What Is Ballot Fatigue?

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Ballot fatigue is when there are several names on a political ballot, and voters choose to ignore some candidates when there are too many choices. When this occurs, a number of people get tired of reading the different names, and they choose the ones closest to the top of the list.

When a state is holding elections for a number of political spots, it can create a long ballot. Even though each candidate has a right to place their names on ballot, it does not always mean that the process becomes easier for the voters. For example, some states have had 11 political spots open, but over 28 people were on the ballot. In this type of situation, the voters may not want to read through each of them, so they pick the ones they recognize that are closer to the top of the ballot.

The placement of a person's name on the ballot can actually give them an advantage when there are several names on the list. Unfortunately, the only way to prevent ballot fatigue is to limit the number of people running for a position. However, the more spots that are open, the longer the list is, and the more opportunities for ballot fatigue to present itself during an election.