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Petition Forms

The forms below can be used to collect signatures for a variety of petitions. Be sure to use a seperate sheet for each county. Only physical signatures are valid.

Basic Signature Sheets

Local Ballot Item Signature Sheets

Other Petition Forms

Petitions in North Carolina

Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution

A petition is a formal written request, signed by citizens affected by or having an opinion on the issue in question. In North Carolina, petitions can be used to place candidates and issues on the ballot, waive filing fees, or form state-recognized political parties.

Before beginning the petition process, familiarize yourself with the laws governing the specific type of petition you aim to conduct. Further familiarization with general provisions pertaining to all petitions in North Carolina is recommended as well. This page reviews the petition process and provides the applicable laws, due dates, forms, and petition sheets. The petition sheets provided must be used to collect signatures. Signatures cannot be collected electronically. Blanks at the top of each petition sheet must be completed before collecting any signatures.

For information, and to check the status of petitions initiated locally with a county Board of Elections office, contact that elections office directly. Contact information for county Boards of Election can be found here.

To check the status of petitions initiated with the State Board of Elections office, click here.

Instuctions for Filing Petitions

  1. Familiarize yourself with the requirements of your petition. Below, you will find information regarding the due date of petitions, the number of required signatures, the required format of signature collection, and other administrative details. Learn these before beginning so that you know exactly what you need to do.
  2. Start the petition process. To begin the petition process, contact the board of election that governs your specific petition. If the petition falls under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections, complete a Petition Request Form and email it to petition.sboe@ncsbe.gov. If the petition falls under the jurisdiction of a county Board of Elections, contact that specific office to start the process. You can find contact information for all 100 county offices here.
  3. Collect signatures. Using the appropriate signature-collection forms (available in the sidebar), gather signatures from voters who reside in the applicable area. Forms will be submitted to the individual county Boards of Election for verification of the signatures, so make sure to use a seperate form for different counties! Remember that no one can sign a petition on behalf of someone other than themselves. Also remember signatures must be originals - no electronically made or reproduced signatures will count.
  4. Submit signatures for verification. County Boards of Election will check and certify qualified signatures, then return the originals to the petitioner. Even if your petition is statewide, the counties are responsible for certifying the signatures of their voters. Signatures may be submitted all at once, or in batches. If you choose to submit in batches, the Board will keep a running tally of your signature total. (Please note that some local petitions, such as Sanitary or Fire District petitions, do not go to the county Boards of Election. See below for further information.)
  5. Submit final documentation. Once you have obtained the required number of county-verified signatures, the petitioner should submit any remaining required documentation to the office with jurisdiction over the petition. Along with that documentation, make sure you submit the original pages of signatures as well.

State and multi-county petition information

Type of petition

Required Signatures

Expiration date (date all materials due to state)

Petition due to County Board of Elections

Statutes and notes

 

 

 

 

 

Unaffiliated candidate, statewide contest

2% of all registered voters who voted in most recent General Election for Governor

Last Friday in June of election year, noon

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-122(a)(1)

 

 

 

 

 

Unaffiliated candidate presidential (statewide) contest

2% of all registered voters who voted in most recent General Election for Governor

Last Friday in June of presidential election year, noon

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-122(a)(1)163-209163-1 (VP candidate selection due to SBE by the first Friday in August, noon; names of presidential electors and alternates also due to be filed with the Secretary of State’s office at that same time)

 

 

 

 

 

Unaffiliated candidate, district (multi-county) contest

4% of the district’s registered voters (as of January 1 of the election year)

Last Friday in June of election year, noon

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-122(a)(2)

 

 

 

 

 

Write-in candidate, statewide contest

500 registered voters of the State

90 days before General Election, noon

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-123(c)(1)

 

 

 

 

 

Write-in candidate, presidential (statewide) contest

500 registered voters of the State

90 days before General Election, noon

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-123(c)(1) , (the statutes don’t speak to selection of VP and presidential electors, so follow procedure for unaffiliated presidential candidates inNCGS 163-209,163-1)

 

 

 

 

 

Write-in candidate, district (multi-county) contest

250 registered voters in the election area in which the office will be voted for

90 days before General Election, noon

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-123(c)(2)

 

 

 

 

 

Petition in lieu of payment of filing fee (in seeking nomination in a party primary), statewide contest

If the party is recognized: 5% of party’s registered voters (as of January 1 of the election year), or 8,000 registered voters of any affiliation, whichever number is greater).

