OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 6631

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ORDER OF PARTIES ON BALLOTS.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires that the political party in which the governor was enrolled during the last-preceding gubernatorial election appear on the top ballot line at the next election. Current law instead gives this line to the party whose candidate for governor received the highest number of votes (on that party's line) in the last-preceding election.

By law, the remaining lines follow in this order:

1. other parties that had candidates for governor in the last-preceding election, in descending order, according to the number of votes each candidate received;

2. minor parties that had no candidate for governor in the last-preceding election;

3. petitioning candidates with party designation whose names are contained in petitions the secretary of the state approved; and

4. petitioning candidates with no party designation whose names are contained in petitions the secretary of the state approved.

The bill does not affect any ballot line other than the top one.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2014

BACKGROUND

Ballot Order Case

In Republican Party of Connecticut v. Merrill (307 Conn. 470), the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the current statute requires that the top ballot line be given to the party whose candidate for governor received the most votes on the party's line in the last election. Thus, it ordered that the Republican Party be placed on the top ballot line for the 2012 election.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

9

Nay

5

(03/27/2013)