What Does a Ballot Form Look Like?

There is no universally accepted form of paper ballots, but they generally present the offices being sought and candidates for each office in tabular format or in newspaper-style columns. The design and format of paper ballots vary by location.

A tabular format lists the offices being sought in the first or left-most column, followed by the candidates for each office in subsequent columns, often arranged by party affiliation. A newspaper-style format simply lists the office being sought with the candidates beneath it, followed by the next office and that group of candidates. Depending on the equipment used to tabulate the votes, each candidate’s name has some way of indicating the voter’s selection.