Ballot Placement


The Department of State conducts a lottery, open to the public, to determine ballot placement of party candidates and federal and state independent/unaffiliated candidates for the primary and general election ballots.

Primary Elections

  • Will there be a primary for the office that I am seeking?

    A primary is necessary when two or more individuals from the same political party qualify for ballot placement for the same office.

    There will be no primary for the office you seek if:

    1. No one else filed a valid Declaration of Candidacy as a party candidate from the same party for the same office that you are seeking.
    2. No one else filed timely nomination papers containing the requisite number of signatures for the same office that you are seeking under the same political party.
    3. The other candidate(s) who qualified for the same office under the same political party withdrew according to state law.

    In primaries where the voter casts a vote for more than one candidate for an office, there is no primary when the number of candidates qualified for ballot placement equals or is less than the number to be elected.

    Example: In a town council race where the voters are allowed to vote for any five candidates, there is no primary when the number of candidates from the same political party qualified for ballot placement is five or less.

  • If I run as a candidate for public office, when does my name appear on the primary ballot?

    Names of federal, state and local candidates for public office where there is a primary appear on the September 12th primary ballot.

    Please note that the names of unopposed party candidates for federal and state office also appear on the primary ballot. However, when there is no primary opposition for the office you are seeking, you are automatically the nominee of your party for said public office and your name will also appear on the November ballot.

    Names of unopposed party candidates for local office do not appear on the primary ballot.

  • If I run as a candidate for a party office, when does my name appear on the ballot?

    Party offices are elected at the time of the primary being held for the party. For example, senatorial and representative district committees will be elected on September 12th.

    In elections for party offices where the voter casts a vote for more than one candidate for an office (i.e. vote for any five members of a senatorial district committee), there is no election when the number of candidates qualified for ballot placement equals or is less than the number to be elected. In this case, party office candidates are automatically elected to the positions and their names do not appear on the ballot.

  • How will my name appear on the primary ballot?

    Your name will be printed on the ballot as it appears on the voting list.

  • How is my ballot placement determined if I am a candidate in a primary?

    The endorsed candidate for each federal, state and local office will appear first directly under the title of office that is being sought and will have an asterisk (*) next to their name. For local offices where there is more than one endorsed candidate, the names of the endorsed candidates shall be listed in the order in which they were certified to the Department of State’s Elections Division by the local Board of Canvassers.

    In elections for party offices where the voter casts a vote for more than one candidate for an office (i.e. vote for any five members of a senatorial district committee), there is no election when the number of candidates qualified for ballot placement equals or is less than the number to be elected. In this case, party office candidates are automatically elected to the positions and their names do not appear on the ballot.

    The unendorsed candidate or candidates for federal and state offices will follow on the ballot. If there is more than one unendorsed candidate, they will be listed on the ballot in the order chosen by a lottery conducted by the Department of State.

  • When are the lotteries conducted for ballot placement for the primary?

    The Department of State will conduct a lottery on July 20th at 6 p.m., in the State library, State House, to determine ballot placement for unendorsed federal and state party candidates for primary ballots.

General Elections

  • How will my name appear on the general election ballot?

    Your name will be printed on the ballot as it appears on the voting list. Party candidates will be listed on the ballot along with the name of their political party. Independent/unaffiliated candidates will be listed on the ballot along with the name of their “political principle, movement or organization” in small print or the word “Independent” when no “political principle, movement or organization” is listed on the candidate’s Declaration of Candidacy.

  • How is my ballot placement determined if I am a candidate in the general election?

    The order in which the political parties appear on the general election ballot is determined by a lottery conducted by the Department of State. The order in which federal and state independent/unaffiliated candidates appear on the ballot beneath the party candidates is also determined by a lottery conducted by the Department of State. For local public offices the city/town selects the method of ballot placement.

  • When are the lotteries conducted for ballot placement for the general election?

    The Department of State will conduct a lottery on July 20th at 6 p.m. in the State Library, State House, to determine ballot placement of party candidates and federal and state independent/unaffiliated candidates for the general election ballots.