Monday, May 07, 2012

A lesson in Ballot placement for 2012 Primary election.

I had a quandary about ballot placements and asked people I thought would be in the know without great success. Each election a randomized alphabet drawing is done by the Secretary of State. (Check out the link to see the actual draw.) I assumed this applied for all elections in the state. But now I find out there is a variation. Congressional candidate Andy Caffrey posted on his facebook page the Sonoma County Sample Ballot, and the order was messed up according to the draw. I called the Secretary of State office and they explained that each county starts at a random number point and THEN follows the alphabet pattern. So where as Susan Adams should have had the top ballot placement since "A" was the third draw, Sonoma started at number 13, which happened to be "L" so Stacey Lawson is first on the ballot and John Lewallen. I don't understand why Lewallen is second since the second letter of his name on the draw comes up before the "A"  that Lawson represents.

I called the Humboldt County elections to ask what number we were starting from in Humboldt County and was told they were just going with the drawing set by the State. Huh? So what is the right answer? Obviously I have physical evidence that the different counties use the a different criteria of the random draw, and that was verified by the Secretary of State's office. But Humboldt does something different?

I know this is trivial, but when the 1st person on the ballot could get a 5% boost just on the count of luck of the draw, it is relevant.  


Anonymous said...

I worked on a local ballot measure and was present when a call was received from the county and our lead person was asked which letter we'd like assigned to the measure. A quick discussion ensued over the best slogan we could use given the letter choices. I recall we had a choice between 2 or 3 letters. I was curious whether this was an above-board act, or we were being shown favoritism.

Eric Kirk said...

5 percent of the voters really just vote for the first person on the list? That's scary!

samoasoftball said...

In some cases up to 6% boost!

Anonymous said...

mickey mouse gets my vote always regardless of who is at top of ballot.