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Next step taken for O’Fallon ballot order lotto

Bill No. 7115 sponsored by O’Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy would formally establish a lotto process for determining the order of candidate names appearing on the ballot.  The bill is a slight variation of what had been discussed and planned previously.

At its June 13 workshop, the O’Fallon City Council informally voted 10-0 to move to a lotto process for the next city election. State election statutes give each city the right to choose a preferred naming method. O’Fallon plans to join many other Missouri cities in utilizing a lotto process for election ballot order of candidate names.

The lotto would replace the current “line-up” process, where candidates line up at the west entrance of city hall before the first day of filing; names are placed on the ballot depending on the order of filing from the line. In a lotto process, candidate names are drawn from a box to determine the ballot sequence.

Following the June 13 informal vote, the mayor directed the city clerk to establish a process to include a lotto for all candidates who filed on day one and a second lotto on the last day of filing for all candidates who filed after day one. Names from the second lotto would be placed behind the names from the first lotto. The change was intended to be effective for the city’s next municipal election scheduled for April 7, 2020.

However, after further study of the state statutes, the city attorney determined that such a lotto can be used only for those candidates who file prior to 5 p.m. on the first day of filing. After the first day, names must be added to the ballot, at the end of names chosen by lotto on day one, in the order those filings were received.

A first reading was conducted for Bill No. 7115 at the Aug. 8 council meeting. If the bill follows the typical process, a second reading and vote for final passage will be scheduled for the Aug. 22 council meeting.

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