by Pam Zubeck
Julie Naye, Angela Dougan, Tom Gallagher, Gary Flakes, Bernie Herpin and Andres Pico would be Colorado Springs' next district City Council members, if their top placement in the ballot order predicts the results of the April 2 city election.
Today, City Clerk Sarah Johnson drew names of candidates in each of six districts from a mirrored container as about 20 people watched, including several candidates. Gallagher and Jim Bensberg from District 3 showed up, as did Deborah Hendrix, Dennis Moore and Flakes in District 4, Jill Gaebler in District 5, and David Moore in District 6.
Here's how they'll line up on the ballot. Each voter will see only those candidates running in their district on the ballot.
District 1 (northwest)
District 2 (north)
District 3 (southwest)
District 4 (southeast)
District 5 (central)
District 6 (northeast/east)
In case you're wondering if ballot placement makes any difference, an Ohio State University study looked at results of the 1992 election and found that "reliable name order effects appeared in 48 percent of 118 races, nearly always advantaging candidates listed first, by an average of 2.5 percent."
Another study in Australia showed the advantage to be 1 percent, while yet another reported in 2012 that an analysis of candidate ballot placement in California city council and school board elections showed that candidates listed first win from 4 percent to 5 percent more often.
With two districts having five candidates each, even a small percentage advantage could mean the different between winning and losing.
To learn more about the candidates, check the city clerk's page at springsgov.com later today. Johnson said information sheets all candidates are required to file will be posted online.