The Herald Tribune has this story on the ballot design hypothesis for the massive undervote in Sarasota County’s 13th Congressional race. Here is a snip from the story:
On election day, voters in Sarasota and Charlotte counties went through much the same process.
They used the same type of electronic voting machines, made by the same company. In certain precincts, they voted in the same major races — U.S. Senate, governor, U.S. House and state attorney general.
But there were subtle differences in design of the ballot from one county to the next. And as the votes were counted, those differences showed up in unexpectedly large undervotes in the U.S. House and attorney general’s races, according to ballot design experts.
Sarasota recorded a massive undervote in the House District 13 race and a typical undervote in the attorney general’s race. Charlotte County had a typical undervote in the District 13 race and massive undervote in the attorney general’s race.
Experts say the undervotes were likely caused by badly designed ballots that led people to accidentally skip over one race as they scrolled through their computer screens.