I want to run for office, where do I start?
To get your name on the ballot you must circulate and file a petition. The first day to circulate petitions is normally around the middle of February and runs for 3 weeks.
I was appointed to an elected position; does my name just automatically go on the ballot in the next Municipal Election?
No one’s name automatically goes on the ballot. The office will go on the ballot i.e.: Councilman – 2-year interim.
Can I get my name on both the Democratic and Republican ballots?
Only Magisterial District Judge and School Directors can cross file.
What is cross filing?
When a candidate is running on both the D & R ballot. Two different petitions are circulated. A Democrat must circulate the Democratic petition and a Republican must circulate the Republican petition. A filing fee must be paid for each party petition where applicable, e.g. MDJ candidate would pay $50 for the filing of the Democratic Petition and $50 for the filing of the Republican Petition.
I am running for School Director or Magisterial District Judge and want to cross file, can I circulate both the Democratic and Republican petitions?
- Magisterial District Judge – Yes. Since this is a non-partisan position you can circulate both.
- School Director – No. You can circulate the petition for the party that you are registered in, someone from the opposite party must circulate your other petition.
Someone gave me a petition that they had left over from a previous election, can I use it?
No, election laws and forms are always changing so please make sure that you have the most current forms available from our office.
Can more than one person circulate a single petition?
No, the circulator must sign an affidavit on the back of the petition and there is only room for 1 circulator. If you want more than one person to circulate for you, give them a separate petition.
Who can sign my petition?
Individuals must be a registered voter, of the same party (MDJ excluded), living in the same district as the candidate is running for (same municipality or school district or region).
What if someone makes a mistake when signing my petition?
DO NOT use white out or scribble anything out on a petition. If a mistake is made put a single line through the incorrect information and either write above or draw a line through the entire entry and move to the next line.
How much do I get paid?
Compensation varies by position – School Board Directors do not get paid, Members of Council, Supervisors, Auditors, Mayors, etc. vary by Municipality. To find out if these positions are paid you must contact the municipality. Tax Collectors are paid from the municipality, county, and school district therefore you need to contact them to find out the compensation.
Will the Election Office fill out my petition?
No, as a candidate that is your responsibility. We are always here to help with any questions you have; however, with every petition packet we provide you with a complete set of instructions on how to fill out all the paperwork necessary to run for office. Your petition should be filled out PRIOR to circulating not when you come into the office.
Does the Election Office check all the information on the petitions and Financial Interest Statements to make sure it is correct?
No, it is the responsibility of the candidate or the circulator to make sure all the requirements are followed. However, if you do not follow the election rules you run the risk of someone challenging your petition and having to go to court.
How do you determine where my name appears on the ballot?
We have what we call a casting of lots. We draw numbers to determine who goes on the ballot in the first position, second position, etc.
What happens after the Primary Election?
If you win your party’s seat your name will appear on the Municipal Ballot in November. We do not send out anything indicating that you have won/lost. Unofficial results are available on our web site election night.
If I lose in the Primary can I change my party and run as a third party candidate for the November Municipal Election?
No, you would have had to change your party BEFORE the close of registration in the Primary Election cycle. The only way to run in November without winning your party nomination is to run a write-in campaign.
When can I get results, including write-ins, after the Primary Election?
Unofficial results can be seen on election night. This does not include individual write-ins. Please be aware it takes approximately 10 days to accumulate the write-in votes. During a Municipal Primary there are usually thousands of write-ins that we have to count one by one so it is a long and drawn out process. Nothing is official until we certify our results to the Department of State and that could take up to 21 days.
How will I know if I won by write-ins?
You will receive paperwork letting you know that you won a position by write-ins. Instructions are provided on how to accept or decline the write-in nomination.