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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 16, 2016 01:05 PM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Shifting Ballots in Philadelphia County
In the near future, I will be reintroducing SB 34 to improve the election process in Philadelphia County by employing shifting ballot positions for candidates running for public offices. The purpose of this legislation is to help ensure that the most qualified public servants are representing their constituents.

Under current law, ballot provision is determined through the use of a lottery system in Philadelphia County. As such, ballots list the names of the candidates in the same order in every ward. Numerous studies conducted nationwide have indicated that candidates who draw the first position on a ballot possess a significant advantage over the candidates competing against them in an election.

My legislation would correct this flaw in the election process by utilizing a shifting ballot position. All persons in a multi-candidate election would have their names listed alphabetically; however, the first candidate listed will shift with each voting ward. For example, the ballot in Ward 1 would list "Al Alberts, Bob Brown, Chad Charles." The ballot in Ward 2 would list "Bob Brown, Chad Charles, Al Alberts," while Ward 3 would list "Chad Charles, Al Alberts, Bob Brown," and so on and so forth.

If you have any questions, please contact my office at 787-5970. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB47