Why Does Romney's Name Appear First on the Ballot?

3:08 PM, Oct 23, 2012   |    comments
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Michael King (WXIA-TV) - Eyewitness News has received a number of emails and notes via Facebook regarding the order that candidates are placed on the ballot this year. Our sister station in Atlanta, WXIA, found the answer.

In particular, people have wondered why Mitt Romney's name appears first on this year's Georgia ballot. Many people insist that President Obama's name should appear first, since he is the incumbent candidate for president.

Jared Thomas with the governor's office replied to our query about the ballot order.

According to the Georgia Secretary of State's office, the state law that established the order of candidate names was passed in 1986. 

Thomas told us the law says, "the names of candidates of political parties are listed in descending order based on the total number of votes cast for candidates of those political parties for Governor at the last gubernatorial election."

In other words, the party that won the last governor's election in Georgia gets placed first on the ballot in each race on the ballot. This also means that the Republican candidate in each election race has been listed first since general elections that have taken place since 2003.

Joe Frank Harris, a Democrat, was the governor of Georgia in 1986. Democrats Zell Miller and Roy Barnes followed Harris as governor.

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