Mass. Sets Ballot Order For Presidential Primaries

By WGBH News & Wires

Jan. 3, 2012

ron paul iowa

If you're drawing the Republican ballot at the Massachusetts March 6 primary, the first name that will meet your eye is that of this Republican U.S. representative, shown here campaigning in Iowa on Jan. 2. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

BOSTON — The order of candidate names on Massachusetts' March 6 presidential primary ballots has been set, with Ron Paul's name topping the Republican ballot. Second on the GOP ballot is former Gov. Mitt Romney's name, followed by Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich. The only candidate on the Democratic ballot is President Barack Obama. 

The names were drawn randomly on Jan. 3 by Secretary of State William Galvin. Galvin also drew the names of the three candidates for the Green-Rainbow Party's presidential nomination. Kent Mesplay is first on the ballot followed by Jill Stein and Harley Mikkelson.

Dissatisfied voters have the option of choosing "No Preference."

Galvin emphasized that votes in the primary really do matter, because the major Massachusetts parties determine delegates proportionally instead of on a winner-take-all basis.
"The percentage of votes obtained by each candidate is determinative then of how many delegates they will get," Galvin said. "Both the Democratic and Republican parties in Massachusetts are proportional. So each Congressional district will select delegates based on the percentage of the vote in that district. So it really does have an impact."

To see exactly how the Massachusetts Democratic Party will choose delegates for the 2012 national convention, read its delegate selection plan (pdf).

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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