The California Secretary of State held a lottery-style drawing Monday to determine the order of candidate's names on the recall ballot.
Twenty-six letters were placed inside film canisters and then drawn randomly to set the alphabetical order for candidates.
The first letter: R, followed by W and Q. Candidates with last names starting with those letters will appear high on some ballots, then revolve to the bottom in others before moving near the middle. The random exercise stems from a court ruling that candidates near the top of ballots have an approximate 5 percent advantage.
The complete order of the letters drawn is r, w, q, o, j, m, v, a, h, b, s, g, z, x, n, t, c, i, e, k, u, p, d, y, f, l.
The recall election, first in the nation in 82 years, has attracted as many as 193 candidates, including actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, former baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and political commentator Arianna Huffington.
But scores of other candidates with unknown or strangely familiar names -- like electrical engineer Michael Jackson -- have also qualified for the election, making position on the ballot a key to success, according to political observers.
"It's entirely possible that the first names on the ballot could be some of the crazies," said John Pitney, government professor at Claremont McKenna College. "This could be a big advantage for Schwarzenegger, whose name stands out.
"Early in his career, there were people in Hollywood who were afraid Schwarzenegger's name was too long," he said. "In this case, it probably helps him."
The results will matter if voters decide on the Oct. 7 ballot that Davis should be removed from office. A Time/CNN poll released Saturday found Davis with just 35 percent of the vote supporting him. The same poll had Schwarzenegger leading Bustamante 25 percent to 15 percent.
The Secretary of State's Office will release the final order of candidates' names in the state's 80 Assembly districts on Wednesday.