How to Get Ready to Make Ballots

We’ve been spending a good chunk of our time lately on generating ballots, and on the steps leading up to ballot generation. You might think that the lead-up would be simple — making lists of contests and candidates — but actually there is lots more to it. In fact, it’s been much more time consuming so far than the initial development of open source software to do the actual generation of PDF files with candidate names, bubbles to fill in, and so forth.

You might ask why, but there isn’t a short answer. Instead, what I can provide today is a pointer:  some wiki material that first defines a bunch of terms, and then outlines the process of pulling together everything you need to start generating ballots. I think that it was quite a surprise to most of us that it took over 2 dozen definitions just for starters! And of course at this relatively early stage, the story is not inclusive of a huge variety of election administration practices nationwide — we have plenty of work to do with our stakeholders to refine and extend to where TrustTheVote “Election Event Management” module is broad enough to drive the Ballot Generator’s capability beyond this current example, to where all those various ballot items are done right for that wide variety of locales.


PS: The ballot generation is pretty cool though! Here are couple of samples:


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