. But instead of bemoaning the current state of affairs, Marcia Lausen of Studio/lab in Chicago has been working to improve things. Since January 2000, when design problems related to the Florida butterfly ballots first emerged into public consiousness, her design proposals have been adopted in Oregon, and have led to changes in Illinois' election code that previously required candidates names to be printed in UPPERCASE bold.

Although it's too late for California this time around, Slate magazine commissioned Lausen, along with California designers Hugh Dubberly and Sean Adams, to create redesign proposals for the recall ballot.

This is a significant example of design with the potential to make a difference in people's lives. Too often design is seen as little more than window dressing. I'm happy to see this angle getting some coverage, even if it is just Slate. (link via

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