 

If the party is not recognized: 10,000 persons who at the time of signing are registered voters and affiliated with the petitioner’s party.

Monday, noon, preceding the candidate filing deadline

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-107.1(b)163-106(c)163-96(a)(2)

 

 

 

 

 

Petition in lieu of payment of filing fee (in seeking nomination in a party primary, district (multi-county) contest

5% of the registered voters affiliated with the petitioner’s party in the election area in which the office will be voted for (as of January 1 of the election year), or 200 registered voters of any affiliation, whichever number is greater

Monday, noon, preceding the candidate filing deadline

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-107.1(c)163-106(c)

 

 

 

 

 

Petition in lieu of payment of filing fee (in seeking nomination in a non-partisan primary/election, district (multi-county) contest

5% of the registered voters in the election area in which the office will be voted for (as of January 1 of the election year)

Monday, noon, preceding the candidate filing deadline

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-107.1(d)163-106(c),

 

 

 

 

 

Petition in lieu of payment of filing fee, Supreme Court Justice, Court of Appeals Judge, Superior Court Judge or District Court Judge

8,000 registered voters of the State or applicable district

Monday, noon, preceding the candidate filing deadline

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-325

 

 

 

 

 

Petition in lieu of payment of filing fee, superior court or district court judge

5% of the registered voters in the judicial district

Monday, noon, preceding the candidate filing deadline

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-325

 

 

 

 

 

Presidential party nomination

10,000 persons who at the time of signing are registered voters and affiliated with the party that the petitioner seeks the endorsement of

Monday, 5:00 p.m., immediately before State Board’s meeting to nominate presidential candidates 

10 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-213.5,163-213.4163-106(c)

 

 

 

 

 

New political party

2% of all registered voters who voted in most recent General Election for Governor

June 1, noon, of the year of the General Election that the party wishes to participate in

15 days prior to expiration date

NCGS 163-96

 

 

Type of petition

Required Signatures

All Materials due to CBE (expiration date)

Statutes and notes

 

 

 

 

Unaffiliated candidate, county or district contest (if the district is entirely within one county)

4% of the district’s registered voters (as of January 1 of the election year)

Last Friday in June of election year, noon

NCGS 163-122(a)(3)

 

 

 

 

Unaffiliated candidate, partisan municipal contest

4% of the district’s registered voters (as of January 1 of the election year)

Friday preceding the seventh Saturday before the election, noon

NCGS 163-122(a)(4)163-296

 

 

 

 

Write-in candidate, county office, school administrative unit elected on a partisan basis, or district (if the district is entirely within one county)

If 5,000 or more registered voters are in the area or district: 100 registered voters in the election area in which the office will be voted for

If fewer than 5,000 registered voters are in the area or district: 1% registered voters in the election area in which the office will be voted for

(All registration statistics are based upon the latest data available)

90 days before General Election, noon

NCGS 163-123(c)(3)

 

 

 

 

Petition in lieu of payment of filing fee (in seeking nomination in a party primary, in a county, municipal or district contest (if the election area is entirely within one county)

5% of the registered voters affiliated with the petitioner’s party in the election area in which the office will be voted for (as of January 1 of the election year), or 200 registered voters of any affiliation, whichever number is greater

Monday, noon, preceding the candidate filing deadline

NCGS 163-107.1(c)163-106(c)

 

 

 

 

Petition in lieu of payment of filing fee (in seeking in a county, municipal or district contest (if the election area is entirely within one county)

5% of the registered voters in the election area in which the office will be voted for (as of January 1 of the election year)

Monday, noon, preceding the candidate filing deadline

NCGS 163-107.1(d)163-106(c)

 

 

 

 

ABC (alcoholic beverage sale) election, county

Note: ABC elections can also be called by the County Commission

35% of the registered voters in the county at the time the petition was initiated

No date set by statute, but it is recommended that the petition is submitted several months in advance of the planned election date to allow review of the petition and other administrative considerations.

