The campaigns of two Republican Legislative leaders have filed suit, over the redesigning of ballots for the November elections. The new ballots have no lines separating the offices and the first candidate.
“I think the assumption would almost be, by the voter, that somehow that’s the incumbent, or somehow the ballot is limited to just one candidate for that office. It’s definitely confusing,” Fitzgerald said Wednesday. “If you look at the old ballot, which I thought was very clear and very well done, it had kind of a dark black box that identified the office, and then below that the candidates. That’s gone now.”
The newly designed ballot was adopted by the state Government Accountability Board, under a process which Assembly Speaker Robin Vos called “slipshod at best.”
“They did not consul with the Legislature. They did not consult with their own board. They had very limited contact with clerks, who are directly responsible for the elections and making sure that ballots are out to voters,” Vos said. “We didn’t even realize this was happening until last week, because of no public hearings, no opportunity for input, and now in one of the most important races in our state’s history, they’re changing the entire ballot design.”
With less than 50 days to go before the elections, the suit by Vos and Fitzgerald are seeking to force a return to the ballots used for the past twenty years. The two held a press conference at state Republican Party headquarters to discuss the legal action.
GAB Director Kevin Kennedy defended the design on Tuesday. Kennedy said GAB staff dedicate themselves to being “fair and impartial.” But he added that even he had some concerns with the design. “I have quibbles with the way some of the things came out, but I don’t think the issue that’s been presented is anything other than something to gin up a lot of partisan activity on this,” Kennedy said.