October 28, 2009

Council ballots order

It's not clear how much impact the order of names on the ballot has, but everyone in politics is convinced that it matters.
What happens for the City Council races is especially interesting because voters get to choose two of four candidates in each district.
Since the contenders are listed in two columns of two, sometimes voters think they have to choose one in each column. Or such is the political wisdom.
The reality is that people can vote for any two council hopefuls, no matter where they appear on the ballot.
But for some, probably, the race in the 1st District isn't just picking from among Democrats Cliff Block and Kevin Fuller and Republicans Mike Rimcoski and Eldianne Bishop.
Instead, it's a race between Rimcoski and Fuller, who's listed below the incumbent Republican and another race between Bishop and Block.
In that district, political insiders say, Rimcoski gets a boost by getting listed first and getting listed above a challenger rather than Block, who is presumably better known. Block on the other hand, faces Bishop, which most assume is better than facing Rimcoski, who has proven he can win.
Now all of that may be so much nonsense. There's really no way to tell for sure.
In the 2nd District, Republican Rich Scarola is listed above incumbent Kevin McCauley, a Democrat. Ken Cockayne, an incumbent Republican, is listed above Democratic challenger Allen Marko.
Presumably, insiders say, McCauley and Cockayne gain a little advantage from that.
In District 3, where there are no incumbents, Republican David Mills is listed above Democrat Kate Matthews. The other Democrat, Terry Parker, is listed beneath Derek Czenczelewski.
Since Mills is widely regarded as the best known of the four, Parker is said to have gotten lucky to be listed under Czenczelewski while Matthews got the short straw.
But Parker said recently that he doesn't buy it. He said voters are smart enough to figure out how to vote for the two candidates they like best, wherever they are on the ballot.
Let's hope that's true.

You can see the ballots by following the links on this blog post.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...


Can you display a diagram that shows that people can split their two votes horizontally, vertically AND diagonally?

The last is not as clear to some people, who still think that they are limited to a vertical decision.

Actually, the candidates AND the Town Committees should also take on that education responsibility.

Steve Collins said...

3:23 -- Thanks for the idea. I added a link so people can see the ballots in each district.

And the answer is.... said...

Ok all of you political odds makers here's a prediction to chew on for the city council outcome:

District 1 Winners
Block & Rimcoski

District 2 Winners
Cockayne & Marko

District 3 Winners
Mills & Matthews

Color Commentary:

District 1
This one is done. Both incumbents are far too popular.

District 2
Like him or not Cockayne is popular. Marko may take out his running mate.

District 3
Mills walks in and Matthews just outlegs Derek C.

Wildcard - Parker has a shot if the union puts the bullet vote order into effect to get a rubber stamp for labor on the council

OK - Now let's hear from everybody else. Tell me where I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am going with Alford as the winner for Mayor. Ward has pissed a lot of the employees of at City Hall and that is not going to go to well in the booth. Plus, he has done nothing the last 2 years. Granted we are hurting in the city, but he has not come up with anything new. Time to get all these guys out that have been in City politics way to long. Minor is the only guy that had the guts to step aside and give the younger talent a go at it...But some people just love to see their names in the paper I guess.

Anonymous said...

here are my pics: Dis. 1 winners, fuller and rimcoski Dis 2 winners, mccauley and cockayne dis. 3 winners, mills and matthews. how anyone can think that parker is going to be in the running at all is beyond belief.

Anonymous said...

With a perfect storm Parker could also win in the Third: 1) Mills may be well-known, but he was VERY unimpressive at the Forestville Village Association and at the debates; 2) This is still a Democratic town, despite the slip in voter registration; 3) He's got the weaker GOPper on the line above him.

Anonymous said...

From Parker's viewpoint, almost everyone seems smart.

Anonymous said...

The union hacks will put Parker in....then we will see Bristol really go downhill!

I'm just worried none of us will know what he is saying.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, no one seems to think the Mills supporters will support Derek too eh? If Mills wins in this landslide everyone is predicting, I wouldn't be surprised to see the kid win too.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

Hmm, no one seems to think the Mills supporters will support Derek too eh? If Mills wins in this landslide everyone is predicting, I wouldn't be surprised to see the kid win too.

As much as I hate to say this there is a generational bias against young people in this town. I just see too many voters patronizingly dismissing him as a "nice boy"

District 1 - Block and Rimcoski
District 2 - Cockayne and McCauley
District 3 - Matthews and Parker

This is an election that's going to be about turnout. Turnout will depend on the party organization and the candidate at the top of the ticket. As long as Ward brings his "A" game others will follow.

It's also harder at any level to toss out incumbents running for reelection. Mills is a good candidate but among a weak field of Republican candidates and incumbents that do nothing for him. Rimcoski is an established figure and Cockayne is bats**t crazy. And sadly with the third district the only truly open seats I don't see any incumbents being tossed out.

Anonymous said...

mills will win because his district is a popularity contest and I personally don't think he has any idea on what to do with this town. I think he just wants the accolades and the title to say he was councilman. What a shame. He was lackluster in the debates, but the people of this town go by name recognition and nothing else. Do your homework people and don't pay attention to what you read. The debates were telling.

And the answer is.... said...


First, your use of comments about a sitting councilman such as Bats**t crazy are in poor taste and frankly make you look like someone is wasting their money sending you to WestConn. You don't need to debase a person or yourself with trash talk.

Second, please explain Ward's "A Game" as I'm honestly not sure what game he can play on election day that would make a difference. He has been mayor for 2 years. The electorate will either retain him or bounce him based on that. Unless your were just tryng to say that this a done deal?


Lastly, I'm curious as what everyone thinks the turnout rate will be. I'm guessing 27%. Which could make things interesting. If the turnout is that low then watch the indivdual vote counts at the council level as it could expose any significant bullet voting.

Anonymous said...

"First, your use of comments about a sitting councilman such as Bats**t crazy are in poor taste"

AnonWestConn is right on the money about this one. Any adult(especially one carrying the title of "councilman") who refers to himself as "Mad Dog" is missing more than a few steps on the old staircase!

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

When you spend most of your time being loud and obnoxious on the council and most of your time off the council talking to city workers in private one has to wonder what your intentions are.

Perhaps "insane Cockayne" would be a better analogy.

I have no problems with city voters electing someone who see's it as their first mission to shake things up (no matter how little they actually do). I just think you should be honest with people about it.

And by "A" Game I'm referring to turnout. As the head of the ticket and sitting mayoral incumbent turnout will focus tremendously on the work Ward has put in to his campaign this year.