Filing for Candidacy
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. 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.
Download the form and find additional information at Notice of Candidacy.
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:
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. A prior felony conviction does not preclude holding elective office if the candidate’s rights of citizenship have been restored, with the exception of the office of sheriff. No one may file for sheriff who has been convicted of a felony, even after his or her citizenship rights have been fully restored.
Effective Oct. 1, 2021, state law prohibits an individual to run for sheriff if they’ve had a felony conviction expunged from their record. 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. Find details at State Law Changes Qualifications for Office of Sheriff.
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.
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.