Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Idaho

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See also
This page contains extensive information about ballot access requirements for state and federal candidates running for elected office in the state of Idaho. Offices included are:

This page contains information on specific filing dates for each election year, how to become a candidate, how to create a political party, campaign finance requirements, state agency contacts involved in the election process, and term limits in Idaho. Information on running for election as a presidential candidate or for county and municipal offices is not included. This page reflects research completed in April 2014.

Note: If you have any questions or comments about this page, email us.

Year-specific dates

2014

See also: Idaho elections, 2014

Idaho held a primary election on May 20, 2014. The general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Voters will elect candidates to serve in the following state and federal offices:

The filing deadline for political party and independent candidates running in the 2014 elections in Idaho was March 14, 2014. The deadline to submit paperwork to create a new political party in time for the 2014 elections is August 30, 2014. Candidates running under a newly-qualified party are nominated via a convention process and do not need to meet the March 14 deadline.[1]

Legend:      Ballot Access     Campaign Finance     Election Date




Dates and Requirements for Candidates in 2014
Deadline Event Type Event Description
January 31, 2014 Campaign Finance Annual 2013 campaign finance report due for candidates that raised or spent campaign expenditures in 2013
March 14, 2014 Ballot Access Filing deadline for both partisan and independent candidates (does not apply to candidates running for newly qualified parties)
April 22, 2014 Ballot Access Filing deadline for write-in candidates who seek to participate in the primary election
May 13, 2014 Campaign Finance 7 day pre-primary campaign finance report due
May 20, 2014 Election Date Primary election
June 19, 2014 Campaign Finance 30 day post-primary campaign finance report due
August 30, 2014 Ballot Access Filing deadline for a new political party to submit petitions and signatures with the Secretary of State
October 7, 2014 Ballot Access Filing deadline for write-in candidates participating in the general election
October 10, 2014 Campaign Finance Pre-general campaign finance report due
October 28, 2014 Campaign Finance 7 day pre-general election campaign finance report due
November 4, 2014 Election Date General election
December 4, 2014 Campaign Finance 30 day post-general election campaign finance report due
January 31, 2015 Campaign Finance Final annual campaign finance report for 2014 due

Political parties

See also: List of political parties in the United States

As of October 2013, the state of Idaho officially recognizes four political parties.[2]

Party Website link By-laws/Platform link
Constitution Party http://www.cpidaho.org/ National party platform
Democratic Party http://idahodems.org/ Party by-laws
Libertarian Party http://www.lpid.org/
Republican Party http://idgop.org/ Party platform

In some states, a candidate may choose to have a label other than that of an officially recognized party appear alongside his or her name on the ballot. Such labels are called political party designations. A political party designation would be used when a candidate qualifies as an independent, but prefers to use a different label. Idaho[3] does not allow candidates to identify in this way. A total of 25 states allow candidates to use political party designations in non-presidential elections.

The 11 states listed below (and Washington, D.C.) do not provide a process for political organizations to gain qualified status in advance of an election. Instead, in these states, an aspirant party must first field candidates using party designations. If the candidate or candidates win the requisite votes, the organization may then be recognized as an official political party. In these states, a political party can be formed only if the candidate in the general election obtains a specific number of votes. The number of votes required and type of race vary from state to state. Details can be found on the state-specific requirements pages.[4]

Process to establish a political party

Figure 1: This is the Political Party Affiliation Declaration Form for the state of Idaho.

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Chapter 5, Section 34 of the Idaho Code

According to Idaho Code, a "political party" is "an organization of electors under a given name."[5]

Party ballot access

The state of Idaho will deem a political party created and qualified to participate in an election in any of the following 3 ways:

  • By having 3 or more candidates for state or national office listed under the party name at the last general election, provided that those individuals seeking the office of president, vice president and president elector shall be considered one candidate.[5]
  • By polling at the last general election for any one of its candidates for state or national office at least 3% of the aggregate vote cast for governor or for presidential electors.[5]
  • By having an affiliation of electors sign a petition to be submitted and verified by the Secretary of State's Office.[5]

If a new political party seeks qualification through the submission of a petition, the party must fulfill the following requirements[6]:

  • State the name of the proposed party in not more than 6 words.
  • State that the subscribers of the proposed party desire to place the party on the ballot.
  • Submit the signatures of at least 2% of the aggregate vote cast for president in Idaho at the previous general election for president, which is 13,135 for 2014, or 1.76% of Idaho's registered voters.
  • File with the Secretary of State's Office on or before the August 30, 2014 deadline.
  • The format of the signature petition sheets must be patterned after such sheets as used for state initiative and referendum measures.
Votes cast in 2012 general election for President in Idaho Number of signatures needed for political party certification Number of votes needed to retain qualified party status
652,274[7] 13,135 19,569