The petition expires 90 days after it has been initiated.

NCGS 18B-600,18B-601(b), (e),18B-602163-287163-219

 

 

 

 

ABC (alcoholic beverage sale) election, municipal

Note: ABC elections can also be called by the governing body of the municipality

35% of the registered voters in the municipality at the time the petition was initiated

No date set by statute, but it is recommended that the petition is submitted several months in advance of the planned election date to allow review of the petition and other administrative considerations.

The petition expires 90 days after it has been initiated.

NCGS 18B-600,18B-601(c), (e),18B-602163-287163-219

 

 

 

 

Bond referendum

10% of the registered voters in the issuing unit, according to the most recent data

Petition is filed with the issuing unit’s clerk, not the County Board of Elections office.

Filed within 30 days after the publication of the bond order as introduced.

The petition expires one year after it has been initiated.

NCGS 159-60,163-287163-219

 

 

 

 

School tax

For question of annexing area to the administrative unit: The majority of qualified voters who have resided for the preceding 12 months in the area

For any other purpose set out in GS 115C-501, 25% of the registered voters of the administrative unit

Petition is filed with the Board of Education, not the County Board of Elections office.

No date set by statute, but it is recommended that the petition is submitted several months in advance of the planned election date to allow review of the petition and other administrative considerations.

The petition expires one year after it has been initiated.

NCGS 115C-501,115C-502115C-503115C-504,163-287163-219

 

 

 

 

Municipal charter amendment

10% of the registered voters in the municipality (according to the most recent data), or 5,000 registered voters of the municipality, whichever is fewer

Petition is filed with the municipal council, not the County Board of Elections office.

No date set by statute, but it is recommended that the petition is submitted several months in advance of the planned election date to allow review of the petition and other administrative considerations.

The petition expires one year after it has been initiated.

NCGS 160A-104,163-287163-219

See also NCGS 160A-103 for petitions for referendum on charter amendment. 

 

 

 

 

Municipal incorporation

15% of the registered voters in the area proposed to be incorporated (but not fewer than 25 registered voters)

Verified petition is submitted to the Municipal Incorporations Subcommittee of the General Assembly.

60 days prior to convening of the next regular session of the General Assembly.

 

The petition expires one year after it has been initiated.

NCGS 120-163,163-287163-219

 

 

 

 

Municipal annexation

All real property owners in the area proposed to be annexed, which must be connected to the current municipal boundary

Petition is submitted to the governing board of the municipality.

There is no election associated with this process. There is a separate process for an involuntary annexation initiated by the municipality itself, which requires a referendum to the voters. For more information about the referendum to annex, see NCGS 160A-58.64.

 

NCGS 160A-31,163-287

 

 

 

 

Repeal of levy

Note: Can also be called by the County Commission

A number equaling 15% of the votes cast in the county in the last election for Governor

No date set by statute, but it is recommended that the petition is submitted several months in advance of the planned election date to allow review of the petition and other administrative considerations.

The petition expires one year after it has been initiated.

NCGS 105-473,163-287163-219

 

 

 

 

Sanitary District incorporation

51% of the freeholders in the area of the proposed Sanitary District (the statute does not require the freeholders are residents)

Petition is filed with the County Commission of the county where all or the majority of the proposed district is located, not the County Board of Elections office.

No date set by statute, but it is recommended that the petition is submitted several months in advance of the planned election date to allow review of the petition and other administrative considerations.

The petition expires one year after it has been initiated.

NCGS 130A-48,163-287163-219

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire District incorporation

35% of the resident freeholders in an area lying outside the corporate limits of the city or town in the area of the proposed Fire District

Petition is filed with the County Commission, not the County Board of Elections office.

