LEESBURG, Va. — Regular random drawings, which can have a big impact on elections, returned Wednesday in Virginia to determine the final order of candidates on June’s hotly contested primary ballot.
Studies have suggested that the difference between being listed first and last on the ballot can be up to 10 percentage points in normal primaries, with the first position on the ballot providing the greatest edge and the last position providing the biggest drag on votes.
The drawing can be even more important for primary races than the general election, because voters do not have the option of voting based on political affiliation and may not be as aware of each candidate.
One of the highest profile races, the GOP Senate primary for the right to challenge Sen. Tim Kaine, has three fiery candidates.
The drawing determined the ballot order will be:
- Prince William County Board Chair Corey Stewart
- Del. Nick Freitas
- E.W. Jackson (his name was not drawn; he was last in the order because he filed later than other candidates)
In the commonwealth’s 10th Congressional District, Rep. Barbara Comstock is facing a primary challenge, as well as a number of Democratic challengers. The Republican primary ballot order will be:
- Shak Hill
- Barbara Comstock
In the 10th District’s Democratic primary, the ballot order will be:
- Lindsey Davis Stover
- State Sen. Jennifer Wexton
- Paul Pelletier
- Alison Friedman
- Dan Helmer
- Julia Biggins
In the Democratic primary for Virginia’s 6th Congressional District, the ballot order will be:
- Sergio Coppola II
- Jennifer Lynn Lewis
Other primary races are contested, but will be decided in a May convention rather than a state-run primary, including the heated 6th District GOP primary for Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s open seat.
In cases where only one person met filing requirements, no primary is held. In other cases where a primary is being held, the drawing was not required if candidates failed to file their ballot paperwork simultaneously.
There are also local primary races June 12 for mayor and City Council in Alexandria (Democratic), as well as the County Board in Arlington (Democratic).
Virginia voters do not register by party, and can choose to vote either the Democratic ballot or Republican ballot in their jurisdiction.