Instructions to Voters

In the days leading up to an election, voters are flooded with information about how to actually cast one’s ballot. In addition to selecting the candidate who best aligns with our values, we are asked to make a plan: to locate our polling place, to preview a sample ballot, or perhaps request an absentee ballot. Here, we have gathered examples of instructions circulated to voters. These range from purely informational (the 2006 postcard mailed to all voters ahead of Burlington’s first ranked choice mayoral race) to partisan (an 1894 Republican call to action disguised as a sample ballot). Some candidates incorporated voter instructions into their advertising strategy, using campaign ephemera to prepare the voter for exactly what to expect upon entering the privacy of the voting booth.

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