By making some relatively simple changes, Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew has created a Nov. 4 election ballot that will benefit voters in a couple of ways.
First, the ballot is better organized and easier to read than ballots the county had used in recent elections. Voting instructions are at the top of the page instead of down the left side, and bolder headings separate the races for national, state and local offices. The type identifying candidates and races is bolder and easier to read.
The typographical changes make the ballot easier to read and follow, making it less likely that voters will be confused or mark their ballots incorrectly. If you want to see exactly what your ballot will look like on Nov. 4, all you have to do is go to the county clerk's voting and elections Web site and find your precinct.
Reorganizing the ballot also paid another big dividend for the county. The new format made room for all of the candidate races and the city's three sales tax questions to be listed on one page, front and back, rather than requiring a second page. That will save the county an estimated $18,000, as well as simplifying the balloting process. Poll workers won't have to keep track of a second ballot page, and counting ballots should go considerably faster at the end of the day.
Voters should welcome these changes. Congratulations to Shew and his office for meeting the challenge of a full slate of candidates and questions by coming up with a solution that benefits both voters and taxpayers.