Patch's Poll: Does Placement on Ballots Matter?

The state Republican Party files a lawsuit against Secretary of the State Denise Merrill in an attempt to get the GOP the top line on the November ballot. But does that even make a difference in how you vote?

It's been said that appearance is everything, but is that true when it comes to the order in which political parties are listed on election ballots?

Connecticut Republicans appear to think so. The Connecticut Republican Party filed a lawsuit Thursday against Secretary of the State Denise Merrill pertaining to a ruling denying them top slot on the November ballot, according to The Hartford Courant.

The whole debate goes back a few weeks ago when GOP leaders asked Merrill to reverse a 2011 decision in which the office determined that Democrats would take top billing on the ballot.

They argued that decision was made in error, due to the fact that Governor Dannel P. Malloy was listed under two political parties on the 2010 ballot, but .

The order in which party candidates appear on the election ballot is determined by which party candidate gets the most votes in a gubernatorial election. Republicans have historically enjoyed being atop the ballot, but their run came to an end when Malloy was elected in 2010.    

In a letter outlining the reasons for her decision, Merrill writes, "You correctly identify the candidates for Governor; however, you do not differentiate between the appearance of a candidate on the ballot by 'party' nomination and by nominating petition with a 'party designation'. Taking this crucial difference into account results in the conclusion reached by my offìce in 2011; the Democratic Party is listed on the first row on the ballot followed by the Republican Party listed on the second row."

Does it evey make a difference? What are your thoughts on this? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.


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