Ballot Access Laws
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State# of House Districts in 2012 Election
# of Signatures Required to be on U.S. Representative Ballot with no party affiliation# of Signatures Required to create new partyPetition Filing DeadlineOut of state circulators allowed?Official Candidate ResourcesBallot Candidate PetitionNotesLawSourcesOther Candidate Resources
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Alabama750003% of total votes cast in last gubernatorial race... deadline is 3/13/20129/6/2012http://www.sos.state.al.us/Elections/CandidateRes.aspxhttp://www.sos.state.al.us/downloads/dl3.aspx?trgturl=election/2010/ic-pet-2010.pdf&trgtfile=ic-pet-2010.pdfhb 425
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http://www.ballot-access.org/Alaska125883% of total votes cast in last gub OR US Senate OR US House election … whichever is least8/8/2012: register by 6/1/12http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg_fof_nop.phphttp://www.elections.alaska.gov/doc/forms/A19A.pdfhttp://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/folioproxy.asp?url=http://wwwjnu01.legis.state.ak.us/cgi-bin/folioisa.dll/stattx10/query=[JUMP:'AS1580010']/doc/{@1}/hits_only?firsthit
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Arizona9Varies by district, between 2.1k (D4) and 4.7k (D2)5,000… THEN must get >5% of the gub/pres vote in 2 elections (plus more hurdles) to be recognized … see webcitation link9/7/2012Yeshttp://www.azsos.gov/election/CandidateFilingInformation.htmhttp://www.azsos.gov/election/Forms/Partisan_Nomination_Petition.pdfYou can register to vote under any party name you can imagine.ars 16-341http://www.webcitation.org/5amSbCriehttp://arizonapolitics.net/
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Arkansas41000100008/1/2012http://www.arkansasethics.com/http://www.arkansasethics.com/forms/Exploratory%20Committee%20Registration%20Form%20(09).doc … should get you startedSubmit signatures to the Arkansas Secretary of State.
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California5330001,030,040 ... deadline is 01/22/2012 … http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/political-party-qualification.htm8/10/2012http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_cand.htmhttp://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/2012-elections/june-primary/pdf/congress-qualifications-2012.pdf … See II.A.2.a.
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Colorado7800 or 2% of votes cast (whichever is less)10,000 … http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/Resources/files/QPOsAndMinorPoliticalParties02012011.pdfAccording to the CO Sec. of State, "[t]here is no set filing deadline in the state of Colorado that applies to all candidates." See link in Official Candidate Resources column, then read "Basic Q&A" on page 11 of the pdf.http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/Candidates/files/HowToRunForOffice.pdfFor candidates for state and federal office: Elections Division of the Colorado Secretary of State’s OfficeColorado's Secretary of State put all of this information in one easy-to-use website. Colorado is awesome.
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Connecticut51% of total votes cast in the previous election for the office for which you're running OR 7,500 ... whichever is lessCall 860-509-6100 to create a new party … http://www.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3179&Q=392218&SOTSNav_GID=1846#NominatingPetitions Contact the Legislation and Elections Administration Division for applicable dates … http://www.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3179&q=392222http://www.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3179&q=392222http://www.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3179&q=392222Watch out on the website: most forms are for the 2011 election. 2012 documents are sparse so far, but supposedly exist if you contact the Sec. of State's office using the links provided here.
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Delaware11% of of Delaware's total registered votersApprox. 6209/1/2012http://delcode.delaware.gov/title15/c030/index.shtmlhttp://elections.delaware.gov/faqs.shtml#c5hb 245; Title 15http://www.ballot-access.org/2010/01/28/delaware-bill-doubling-number-of-registrants-for-minor-parties-passes-legislature/
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Florida2722984% of total votes cast in FL in the last presidental election (~335,630)Signatures AND DS-DE 9 form ONLY accepted from 6/4/12 to 6/8/12Nohttp://election.dos.state.fl.us/forms/index.shtml#fedcandidatehttp://election.dos.state.fl.us/forms/pdf/DSDE104.pdf ; http://election.dos.state.fl.us/forms/pdf/DSDE27B.pdfAccording to the FL Division of Elections, "[b]efore collecting any signatures, all candidates (except federal candidates and special district candidates who have not collected contributions and whose only expense is the signature verification fee) must file the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository (Form DS-DE 9) with the filing officer."HB 1355 is 157 pages of pure evil which pose a plethora of hurdles for running for any office.http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2011/04/fl-election-bill-would-increase-signatures-needed-for-new-party-presidential-candidate-from-zero-to-over-335000/http://election.dos.state.fl.us/publications/pdf/2011/2012_Federal_Qualifying_Handbook.pdfDivision of Elections: 850-245-6240
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Georgia140 (for independents)20% of total votes cast in the last presidental election, OR 20% of total votes cast in the last gub. election... whichever is less8/6/2012 (noon)http://www.sos.ga.gov/elections/candidate_information.htmhttp://sos.georgia.gov/elections/elections/candidate_information/candaff.pdf
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Hawaii23,000 (for primary)0.1% of total registered voters in HI6/5/2012 (4:30 pm)Nohttp://hawaii.gov/elections/factsheets/fsbo112.pdfGet primary election nomination papers from the Office of Elections & Neighbor Island County Clerks.To get on the ballot for the general election, first qualify for the primary THEN get 10% of the vote in the primary.
