Voter guide pages: Table of contents

Help voters see at a glance what is in the guide.

Lessons from the research

Voters used the table of contents as their home page as they read a voter guide. Even in small books, they often kept their finger at the contents to come back to and find the next page they wanted to read.

The table of contents is also important for for bilingual guides, showing how to find information in-language.

About the template

The table of contents is the first page inside the cover. This puts it on a right-side (odd numbered) page, so it is visible as the pages are flipped.

If the guide is in two languages, make sure both are visible in the contents as well as on the cover.

Screen shots of two layouts

  1. Title of the page. Use the informative “What’s in this guide?”
  2. Ways to vote section. Break the table of contents into the main sections of the guide.
  3. Spanish pages section. This is one way to show where the section of translated pages begins. The second language should have its own table of contents at the starat of the section.
  4. Whats on the ballot section. This is the second big section in the guide

Tips on pagination

Include page numbers to help voters find the specific information they are looking for.

The production process of assembling the pieces of the guide can make pagination difficult, but there are a few solutions:

  • Add the page numbers in a footer once the entire guide has been assembled. This can be done in Adobe Acrobat and is the best solution we have found because each guide can have customize sequential numbering.
  • Use “chapter numbering” for the measures and candidates, for example X1, X2… for the pages in Measure X. This works well for systems where sections of pages are assembled in a software tool, and puts some sort of page number on each page.
  • Number the pages in the first section only. These pages are the same in all guides, so can be numbered. For the other pages, the change in the page banner and the appearance of the pages will provide some assistance to voters.


Word tips

The template uses two tables for the two big sections of the guide. Using a table helps with the layout

  • The header row can have a background color to help it stand out. (Don’t forget to mark this row as a header row.)
  • Use table borders to make the lines between each entry.
  • Set the table row height to keep the rows the same height for a tidy layout
  • Titles of the pages will wrap neatly, if needed.

You can use Words cross-reference function to enter the page numbers for the pages within the same template, but it may be easier to simply enter them manually.

Tips for accessibility
Tips for working in Word


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