Every election, ballots are printed with mistakes. Sometimes a candidate name is misspelled.  Sometimes the order of the candidates is wrong. Sometimes a confusing layout leads voters to skip an entire contest.

County election officials do their best to avoid these mistakes, but there are a lot of moving pieces in the chaotic few weeks before an election.

You Can Help.

Each state and each county is different in terms of how and when they finalize ballots. But in many states, campaigns, party officials, and interested voters have an opportunity to review ballot layouts before the final versions go to print. In some states, these opportunities are mandated by law; in others, they are informal, but encouraged. In all cases, an extra –and fresh — set of eyes makes it more likely mistakes are caught and corrected before ballots are printed.

If you are interested in helping with this review process, we’ve put together a ballot proofing checklist (applicable to all states) as well as state-specific ballot proofing guidance. The state-specific materials provide key details, including whether campaigns and party officials have a legal right to participate, when ballot proofing occurs, and what to do when you identify an issue. See below for state-specific materials.

If you have any questions about these materials — or anything about the ballot review process — please feel free to reach out to