Upon certification by the Secretary of State's Office that the petition has met the requirements of the law, such party shall, under the party name chosen, have all the rights of a political party whose ticket shall have been on the ballot at the preceding general election.[8]

Convention requirements

  • The newly certified party shall proceed to hold a state convention in the manner provided by law; provided, that at the initial convention of any such political party, all members of the party shall be entitled to attend the convention and participate in the election of officers and the nominations of candidates.[5]
  • A state convention shall be held by each political party in each election year at a time and place determined by the state central committee. The state central committee chairman shall preside and cause notice to be given to each legislative district central committee at the earliest possible date.[9]
  • Each state convention shall write and adopt rules and regulations governing the conduct of their respective conventions. At their convention each political party may[9]:
    • (1) Adopt and write a party platform.
    • (2) Elect any desired officers not otherwise provided for by law.
    • (3) In the year of presidential elections, elect delegates to the national convention in the manner prescribed by national party rules, and elect a national committeeman and a national committeewoman, and select presidential electors.
    • (4) Adopt rules, regulations and directives regarding party policies, practices and procedures.

Events

2012

In the November 6, 2012 general election, both the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party ran at least 3 candidates for president, statewide office, and/or state legislative office under their respective party names, and thus gained official recognition by the state of Idaho for the 2014 election in one of the three ways outlined in the Idaho Code.[10][11]

Process to become a candidate

Quick facts about Lieutenant Governors
  • 45 states have Lt. governors, 43 of them fill the office by election
  • 21 states elect Lt. governors on a single ticket with the governor at both the primary and general elections
  • 5 states elect Lt. governors separately from Governors at the primary and then put the top two vote-getters together on the general election ballot
  • 17 states, including Idaho, elect Lt. governors separately from the Governor

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 34 of the Idaho Code

Political party candidates

  • All partisan candidates for statewide office and state legislative office must file a Declaration of Candidacy and either pay a filing fee or submit the required number of signatures with the Secretary of State's Office.[12]
  • All candidates for statewide and state legislative office must file must file a C1: Appointment and Certification of Political Treasurer form with the Secretary of State's office. The C1 Form must be filed prior to announcing your candidacy, accepting donations or spending money on your campaign.[13]
  • The candidate filing period began on March 3, 2014 and ended on March 14, 2014.[14]
  • For all candidates collecting signatures to be filed with the Declaration of Candidacy, each signature sheet must contain the signatures of qualified electors from a single county and must be verified by the County Clerk prior to being filed with the Secretary of State.[15] This applies to all statewide offices, state legislative offices, and U.S. House and U.S. Senate seats.
  • Filing fees and signature requirements vary depending on the office sought:
Office Signature requirements Filing fee for 2014
Governor 1,000 $300
Lieutenant Governor 1,000 $200
State executive offices (Secretary of State, State Treasurer, etc.) 1,000 $200
U.S. Senator 1,000 $500
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives 500 $300
State Senator 50 $30
Member of the State House of Representatives 50 $30

Independent candidates

  • All independent candidates for statewide office and state legislative office must file a Declaration of Candidacy and submit the required number of signatures with the Secretary of State's Office.[16]
  • All candidates for statewide and state legislative office must file must file a C1: Appointment and Certification of Political Treasurer form with the Secretary of State's office. The C1 Form must be filed prior to announcing your candidacy, accepting donations or spending money on your campaign.[17]
  • The candidate filing period began on March 3, 2014 and ended on March 14, 2014.[18]
  • For all independent candidates collecting signatures to be filed with the Declaration of Candidacy, each signature sheet must contain the signatures of qualified electors from a single county and must be verified by the County Clerk prior to being filed with the Secretary of State.[19] This applies to all statewide offices, state legislative offices, and U.S. House and U.S. Senate seats.
  • Signature requirements vary depending on the office sought:
Office Signature requirements
Governor 1,000
Lieutenant Governor 1,000
State executive offices (Secretary of State, State Treasurer, etc.) 1,000
U.S. Senator 1,000
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives 500
State Senator 50
Member of the State House of Representatives 50

Write-in candidates

  • All write-in candidates must file a Declaration of Intent form with the Secretary of State's Office.
  • Write-in candidates seeking the nomination of a political party in the primary election, in addition to filing a Declaration of Intent form, must pay a filing fee required of that office within ten days following the primary date of May 20, 2014.[20] The write-in candidate must also achieve a minimum number of votes in the primary to be considered. These include:
    • 1,000 for any statewide office;
    • 500 for a congressional district office
    • 50 for a state legislative office.[20]
  • Write-in candidates must file a Declaration of Intent form not less than 28 days before the primary or general election. The filing deadline for the primary election is April 22, 2014. The filing deadline for the general election is October 7, 2014[21][22]

Proposed changes

In June of 2013, members of the Idaho Republican Central Committee submitted a motion to require local Republican leadership to approve candidates before they can get on the ballot. This would have given party leaders control over who made it onto the ballot. However, the rules committee rejected the motion. They did approve to expand an existing party rule that required candidates to read and endorse or reject the party platform. The change stated that if a candidate chooses to reject the platform, a press release will be sent out telling other party members of the candidate's rejection and that the party will no longer endorse them.[23]

Petition requirements

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 34 of the Idaho Code

In some cases, political parties and/or candidates may need to obtain signatures via the petition process to gain access to the ballot. This section outlines the laws and regulations pertaining to petitions and circulators.

