Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Report of Findings: Use of Language in Ballot Instructions

Published

Author(s)

Janice G. Redish, Dana Chisnell, Ethan Newby, Sharon J. Laskowski, Svetlana Z. Lowry

Abstract

In this study, we compared two ballots that differed only in wording and presentation of the language on the ballots. For Ballot A, we used conventional wording and presentation, taken from typical ballots. For Ballot B, we used plain language wording and presentation.In a study of 45 voters in three geographic locations, we compared a ballot with traditional language instructions to a ballot with plain language instructions, we took both performance and preference data. Participants voted more accurately on the ballot with plain language instructions.
Citation
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7556
Report Number
7556

Keywords

Plain Language, Voter Performance, Ballot Instructions, Usability.
Created May 6, 2009, Updated June 20, 2017