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Florida: was it bad ballot design?

The Washington Post reports: Almost since the time the votes were tallied here on election night, the race for Florida's 13th Congressional District has been surrounded by a contentious mystery:

Why were there no votes for Congress recorded from more than 18,000 people who chose candidates in other races? ...

But other experts who have analyzed the ballots and the results argue that the culprit might be not the machines but rather voters confused by a poorly designed ballot.

The congressional race appeared on the same screen as the gubernatorial contest, which had a brighter banner and took up more space.

Ted Selker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a director of the CalTech/MIT Voting Technology Project, said that tests in his lab have shown that as many as 60 percent of voters can miss races when they are displayed in such a manner.

If the missing votes were caused by ballot design, that is bad news for the challenger, because it is more difficult under Florida law to challenge an election because of ballot design or voter confusion. -- Vote Disparity Still a Mystery In Fla. Election For Congress - washingtonpost.com

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