Candidates
General petition requirements are established in Title 34, Chapter 1807 of the Idaho Election Code. In particular, circulators must be at least 18 years old, be a resident of Idaho, and verify the signatures contained within the petition by his or her affidavit, which must be signed by a notary public. Any petition upon which signatures are obtained by a person not a resident of the state of Idaho and at least 18 years of age shall be void.[24]

The date on which petitions may begin to circulate is August 30 of the year preceding the general election.[25]

Campaign finance

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Chapter 66 of the Idaho Code

An individual becomes a candidate when he or she receives contributions or makes expenditures or reserves space or facilities with intent to promote his or her candidacy for office, announces publicly his or her intent to run for office, files to establish an Appointment of a Political Treasurer form, or files a Declaration of Candidacy form.[26]

  • Candidates are required to file an Appointment of a Political Treasurer form with the Secretary of State's Office prior to announcing a candidacy, accepting donations or spending money on a campaign.
  • The political treasurer for each candidate shall file with the Secretary of State's office a series of reports throughout the election period. These financial statements must record all contributions received and all expenditures or encumbrances made by or on behalf of the candidate. The first report filed shall cover the period beginning with the first contribution, expenditure, or encumbrance.[27]
  • An expenditure includes "any payment, contribution, subscription, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, and includes a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable, to make an expenditure." All expenditures must be disclosed on the campaign financial statements to be filed with the Secretary of State's Office.[28]
  • Candidates will file C-2: Campaign Financial Disclosure Report forms according to the reporting schedule.[29]
  • The Secretary of State shall inspect each statement filed in his office and notify the candidate if the statement does not conform to the statutory requirements.[30]
  • All contributions must be designated to identify whether the contribution is to be used toward the upcoming primary or general election for the determination of contribution limits.[31]

Duties of the political treasurer[32]
The key responsibilities of a candidate's political treasurer include the following:

  • Keep detailed accounts, current within not more than seven days after the date of receiving a contribution or making an expenditure.
  • Keep a detailed record of accounts for at least one year after the date of the election or filing of the last Campaign Financial Disclosure Report, whichever is later.
  • File the required Campaign Financial Disclosure Reports on time while reporting all required information.
  • Obtain the full name and complete address of any individual or organization which has made a contribution.
  • Only those contributing more than $50 during a calendar year must be itemized on the Campaign Financial Disclosure Report.
  • Transmit any anonymous contribution of more than $50 to the State Controller for deposit in the public school fund.
  • Obtain a receipt, canceled check or an accurate copy thereof for an expenditure of $25 or more.
  • Clearly indicate on all public political advertising the person responsible for such communications.

Campaign finance reporting schedule[33]

Deadline Report Reporting period Who files
January 31, 2014 Annual year-end report July 1 - December 31, 2013 Statewide candidates only
January 31, 2014 Annual report (2013) January 1 - December 31, 2013 All candidates
May 13, 2014 7-day pre-primary report January 1 - May 4, 2014 All candidates
Within 48 hours after reporting period 48-hour notice report (primary) May 5 - May 17, 2014 Candidates who receive or spend $1,000 contribution or $1,000 independent expenditure
June 19, 2014 30-day post-primary report May 5 - May 30, 2014 All candidates
October 10, 2014 October 10 pre-general report May 31 - September 30, 2014 All candidates
October 28, 2014 7-day pre-general report October 1 - October 19, 2014 All candidates
Within 48 hours after reporting period 48 Hour Notice (General) report October 20 - November 1, 2014 Candidates who receive or spend $1,000 contribution or $1,000 independent expenditure
December 4, 2014 30-day post-general report October 20 - November 14, 2014 All candidates
January 31, 2015 Annual report (2014) November 13 - December 31, 2014 All candidates

Contribution limits
Contributions to a candidate from individuals, corporations or political committees cannot exceed $1,000 in either the primary or the general election. Aggregate contributions from individuals, corporations, or political committees cannot exceed $5,000 in either the primary or the general election.[34]


Election-related agencies

Candidates running for office will require some form of interaction with the following agencies:

