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Ballot order set for 2015 LAUSD board candidate races

LA School Report | December 12, 2014

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election results McKenna beat Johnson* UPDATED
The City Clerk’s office today completed verification of petitions to qualify for the March primary in LA Unified’s four school board races.

After a random draw of letters, the ballot order is now set for how candidate names will appear. Here’s the way they will be listed:

District 1

George McKenna, incumbent

(No one else qualified)

District 3

Carl Petersen

Ankur Patel

Scott Schmerelson

Filiberto Gonzalez

Tamar Galatzan, incumbent

Elizabeth Badger Bartels

District 5

Ref Rodriguez

Bennett Kayser, incumbent

Andrew Thomas

District 7

Lydia Gutierez

Euna Anderson

Richard Vladovic, incumbent

How helpful is being listed first? It’s a question that political scientists have studied for years. Here’s the money quote from “On the Causes and Consequences of Ballot Order Effects” — a recent paper by Marc Meredith of the University of Pennsylvania and Yuval Salant of Northwestern:

“We find that candidates listed first on the ballot are between four and five percentage
points more likely to win office than expected absent order effects.”

Theirs is a highly-academic treatise on the subject that takes into account things like ap,j = αp,t(j) + Incp,jλt(j) + εp,j where αp,t(j) = δp,t(j) + Incp,jγp,t(j) + Xjβp,t(j) .

But in an LA Unified school board race, the more likely influences are incumbency, financial support and turnout.

* In an earlier version several names were mistakenly reversed. This version correct that.

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