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PDFWAC 434-230-012

Ballot design.

(1) The ballot must have a clear delineation between the ballot instructions and the first ballot measure or office through the use of white space, illustration, shading, color, symbol, font size, or bold type.
(2) The following standards for ballot design and layout are provided pursuant to RCW 29A.36.161:
(a) If space allows, allow the instructions to occupy their own column;
(b) Avoid the use of all capital letters. Mixed-case letters are more legible than all capital letters;
(c) Avoid centered type. Left-aligned type is more legible than centered type;
(d) Avoid using more than one font. Using multiple fonts requires the eye to stop reading and adjust. Use one font, preferably a sans-serif font such as Arial, Univers, or Verdana;
(e) Use color and shading consistently, such as to differentiate instructions from ballot section dividers and contest information;
(f) If space allows, use a 12-point type size. Do not use a type size lower than 8-point; and
(g) Maintain consistent font and type size throughout the ballot. For example, do not adjust type size for one race. Type size should be adjusted throughout all comparable areas of the ballot or, at a minimum, by page.
(3) The secretary of state shall publish and distribute an illustrated version of best practices for ballot design and layout.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.255. WSR 11-05-008, ยง 434-230-012, filed 2/3/11, effective 3/6/11.]
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