Even though the primary election is over three months away, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker has already notched a win. Pritzker was selected to be first on the primary ballot among the seven candidates running.
The State Board of Elections held a lottery on Wednesday to determine ballot position. Those in line with nominating petitions on the first day of filing were entered into the lottery. Some studies suggest a candidate’s position on the ballot could earn them extra votes and in tight primaries, that could mean winning the nomination.
The actual lottery process though, is nothing complicated. Numbered balls go into an empty box, someone shakes the box and the balls are hand-picked to determine the order of candidates on a ballot.Brent Davis, the director of Election Operations, says even though balls in a box isn’t exactly high tech, it works. “We have yet to have any protest for the procedures for it so it does seem to work well so that’s why we have continued with this method.”
After Pritzker, the ballot order is: Chris Kennedy, Daniel Biss, Terry Getz, Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman, and Robert Marshall. For the Republican side: Bruce Rauner is slated ahead of Jeanne Ives.
In another contested primary, former governor Pat Quinn will be the first name among Democrats running for Attorney General. After Quinn, the order is: Renato Mariotti, Scott Drury, Nancy Rotering, Kwame Raoul, Jesse Ruiz, Sharon Fairley, and Aaron Goldstein.
Ballot order is really most prominent in lower-information races where names aren’t familiar to voters.