It seems that where a person's name is on the ballot can affect their chances of getting elected. This is more apparent in "low information elections' '- where voters are not able or willing to find out much information on all the candidates.
When it is a relatively important selection and party affiliation is also known, then ballot order has little or no effect on the voter's decision. Some have suggested that randomizing or rotating ballot order, even a little more costly, might yield legislators who enjoy the most support of the voters. Alphabetized ballots allow for less deserving candidates to always win and actually be worse off for the state.
Most Asian names are farther down the alphabet such as Leung, Wang, or Zhang. This is less advantageous and more likely these candidates would lose in an alphabetized ballot. Thus we need to reform ballot order rules in order to conduct fair elections. Since this is a complex issue, we should be careful of arbitrary rules on ballot order which might interfere with the best qualified candidates winning the election.
California used to always put the incumbent first on the ballot. This gave this candidate a 3 point advantage according to several studies. California Code, Elections Code - ELEC § 13112 was enacted to ensure fairness. The Secretary of State has a randomized alphabet drawing of each letter of the alphabet.
That is the order that the candidates will appear in all ballot races. For example if letters were drawn X, R, A, C, B then Xavier, Ross, Anderson, Collins, and Bailey would be the order of Candidates on the ballot. Eighty-two days before the primary and eighty-two days before the general election, a randomized alphabet drawing will take place. Thus ballot order changes between all elections.
Voting is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. We will always have uninformed voters. Perhaps randomized alphabet drawings will level the playing field for candidates. The U.S. ranks 31 out of the top 50 countries on voter turnout. It is difficult to determine the percentage of voters that are uninformed . Sadly this could undermine our democracy.