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.
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