Ballot Language

Just as with ballot layout, ballot language must be designed with the voter in mind. This means that instructions must be clear and give voters enough information to correctly use the ballot, no matter their education level or amount of voting experience. Essentially, the ballot must be designed for maximum usability by the voter. The Center for Civic Design has a set of "Field Guides to Ensuring Voter Intent" available to help election officials create the most usable experience for any and all voters.

Volumes One through Three focus on ballot design, and the principles laid out in those volumes apply to ranked choice voting ballots the same as they apply to any other kind of ballot. The Center for Civic Design has also produced a report on "best practices for ranked choice voting ballots" which is available below. 


Principles and Guidelines Report (Ballot Design Guidelines begin on pg. 44 of this report)

Ballot Design Testing Documents (Multi-Style)

San Francisco English & Chinese RCV Ballot (Optical Scan/Column Style)