I’ve written about having read a study about the value of ballot position while in graduate school at the University of Michigan. A couple of researchers looked at every paper ballot in a municipal election in that state.
There definitely was an impact in elections with six or more people on the ballot.
Not so much impact in contests in which there were few candidates.
Having said that, appearing first on the ballot for the first office on the ballot might impress voters.
In Grafton Township’s Republican primary ballot, incumbent Township Supervisor John Rossi will appear second, below challenger Linda Moore.
Moore came within a couple of handfuls of votes of winning a seat on the Huntley School District 158 board of education in 2007. In fact, I thought she had won after looking at election night returns, but absentee votes put her slightly behind.
For township trustee there are six candidates, so ballot position might make a difference. Here is the result of the ballot order lottery:
1. Gerry McMahon
2. Barbara Murphy
3. Betty Zirk
4. Don Glogovsky
5. Lois Brothers
6. Rob LaPorta
Winning first position was Gerry McMahon, an ally of Linda Moore. Her other supporter, Don Glogovsky, drew a less favorable spot—4th. The others are incumbents.
Still the study showed the worst ballot position to be next to last. Incumbent Louis Brothers has that distinction.
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Linda Moore is the woman on the right above who is just about to speak on the stage at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital’s intermediate care walk-in facility located across on Congress Parkway across from the new Pingree Road Metra Train Station. She resurfaced the idea to use wrist radios for elderly and youth who might walk away from home.