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RE: Candidate Block Width

> Candidate Block Width is probably a very useful ballot layout tool.  
> I would like to know what it is used for and how and when to use it.
> Sorry for the dumb question but

Do I get to finish the last sentence?  ;-).

Not a dumb question.  I think there was a description of this a long while back when it was introduced, but the archives were lost in the great server crack of 99.

The candidate block width lets you specify a maximum width in 1/4" units that all candidate columns will take up within the race box.  If the race width is greater than the candidate block width, then the columns of candidates will be justified within the race width (left, right, or centered).  Since the candidate block width default is 32 (the maximum race width possible in a portrait ballot), this normally has no effect.

Where this is most usefull is two-column yes/no questions.  It used to be that for left ovals you could only get the "yes" oval against the left side of the race box and the "no" somewhere in the middle.  You could use the ballot option oval offset to shift the oval over for all races, but that would mess up the races which were not questions.  Sophie submitted an RCR asking for an oval offset on a per-race basis.  This would work, but it means that you have to know the width of the race in advance to get the desired centering effect.  With the candidate block solution, you can change your ballot from 2 to 3 race columns, or manually resize the race, and still get the desired centering effect for your yes/no questions.

No hand drawn picture for Steve this time.