After complaints about the type being too small on the new ballots during the primary and November elections, a Queens State Senator is drafting legislation that would require larger font making the ballots easier to read for voters.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who chairs the State Senate’s Elections Committee, said he is working on a bill that he hopes to introduce before the end of the year that would reduce the confusion at the polls.
“One complaint that stood out in the elections across my district and the city was that the ballot was difficult to read and understand because of the small type size,” said Addabbo, who represents parts of central and southern Queens. “Solving this problem for the voters is of critical importance and is one of my top priorities for the next legislative session.”
This year, New York State switched from the old voting booths and lever machines to an electronic paper ballot that voters needed to fill out and then scan into a machine in order to have their vote registered.
However, during the September primary and November general election, many voters complained that the font size was too small for them to read – even causing confusion as to which candidate they were actually selecting.
“My eyes aren’t that great, and they could have made it [the print] a little bigger,” said Robert Conte, after he voted at P.S. 130 in Bayside on Election Day. “It felt like I was taking the SATs! That’s what it first reminded me of. I don’t know why they changed it.”
Queens Assemblymember David Weprin, who sits on the Assembly’s Election Law Committee, said he would absolutely support legislation that increased the size of the type.
“That was probably the number one complaint especially when you are dealing with seniors that the print is too small,” Weprin said.
Weprin said he raised the issue of the small type after the September primaries, and he thinks the font size actually decreased in November because there were more candidates on the ballot.
“If you look at the actual ballot, there’s a lot of dead white space on it,” he said.
Addabbo hopes to introduce the legislation in the Senate before the end of the year in the hopes of having it signed into law during the next legislative cycle.