Candidates for 2010 primary election to secure nominations for spots on ballot

A ballot lottery meeting Tuesday will determine the order in which Champaign County primary candidates will appear on the election ballot during the February election.

Candidates for the 2010 primary election needed to file their nomination papers by Monday to secure a position on the ballot. The Champaign County election will decide who will be elected as county clerk, treasurer, sheriff and various county board member positions. The board members oversee the nine county districts of Champaign.

Candidates had a week to file their nominations papers, from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2.

However, candidates had roughly three months to circulate materials and prepare for the filing period, said Mark Shelden, Champaign county clerk.

The process of filing a nomination required a number of documents and material submissions. Potential candidates needed to provide a statement of candidacy, petitions for candidacy and an optional Loyalty Oath.

“The number of signatures required depends on the office the candidate is running for,” Shelden said.

The exact number of required signatures from each political party can be viewed on the Champaign County Clerk Web site. The number of signatures required on each petition sheet depends on the district that each candidate is running for, said Alan Kurtz, candidate for re–election as District 7 Champaign County Board Member.

“Well as far as I can tell, in the primary, if I’m the only person who has submitted petitions for that district, then I would be the only one on the ballot,” Kurtz said.

Candidates in each district will rely on the lottery to determine which candidate’s name will be placed at the top of the primary ballot.

This name placement may depend on when a candidate submitted their nomination paperwork, Kurtz said.

Candidates tend to think they are better off when they are in the top spot of the ballot, but that does not always mean they have a major advantage, said Brian Gaines, professor.

“There seems to be an average of a two percent bonus when a candidate is in the top spot,” he added.

“It’s more important to have a strong campaign and to persuade voters that they want to back them.”