Scotland's Secession Ballot Is Freakishly Simple. Here's Why That Matters
If there's one area other than brown liquor where the Scots have an advantage over the U.S., it's ballot design:
Poor ballot design continues to mar elections across the United States, despite the total electoral disaster that culminated in Bush v. Gore in the 2000 presidential election. The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that a combined total of more than half a million votes were not counted due to voter errors that imply poor ballot design in 2008 and 2010 alone. For context: Barack Obama's electoral margin of victory in Ohio was around 166,000 ballots. Had around 446,000 votes been different in 2008, Slate notes, we could be watching President McCain make televised announcements on the battle against the Islamic State.
The Brennan Center notes that poor design increases the risk of lost or misrecorded votes among all voters, but the risk is even greater for particular groups, including low-income voters and the elderly. Plus, the rise of absentee and provisional voting since the disastrous 2000 presidential elections has only increased the importance of appropriate ballot design in ensuring that elections are fair and effective.
Plus, remember this famous image of a Florida election official in 2000?