Ballot Order

Primary Election
The order of candidate names on the Primary ballot is determined by lot draw. The lot draw also applies to the ballot order for sample and provisional ballots. We conduct the drawing shortly after 4:30PM on Friday of filing week, candidates and the public are invited to attend.

General Election
On the general election ballot, the top vote-getter of a primary race, partisan and nonpartisan, appears first, followed by the second place vote-getter.

There are the following exceptions:

  • If an office did not appear in the Primary, the names are arranged in lot draw order
  • For Presidential/Vice Presidential nominees, the order of political party in the race is determined by the number of votes cast statewide in the last Presidential election for that party
Who Conducts the Drawing?
Secretary of State determines the order of names for:

  • Federal offices
  • Statewide offices
  • Multi-county Legislative and Judicial offices
Whatcom County Auditor determines the order of names for:

  • Single county Legislative and Judicial offices
  • Cities, towns, and minor taxing districts for which the county is the filing office