November 4, 2008

From Ballot Design to Card Design

For some reason, though we don't get the day off work and the banks & post offices aren't closed, Presidential Election Day feels like a holiday. Like the build-up for Christmas there's excitement in the air, yet everyone is ready for it to be over. There are those, however, who have to endure a few more weeks of the madness, and I used to be one of those people.

Before I started designing greeting cards, I worked in elections - first with Voter Registration and then in ballot design. Yes, election ballot design. Bet you didn't know a job like that existed.

Ballot design is actually kind of complicated. In Texas there are 254 counties and within each county there are about a million precincts. OK, that's an exaggeration, but there are a lot. Nevertheless, each of those precincts has different election items and therefore needs its own ballot in English and 90% also need Spanish and Harris County needs Vietnamese. Each county orders its ballots for all of its precincts; the ballots get designed, then proofed and then finally printed or loaded onto a voting machine. Barring no typos or mistakes (talk about a crisis when that happens) we wait... until Run-Offs and it starts all over again.

It was kind of exciting during elections to be working in that field, but all-in-all I hated that job. Today I'm glad to be designing stuff that's much more fun.


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Quote of the Day: “It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)


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