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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 14, 2019 04:17 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Rotating ballot positions of candidate names
In Pennsylvania, the position of candidates on ballots is decided through lottery systems. That means that one or more fortunate candidates in a given election cycle will be benefit from a statistically significant electoral advantage over competing candidates which they did not earn.

In Philadelphia — in the 21st Century no less — candidates draw lots from a renownedHorn & Hardart coffee can!

This practice, as well as similar ones have been long criticized, and often result in candidates dropping out due to drawing unfavorable ballot positions irrespective of their competency or viability as a candidate.

It is imperative that we take the initiative to infuse fairness into our election process, so that candidates are running on a level playing field.

My forthcoming legislation would require the randomization of each polling place’s list of candidates, so that no individual precinct will reflect the same order on the ballot. This effort will ensure that no candidate has the unfair advantage of topping every ballot. This innovation, which due to the adoption of state-of-the-art voting systems, is not only feasible, it’s both affordable to implement and will make the use of ballot numbers obsolete.

As stewards of electoral fairness and integrity, it is my hope that you will join me in this effort to ensure the randomization of candidate names on election ballots statewide.

Introduced as HB2007