Even in the 21st Century, with a video link between Chicago and Springfield offices, the procedure was about as low-tech as you could get to determine ballot position for Illinois’ March primary. State Board of Elections employees drew numbered balls – provided by the Illinois Lottery – out of a wooden box to determine which candidates appear in which order on the March 18 primary ballot.
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The competition is among those who were in line as of 8 a. m. on Nov. 25, the first day to file. The primary race with the largest number of candidates has seven, so balls 1 through 7, assigned to candidates in alphabetical order, were drawn. That seven-candidate race was for a local judgeship in Northern Illinois.
The governor's races are on the ballot as follows: State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), Treasurer Dan Rutherford, State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), and Bruce Rauner for the Republicans, and Tio Hardimon and Gov. Pat Quinn for the Democrats. A separate lottery determined the last position on the ballot, among candidates who filed during the last hour of the last day of the filing period, Dec. 2. Otherwise, candidates appear in the order in which they filed. Judging by the size of the line before that first day, most candidates want to be at the top.