|Posted:||March 16, 2023 10:14 AM|
|From:||Representative Christopher M. Rabb|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Establishing rotating ballot positions for candidates|
|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 renowned Horn & 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 (formerly HB 1797) would require the randomization of each precinct’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.