By Josh Resnek
There are those who claim ballot positions don’t matter when it comes to election day.
Voters find the name of whomever they wish to vote for no matter where the name is placed on the ballot.
Others who claim to know, regard ballot position as an important factor in ultimate victory.
Some handicappers believe top billing means as much as 1%-2% of the vote on election day.
Just ask Councilor at Large Mike Marchese.
He’s topped the ticket the last two times out in at-large balloting.
Last week, his name was chosen to be at the top of the ballot.
“I’m pleased with the top of the ballot position.,” said Marchese, who would appear to be battling Councilor at-Large Stephanie Smith.
Smith topped the ticket by a wide margin in primary balloting two weeks ago. Her name is fourth on the ballot of 10 at-large candidates.
For Smith, who appears to be on the rise, ballot position will not likely mean very much.
Let’s go down the list.
Council Ward races
In Ward 1 Keith Gianelli facing Wayne Matewsky is at the top of that ballot.
However facing Matewsky, who has been around longer than anyone at this point on the council is likely not to make much of a difference.
In Ward 2, Joetta Yutkins got top billing on the ballot and incumbent Stephanie Martins got number two.
Will it make a difference?
Before we go any further, incumbents have an advantage as the word “incumbent” is printed next to their names on the ballot.
In Ward 3, Councilor Darren Costa got first place position in his battle against former councilor Anthony DiPierro.
In Ward 4, Holly Garcia, facing incumbent Jimmy Tri Le, got top billing.
In War 5, Vivian Nguyen the incumbent is facing former councilor Robert Van Campen.
She came out on top on the ballot – but she can be sure that Van Campen’s supporters will be marching to the polls like good soldiers on Election Day.
Ward 6 incumbent candidate Alfred John Lattanzi got top billing.
His opponent Peter Pietrantonio got second on the ballot in what many believe is a popularity contest between two well known and well liked candidates.
School Committee races
At the top of the School Committee at Large ballot are Kristin Bairos and Fara Costa.
At the bottom is incumbent Samantha Lambert.
In the middle are incumbent Joseph LaMonica, Samantha Hurley, and Cynthia Sarney.
It is unlikely ballot position will have much to do with the final outcome in this race in November.
SC Ward race positions
Ward 1 incumbent candidate for re-election Millie Cardello is first on the ballot and Margaret Cornelio is second in a race that will likely be governed by popularity.
Ward 2 features the durable Jason Marcus in top position versus Joanna Garren.
Ward 3 incumbent candidate Jeanne Cristiano needs one vote to win.
Ward 4 features James Mastrocola on top and Robin Babcock just below his name.
Ward 5 incumbent candidate Marcony Almeida Barros needs one vote to win.
Ward 6 has Tomas Abruzzese on top and Joseph D’Onofrio just below his name.
This is another popularity contest in a ward where both candidates are very well known.