Here’s the ballot order for the November city elections. I don’t know how much being listed first really means – whatever it means, it likely varies a great deal from election to election, depending on the turnout and the level of interest in the races – but all things considered I’d rather be listed first than in the middle of the pack.
Be that as it may, I have to ask: Why don’t we take advantage of the fact that we use fancy computers for our voting interface, and randomize ballot order for each race and each voter? I mean, whatever the effect of being first is, why should there be a benefit from such a meaningless thing? In partisan elections, I’d just randomize which party appears first, with each race for a given voter having the same party appear first. But for primaries and non-partisan elections, why not take the dumb luck of the ballot position lottery out of the picture? We have the technology. Why not use it?
UPDATE: Muse has more.