Anyone in the business of studying election-related issues and talking to the public inevitably gets asked the question, “Why can’t we vote like they do in [insert favorite country here]?” I have a list of things to talk about (federalism, the “long ballot,” concern for access, etc.), which leaves the questioner more informed, but not totally convinced.
Now comes a very nice article on Slate.com by Mark Vanhoenacker, that addresses a variant of this question: why can’t American ballots be simpler? His answer is a model of clarity. I encourage you to read it.