No date set by statute, but it is recommended that the petition is submitted several months in advance of the planned election date to allow review of the petition and other administrative considerations.

The petition expires one year after it has been initiated.

NCGS 69-25.1,163-287163-219

 

 

 

 

 Fire District abolished

15% of the resident freeholders in the area of the Fire District

Petition is filed with the County Commission, not the County Board of Elections office.

No date set by statute, but it is recommended that the petition is submitted several months in advance of the planned election date to allow review of the petition and other administrative considerations.

The petition expires one year after it has been initiated.

69-25.10163-287163-219

 

 

 

 

Other local types of petition, such as local recall (there is no recall mechanism for county or state offices)

Governed by municipal charter or local act

Governed by municipal charter or local act

Governed by municipal charter or local act

Out of the more than 550 municipalities in North Carolina, a very small number have a procedure for recall.

Click here for more information

 

 

Petition Information and Requirements - State Jurisdiction

Petition Type Number of Required Signatures When are petitions due to NCSBE? Governing Statutes
For a candidate's name to be placed on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate... ...in the contest for President of the U.S. 2% of all registered N.C. voters who voted in the most recent election for N.C. Governor. 12:00 p.m., the last Friday in June of an election year. N.C. General Statute §163-122(a)(1)
...in a statewide contest. 2% of all registered N.C. voters who voted in the most recent election for N.C. Governor. 12:00 p.m., the last Friday in June of an election year. N.C. General Statute §163-122(a)(1)
...in a district (multi-county) contest. 4% of all registered N.C. voters in the district, as of January 1 of the election year. 12:00 p.m., the last Friday in June of an election year. N.C. General Statute §163-122(a)(2)
For a candidate to qualify as a write-in candidate... ...in the contest for President of the U.S. 500 registered N.C. voters. 12:00 p.m., 90 days before the General Election. N.C. General Statute §163-123(c)(1)
...in a statewide contest. 500 registered N.C. voters. 12:00 p.m., 90 days before the General Election. N.C. General Statute §163-123(c)(1)
...in a district (multi-county) contest. 250 registered N.C. voters. 12:00 p.m., 90 days before the General Election. N.C. General Statute §163-123(c)(2)
For the petition to be used by a candidate in lieu of payment of filing fee... ...in seeking nomination in a party primary for a statewide contest. 5% of the party's registered N.C. voters or 8000 registered N.C. voters of any affiliation, whichever is greater. 12:00 p.m., the Monday preceding the candidate filing deadline. N.C. General Statute §163-07.1(b)
...in seeking nomination in a party primary for a district (multi-county) contest. 5% of the party's registered N.C. voters in the respective district, or 200 registered N.C. voters of any affiliation, whichever is greater. 12:00 p.m., the Monday preceding the candidate filing deadline. N.C. General Statute §163-07.1(c)
...in seeking nomination in a nonpartisan primary or election for a district (multi-county) contest. 5% of the N.C. registered voters in the election area in which the office will be voted for. 12:00 p.m., the Monday preceding the candidate filing deadline. N.C. General Statute §163-07.1(d)
...in seeking election as Supreme Court Justice or Court of Appeals Judge. 8,000 registered N.C. voters in the state or applicable district. 12:00 p.m., the Monday preceding the candidate filing deadline. N.C. General Statute §163-325
...in seeking election as Superior Court Judge or District Court Judge. 5% of registered N.C. voters in the respective judicial district. 12:00 p.m., the Monday preceding the candidate filing deadline. N.C. General Statute §163-325
For a candidate to seek the endoresement by the national political party for the office of President of the United States. 10,000 registered N.C. voters belong to the same political party as the candidate for whom the petition is filed. 5:00 p.m., the Monday preceding the State Board's meeting to nominate presidential candidates. N.C. General Statute §163-213.5
For recognition as a political party under the election laws of North Carolina. 2% of all registered N.C. voters who voted in the most recent election for N.C. Governor. 12:00 p.m., June 1, of the year of the election that the party wishes to participate in. N.C. General Statute §163-96