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Idaho21000Deadline: 8/30/20122/27/2012http://www.sos.idaho.gov/elect/eleindex.htmFew forms are available so far for 2012 candidates.http://www.ballot-access.org/2011/03/29/idaho-ballot-access-bill-passes-house/Elections Phone: (208) 334-2852
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Illinois185000 for independents; 600 for D or RRequires that you register candidates for every office, then receive 5% of the vote in the general election.Window: 6/18/2012 - 6/25/2012http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/2012CanGuide.pdfhttp://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/pdf/P-3.pdfOnly one circulator allowed per petition.According to the IL Sec. of State, "[c]andidates are strongly advised to obtain legal counsel as to their legal qualifications for office, the proper method for completing the petition forms with respect to the office, the minimum and maximum number of signatures required, the qualifications of the signers and circulators, etc"http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/2012Pres_DelegateGuide.pdf
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Indiana9http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/2395.htmFew forms are available so far for 2012 candidates.http://congress.indiana.edu/how-run-congress
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Iowa4300Get on the general election ballot (http://www.sos.state.ia.us/pdfs/elections/candidates/affidavit.pdf), THEN receive 2% of the vote total Filing period: July 30 – August 17, 2012 (5:00 p.m.)Nohttp://www.sos.state.ia.us/pdfs/elections/candidates/2012gencandguide.pdfhttp://www.sos.state.ia.us/pdfs/elections/candidates/nompetpartisan.pdf
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Kansas45,000 OR 4% of total registered voters in KS, whichever is less2% of current governor's most recent vote total … deadline to register: noon on 8/6/2012.8/6/2012Nohttp://www.kssos.org/elections/elections_reform_standards.htmlFor each office, an independent (i.e., write-in) candidate must receive 5% of of the vote total in the primary to appear on the general election ballothttp://www.votekansas.org/reform/f/candidates
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Kentucky64008/14/2012Nohttp://apps.sos.ky.gov/CandidateFilingDocuments/USRepresentative_Independent.pdfhttp://apps.sos.ky.gov/CandidateFilingDocuments/USRepresentative_Independent.pdf$500 fee, file with Sec. of Statehttp://independentkentucky.com/index.php?limitstart=5
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Louisiana61,000 OR $600 fee1,000 … deadline: 90 days before electionhttp://www.sos.la.gov/Portals/0/elections/pdf/Calendar%202012%20revised%208-2011%20Elections.pdfhttp://www.sos.la.gov/tabid/149/Default.aspxAvailable at your perish's Court of Clerk office
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Maine2http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/candidate.htm … only 2010 and 2008 forms are online as of Nov. 1 2011Candidate nomination petitions are available by calling the Division of Elections at (207) 624-7650Few forms are available so far for 2012 candidates.
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Maryland834,228 AND $100 fee5,000 … http://www.elections.state.md.us/forms/documents/new_party_petition_form_FINAL.pdf … deadline:8/6/20121/11/2012 (9 pm)http://www.elections.state.md.us/candidacy/index.html ; http://www.elections.state.md.us/forms/petitions.htmlhttp://www.elections.state.md.us/forms/documents/candidate_petition_form_FINAL.pdfCurrent parties: D,R,Lib,Greensb 710http://www.elections.state.md.us/candidacy/documents/Active%20Voters%20January%202010.pdfFor details about fund raising, financial disclosure forms and taxable political funds, call the State Board of Elections at 410-269-2840 or visit State Board of Elections.
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Massachusetts97/31/2012http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/Few forms are available so far for 2012 candidates … incumbents -1, Olver is leavinghttp://www.mass.gov/ocpf/ … for state and local campaigns
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Michigan143,000 … requires that from each of at least half of MI's congressional districts, you collect 100 signatures.32,261 … deadline:7/19/2012 (4 pm)7/19/2012 (4 pm)http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8721_11839---,00.htmlSee http://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Filing_Req_for_Independent_Cand2012_365437_7.pdf … "petitions can be obtained through any county clerk's office."