See also: State election agencies
  • Idaho Secretary of State Election Division
Why: To obtain and file declaration of intent form, to certify a campaign treasurer, to obtain and file campaign finance disclosure forms
Physical Address: 700 West Jefferson, Room E205, (State Capitol, East Wing, Second Floor), Boise, ID 83720
Mailing Address: PO Box 83720, Boise ID 83720-0080
Telephone: (208) 334-2852
Fax: (208) 334-2282
Email: elections@sos.idaho.gov
http://sos.idaho.gov/

Term limits

State executives

Portal:State Executive Officials
See also: State executives with term limits and States with gubernatorial term limits

The only state executive office with term limits is the Idaho Controller. A politician in this office can hold it for no more than two consecutive terms. This office is not term-limited in 2014.

State legislators

See also: State legislatures with term limits

There are no term limits for Idaho state legislators.

Congressional partisanship

Portal:Congress
See also: List of United States Representatives from Idaho and List of United States Senators from Idaho

Here is the current partisan breakdown of the congressional members from Idaho:

Congressional Partisan Breakdown from Idaho
Party U.S. Senate U.S. House Total
     Democratic Party 0 0 0
     Republican Party 2 2 4
TOTALS as of August 2014 2 2 4

State legislative partisanship

Portal:State legislatures

Here is the current partisan breakdown of members of the state legislature of Idaho:

State Senate

Party As of August 2014
     Democratic Party 7
     Republican Party 28
Total 35

State House

Party As of August 2014
     Democratic Party 13
     Republican Party 57
Total 70


See also

External links

News

Forms

Other information

References

  1. Idaho Secretary of State Website, "2014 Idaho Primary and General Election Calendar," accessed November 7, 2014
  2. Idaho Political Party Affiliation Declaration Form
  3. Idaho State Code, "Section 34-708," accessed December 6, 2013
  4. E-mail consultation with ballot access expert Richard Winger in January 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Idaho Election Laws, "Chapter 5, Section 34-501," accessed December 17, 2013
  6. Idaho Election Laws, "Chapter 5, Section 34-501(C)," accessed December 17, 2013
  7. Federal Election Commission, "2012 Vote Totals for President (ID)," accessed January 27, 2014
  8. Idaho Election Laws, "Chapter 5, Section 34-501(2)," accessed December 17, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Idaho Election Laws, "Chapter 5, Section 34-707," accessed December 17, 2013
  10. Idaho Election Laws, "Chapter 5, Section 34-501," accessed December 17, 2013
  11. Idaho Secretary of State, "2012 General Election Legislative Results," accessed December 20, 2013
  12. Idaho Secretary of State, "Election 2014," accessed December 12, 2013
  13. Idaho Secretary of State's Office, "Appointment and Certification of Political Treasurer Form," accessed December 16, 2013
  14. Idaho Secretary of State, "2014 Candidate Calendar," accessed December 12, 2013
  15. Idaho Secretary of State, "Secretary of State Filing Info," accessed December 12, 2013
  16. Idaho Secretary of State, "Election 2014," accessed December 12, 2013
  17. Idaho Secretary of State's Office, "Appointment and Certification of Political Treasurer Form," accessed December 16, 2013
  18. Idaho Secretary of State, "2014 Candidate Calendar," accessed December 12, 2013
  19. Idaho Secretary of State, "Secretary of State Filing Info," accessed December 12, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 Idaho Election Code, "Section 34-702," accessed December 12, 2013
  21. Idaho Secretary of State, "2014 Election Calendar," accessed December 12, 2013
  22. Idaho Election Code, "Section 34-702A," accessed December 12, 2013
  23. Idaho Statesman, "GOP rules committee rejects limits to primary candidates," June 15, 2013
  24. Idaho Election Code, "Title 34, Chapter 1807," accessed December 31, 2013
  25. Idaho Election Code, "Title 34, Chapter 501(1)(c)(G)," accessed December 31, 2013
  26. Idaho Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance FAQ," accessed December 18, 2013
  27. Idaho Secretary of State, "Section 67-6607," accessed December 18, 2013
  28. Idaho Secretary of State, "Section 67-6602(G)," accessed December 18, 2013
  29. Idaho Secretary of State, "Campaign Financial Disclosure Report Form," accessed December 18, 2013
  30. Idaho Secretary of State, "Section 67-6615," accessed December 18, 2013
  31. Idaho Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance Disclosure Manual: Designating Contributions," accessed December 18, 2013
  32. Idaho Secretary of State, "Campaign Disclosure Manual 2013," accessed December 18, 2013
  33. Idaho Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance Reporting: 2013/2014 Election Cycle," accessed December 18, 2013
  34. Idaho Election Code, "Title 67-6610A," accessed April 9, 2014