A sample ballot is a voter information tool released shortly before an upcoming election. The sample ballot shows all the candidates who are running in the upcoming election, as well as upcoming issues to be voted on.
Though it cannot be used in place of a real ballot, a sample ballot is useful for individuals who want to find out more about what they are asked to vote on the upcoming election. The ballot usually looks the same as the election day ballot, with elected offices and issues appearing the same order and configuration. This allows user to plan how they want to vote in advance to save time at the polling place.