Qualify To Be a Candidate
Unless otherwise specified, all candidates must be registered to vote in the state, qualified to vote in an election for the office sought, and 21 years of age by the date of the election. To find the specific requirements for certain offices, visit General Candidate Requirements.
File a Notice of Candidacy
Any person seeking to become a candidate must file a notice of candidacy form.* Download the form and find additional information at Notice of Candidacy.
*Only the candidate may file the notice of candidacy and pay the filing fee in person at the appropriate board of elections. Alternatively, a candidate may have the candidate’s signature on the notice of candidacy acknowledged and certified by an officer authorized to take acknowledgments and administer oaths, in which case the candidate may mail or deliver by commercial courier service the candidate’s notice of candidacy to the appropriate board of elections. Please note that the candidate is not considered to have filed their mailed notice of candidacy until the appropriate board of elections receives it, provided it was before the end of the filing period.
Disclose Any Felony Convictions
In addition to filing a notice of candidacy, a candidate must affirm whether or not they have ever been convicted of a felony by submitting the Felony Disclosure Form.
The below downloadable form is for candidates not running for sheriff.
Download the Felony Disclosure Form (fillable PDF)
Candidates for Sheriff
Effective 2021, candidates for sheriff may not file for candidacy if they have been convicted of a felony, even if the felony was expunged. Before filing, candidates must complete several forms and a disclosure statement verifying that they have had no prior felony convictions or expungements. Find the forms and additional information at Sheriffs’ Training & Standards Division | NCDOJ. A person who receives an unconditional pardon of innocence for their felony may file for the office of sheriff or be appointed to that office.
Candidates Other Than Sheriff
A candidate’s prior felony conviction does not preclude holding elective office if the candidate’s rights of citizenship have been restored. A felony conviction need not be disclosed if the conviction was dismissed as a result of reversal on appeal or resulted in a pardon of innocence or expungement.
Pay the Appropriate Filing Fee
Candidates must pay the filing fee when they file a notice of candidacy. Find salary and filing fees by office type, as well as information about where candidates for specific offices file their notice of candidacy at Filing Fees.
Mailing Your Notice of Candidacy
Please use the following address for USPS when mailing your notice of candidacy:
PO Box 27255
Raleigh NC 27611-7255
Notices sent by FedEx or UPS overnight will require a physical address:
430 N Salisbury St
6400 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27603-1362
Organize a Candidate Committee
Within 10 days of first activity, a candidate must file an Organizational Report.
What is the “First Activity”?
A candidate committee is required to register with a board of elections within ten days of taking the first among certain activities that are deemed to have begun the committee’s organization. The first of the following activities by the candidate starts the ten days:
- Receiving money or anything of value in support of the campaign; or
- Spending money in support of the campaign; or
- Giving consent for anyone else to receive money or spend money for the purpose of bringing about that individual’s nomination or election for office; or
- Filing a notice of candidacy.
Find more information at Candidate Committees.
Review the Signage Requirements
Neither the county boards nor the State Board regulates the placement of signage except at polling sites. Signs fall under N.C.G.S. § 136-32 and are under the purview of the Department of Transportation or the individual municipality. In terms of signs on private property, that is the purview of the property owner and possibly their HOA if one exists.
Review the signage requirement guidelines at the Littering Statutes Filing Fact Sheet (PDF).
For the basic disclosure requirements for print, radio, and television advertisements, visit Disclosure Legends.