By Josh Resnek
Final ballot positions for the November 5 election have been chosen by the Election Department for everyone who is running for public office.
In a political world where every edge a candidate can carve out for themselves matters, ballot position can be crucial or it can be irrelevant or it can be both at the same time.
In the at-large councilor race, being first on the ballot can often mean as much as a 2% – 5% uptick in the total vote.
Councilor Stephen Simonelli, trying to become an at-large councilor, was chosen number 1.
Simonelli recently finished 8th in at-large balloting in the primary. Ticket topper in the at-large primary vote, Wayne Matewsky, appears last on the ballot in a bit of electoral irony.
Matewsky has won before appearing last on the ballot so he was unphased by his positioning.
In fact, many political observers believe the last name on the ballot is almost as favorable as the first name on the ballot.
The rest of it frankly doesn’t matter a hoot.
Voters search out their candidates wherever their names appear, first, last or lost somewhere in the middle.
In ward races where only two candidates are facing off, who appears first and who appears second on the ballot is almost inconsequential. The exception is in very close races where both candidates are not that well known to the voter filling out the ballot.
In that case, voters will often check off the first name rather than the second name.
Councilor Mike McLaughlin is on top in the Ward Six race where he
is facing first timer businessman and the mayor’s personal dog walker, Alfred Lattanzi.
School Committeeman Marcony Barros is unopposed.
In Ward One School Committeeman Alan Panrese is on top. He is faced with Edgar Ruiz.
In Ward Two Joe LaMonica is on top on the ballot facing Thomas Messina.
In Ward Two Jason Marcus got the top spot over Stephanie Martins.
But in this race, nearly everyone knows these two and the differences are so great they cannot be hidden.
Ward Five Councilor Rosa DiFlorio came out on top on the ballot. She is facing Vivian Thuc Nguyen. DiFlorio’s name recognition is very high throughout the city.
The School Committee at-large ballot positioning could make a difference for first timer David Linsey, at-large council candidate Gerly Adrien’s husband.
He’s up at the top in a six person race where only three will be chosen when all the votes are counted.
Cynthis Sarnie is last on this ballot – an advantage for her.
Millie Cardello is at the center of the pack. Like sarnie she is very well known.
Samantha Lambert, Daniel Skerritt and AngelMarie Dinunzio are at the center of this pack.
Although ballot positioning is not that crucial in school committee ward races, a bit of a battle has come to play itself out in Ward Three where the very durable Frank Parker is facing first timer Robert Santacroce.
Parker is on top on the ballot.
Santacroce speaks well and makes a nice appearance. Santacroce is also advertising.
Ward Four School Committeeman David Ela is an institution. His opponent Dana Murray is first on the ballot.
School Committee Chair Thomas Abruzzese is first on the ballot. He is facing John Mavilio, Jr.