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09 February 2010

DeKalb Democrat Introduces Bill To Rotate Names On The Ballot

O.C.G.A. 21-2-285(c): In a general election, the names of candidates who are nominees of a political party shall be placed under the name of their party. The columns of political parties shall be printed on the ballot, beginning on the left side thereof, and shall be arranged from left to right in the descending order of the totals of votes cast for candidates of the political parties for Governor at the last gubernatorial election.

The statute cited above details how candidates are listed on the ballot in Georgia's elections. Simply put, the political party receiving the most votes for Governor gets the top ballot spot. A DeKalb County Democrat is hoping to change that.

State Representative Stephanie Stuckey-Benfield (D - Atlanta) introduced legislation that would rotate the names of candidates on the ballot. House Bill 1032 would require the Secretary of State or, in the case of county or municipal elections, the local elections superintendent to put the names of candidates in a hat to determine which the order of appearance on the ballot.

Using this method, a Libertarian or independent candidate could possibly be listed first on the ballot.

H.B.1032 currently sits in the House Governmental Affairs Committee.