AN independent and an Animal Justice Party candidate received the coveted number one positions on the ballot papers for the electorates of Bendigo East and Bendigo West, but most candidates downplayed the importance of being up the top.
The ballot draw was delayed after the Victorian Electoral Commission received late nominations in seats across the state.
The order of candidates on the ballot paper can have some influence on voting, particularly among voters who submit ‘donkey votes’ preferencing candidates from top to bottom.
Independent Michael Belardinelli was the only Bendigo East candidate who did not attend the ballot draw in Strathdale on Friday afternoon, but he won the top position.
Nationals candidate Gaelle Broad was at the bottom of the ballot, but she said it was unlikely to have much of an impact on her vote.
In Bendigo West, Animal Justice Party candidate Marilyn Nuske will top the ballot on election day after the draw in Golden Square.
Liberal candidate Kevin Finn, incumbent Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards and Greens candidate Laurie Whelan will follow in order.
Mr Whelan, who is last on the ballot, said with a small nfield of candidates the positioning on the ballot was not important.
"I think people have a good, clear view of it," he said. "At the top maybe there is a bit of an advantage but it is what it is.
"It is surprising there aren't more candidates but I'm still encouraging people to make an informed decision."
Mr Finn, second on the ballot, was not phased by the position.
"It doesn't matter where (on the list I am), it will be the people voting as they see fit. Matthew Guy has got great vision that I think resonates with Bendigo West," he said.
Ms Edwards, who is contesting her third election, was named third on the ballot.
She said the position of candidates wasn't that relevant.
"People are smart enough to know who they want to vote for," she said.
"A small percentage will go straight from the top to the bottom of the page but most take it very seriously and look at the candidates they're voting for."
A random number generating program is used to determine the order on the ballots.