Q: How is the order of candidates determined on Wisconsin ballots?
A: Absentee voters have received their ballots in the mail, showing the order of presidential nominees. Voters will see the nominee with their vice presidential selection in this order: Donald J. Trump, Hillary Clinton, Darrell L. Castle, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Monica Moorehead and Rocky Roque De La Fuente.
The candidate list doesn’t seem to follow any order; neither the candidates nor their parties are listed alphabetically, and their identification numbers aren’t in numerical order.
Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney said the order is based on the political party that won the most votes in the last presidential or gubernatorial election.
Because Republican Gov. Scott Walker won more votes than Democratic challenger Mary Burke, the Republican Party’s nominees will be listed at the top for each office on the ballot.
This means the incumbent in a race is not always at the top. While Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, is listed before Democratic challenger Russ Feingold in the U.S. Senate race, Republican challenger Peter Theron is listed before incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth.
The order of candidates on the ballot is set by state law. Since there are candidates on the ballot for parties that did not win at least 1 percent of the vote in 2014, those candidates are listed by lot or any other randomized way.
Author: Shelley K. Mesch