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Minnesota81,000 OR $300 fee1% of total voters in MN's most recent election … See http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=589#200.02 then go to Subd. 23 for more requirements.Filing period: 5/22/12 - 6/5/12http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=136Sample petition forms are available from [your] filing officer. … see pdf link in "other candidate resources"Start here: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=4263MN Sec. of State: 651-215-1440
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Mississippi4200In Mississippi, a political party is any group that has a statewide organization, and an organization within each U.S. House district. There is no petition and no vote test for a party to remain on. (Winger)1/13/2012 … make sure to also file a Statement of IntentNohttp://www.sos.ms.gov/elections_candidates_lobbyists_center.aspxPetitions forms are available from the Secretary of State’s office.Independent candidate petitions and qualifying statements of intent are available from the Secretary of State’s Office, Elections Division, Post Office Box 136, Jackson, Mississippi 39205. You may also contact us at the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website: www.sos.ms.gov.http://www.ballot-access.org/2011/06/12/three-minor-parties-enter-candidates-in-2011-mississippi-legislative-races/
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Missouri810,000 … see http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2012general/indep_candidate.asp for other requirementsAt least two percent of the total number of voters who voted at the last election for candidates for the office being sought or is equal to ten thousand voters, whichever is less. … see http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C100-199/1150000315.HTM7/30/2012Nohttp://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/s_default.asp?id=iwCandidatehttp://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2012General/declaration_forms/indep_candidate.pdfhttp://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C100-199/1150000315.HTMhttp://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/c115.htm
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Montana150005,000 OR 5% of current governor's vote total in the last election … whichever is less3/12/2012, 5 pm (primary)http://sos.mt.gov/elections/Archives/2010s/2012/Info/2012_Political_Party_Qualification_Information.pdfhttp://sos.mt.gov/Elections/Archives/2010s/2012/Forms/2012_Political_Party_Qualification_Petition.pdf
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Nebraska3Filing period: 12/1/2012 to 2/15/2012 (primary) … 12/1/2012 to 8/1/2012 (general)Yeshttp://www.sos.ne.gov/elec/2012/elections.htmlFile in the Sec. of State's office.http://www.ballot-access.org/2011/08/30/u-s-district-court-strikes-down-nebraska-ban-on-out-of-state-petitioners/Sec of State: (402) 471-255Election Officials' Contact Info: http://www.sos.ne.gov/elec/clerks.html
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Nevada4http://nvsos.gov/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2127http://www.sos.ne.gov/elec/2010/pdf/2010%20filing%20locations.pdf
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New Hampshire2
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New Jersey12
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New Mexico33000Yes
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New York27100 or 5%, whichever is less, of properly enrolled voters in each of at least one-half of the Congressional Districts of the state. (see §6215.2)Nohttp://www.elections.state.ny.us/RunningOffice.htmlhttp://www.elections.state.ny.us/NYSBOE/download/law/IndependentNomPetChapter246Change.pdf2010 candidate guide: http://www.elections.state.ny.us/NYSBOE/download/law/2010RunningForOfficeBrochure.pdfhttp://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Redistricting_in_New_York
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North Carolina134% of total registered voters in district2% of total votes cast for governor in most recent election (N.C.G.S. §163-96(a)(2)) … more hurdles and requirements, read the law … deadline 6/1/2012 (at noon)http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/items.aspx?id=4&s=4http://thirdpartypolitics.us/blog/2011/10/14/fourth-circuit-upholds-north-carolina-independent-ballot-access-law/
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North Dakota110007,000 (http://www.nd.gov/eforms/doc/sfn17700.pdf)Filing period: 4/10/2012 - 9/7/2012 (4 pm)NoStart here: http://www.nd.gov/sos/forms/pdf/running-congress.pdf … See " Running as an Independent Candidate in
the General Election" section
http://www.nd.gov/eforms/Doc/sfn02704.pdf
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Ohio16READ THIS ARTICLE VERY CAREFULLY http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20111026/NEWS0108/110270308/Want-run-2012-Hurry?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE
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Oklahoma5
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Oregon5
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Pennsylvania18
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Rhode Island2
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South Carolina7
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South Dakota1
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Tennessee9
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Texas36
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Utah4
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Vermont11000
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Virginia111000
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Washington10
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West Virginia3
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Wisconsin8
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Wyoming1
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