Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Indiana

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This page contains extensive information about ballot access requirements for state and federal candidates running for elected office in the state of Indiana. 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 Indiana. Information on running for election as a presidential candidate or for county and municipal offices is not included.

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

Year-specific dates

2015

See also: Indiana elections, 2014 and Indiana municipal elections, 2015

Indiana is only conducting municipal elections in 2015. A calendar listing important dates for the 2015 municipal elections can be accessed here.[1]

2014


Political parties

See also: List of political parties in the United States

As of January 2015, the state of Indiana officially recognized three political parties. In order to be officially recognized by the state, a political party's candidate for Secretary of State must have received at least two percent of the vote cast in the most recent general election.[4][5]

Party Website link By-laws/platform link
Democratic http://www.indems.org/ Party rules
Libertarian http://lpin.org/ Party by-laws
Republican http://www.indgop.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. Indiana does allow candidates to identify in this way. A total of 25 states allow candidates to use political party designations in non-presidential elections.[4][6]

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.[7]

Process to establish a political party

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 3, Article 8 of the Indiana Code

In Indiana a political party is a group of voters whose candidate received at least 2 percent of the total votes cast for Indiana Secretary of State in the most recent election.[4]

In order to be recognized as a political party, a group must first file a statement of organization with the Indiana Secretary of State no later than 10 days after raising or spending $100 or no later than August 21, whichever occurs first. The new political party must also file candidate names and a party device to the secretary of state's election office by that date in order for the office to certify it in time for the general election. The party device is a logo, including words or pictures, that helps distinguish one party from another.[2]

The party's candidates must then file by petition method, in the same way independent candidates run. On the nominating petition, however, candidates can designate the party they are running with and use the party device to further distinguish themselves from independent candidates.[8]

If the new party's candidate for secretary of state receives at least 2 percent of the total votes cast, the party can nominate its candidates at a state convention rather than by petition method. If the new party's candidate for secretary of state receives at least 10 percent of the total vote, the party can nominate its candidates through a primary election.[9][10] For an example of the number of votes required, look to the table below.

Votes cast in 2014 general election for secretary of state Number of votes needed to nominate candidates at a primary election Number of votes needed to nominate candidates at a convention
1,334,995[11] 133,500 26,700

Events

2014 elections

In the 2014 Indiana Secretary of State election, Libertarian candidate Karl Tatgenhorst received 3.4 percent of the vote. As a result, the Libertarian Party retained recognized status and will be able to nominate candidates by convention in 2016.[11]

2010 elections

In the 2010 Indiana Secretary of State election, Libertarian candidate Mike Wherry received 5.9 percent of the vote.[12] Because a political party's candidate must receive at least two percent of the vote cast for Secretary of State, this guaranteed the Libertarian party's status and allowed the party to nominate candidates by convention.[13][14]

Process to become a candidate

Figure 1: This is the first page of the Declaration of Candidacy for Primary Nomination for the state of Indiana.

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 3, Article 8 of the Indiana Code

A candidate in Indiana may run with an officially recognized political party, as an independent or as a write-in. The process to qualify varies depending on the type of candidate and the office being sought. No fee is required to file for office in Indiana. Before the general election, registered voters have the right to challenge any candidate's placement on the ballot. Challenges must be filed with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office 74 days before the general election.[15][4]

Democratic or Republican candidates

  1. Candidates seeking the office of U.S. Representative must:[4]
    1. File a Declaration of Candidacy with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office in person or by mail by noon (Indianapolis time) 88 days before the primary election.[16]
    2. Be nominated at the primary election.
  2. Candidates seeking a state office (such as governor or treasurer) must:[4][17]
    1. File a Statement of Economic Interest with the Indiana Ethics Commission. The commission then gives the candidate a Certificate of Filing, which must be filed with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office before the division can accept any other forms.
    2. Be nominated at the party's state convention. Party representatives must then file a Certificate of Nomination with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (Indianapolis time) on July 15.
  3. Candidates seeking office in the Indiana State Legislature must:[4]
    1. File a Statement of Economic Interest form (location varies based on office). If seeking office in the Indiana State Senate, this form must be filed with the Principal Secretary of the Indiana State Senate. If seeking office in the Indiana House of Representatives, this form must be filed with the Principal Clerk of the Indiana House of Representatives. Statement of Economic Interest forms must be submitted as the original document, submitted in person or sent by mail. No faxes or photocopies will be accepted. Candidates may turn this form in as early as January 2 of the election year. The Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office will not accept any other form until the Statement of Economic Interest, stamped by the corresponding office, has been submitted.[18]
    2. File a Declaration of Candidacy with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office in person or by mail by noon (Indianapolis time) 88 days before the primary election.[16]
    3. Be nominated at the primary election.

Libertarian candidates

  1. Candidates seeking the office of U.S. Representative must:[4]
    1. File with the Libertarian Party.
    2. Be nominated at the party's state convention. After the convention, the party must file a Certificate of Nomination with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (Indianapolis time) on July 15 before the general election.[19]
  2. Candidates seeking a state office (such as governor or treasurer) must:[4][17]
    1. File a Statement of Economic Interest with the Indiana Ethics Commission. The commission then gives the candidate a Certificate of Filing, which must be filed with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office before the division can accept any other forms.
    2. Be nominated at the party's state convention. Party representatives must then file a Certificate of Nomination with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (Indianapolis time) on July 15.
  3. Candidates seeking office in the Indiana State Legislature must:
    1. File a Statement of Economic Interest form (location varies based on office). If seeking office in the Indiana State Senate, this form must be filed with the Principal Secretary of the Indiana State Senate. If seeking office in the Indiana House of Representatives, this form must be filed with the Principal Clerk of the Indiana House of Representatives. Statement of Economic Interest forms must be submitted as the original document, submitted in person or sent by mail. No faxes or photocopies will be accepted. Candidates may turn this form in as early as January 2 of the election year. The Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office will not accept any other forms until the Statement of Economic Interest, stamped by the corresponding office, has been submitted.[4][18]
    2. File with the Libertarian Party.
    3. Be nominated at the party's state convention. After the convention, the party must file a Certificate of Nomination with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (Indianapolis time) on July 15 before the general election.[19]

Minor party or independent candidates

  1. Candidates seeking the office of U.S. Representative must:[4][6]
    1. Collect signatures of registered voters equal to 2 percent of the total votes cast for Secretary of State in the last election in the election district the candidate seeks to represent. Signatures may be collected starting 118 days before the primary election and must be completed by June 30. These signatures must then be certified by the applicable county voter registration office.
    2. File a Consent of Independent or Minor Political Party Candidate Nominated by Petition form (CAN-20 form) and the certified petition of nomination form (CAN-19 form) with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (Indianapolis time) on July 15.
  2. Candidates seeking a state office (such as governor or treasurer) must:
    1. File a Statement of Economic Interest with the Indiana Ethics Commission. The commission then gives the candidate a Certificate of Filing, which must be filed with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office before the division can accept any other forms.
    2. Collect signatures of registered voters equal to 2 percent of the total votes cast for Secretary of State in the last election. Signatures may be collected starting 118 days before the primary election and must be completed by June 30. These signatures must then be certified by the applicable county voter registration office.
    3. File a Consent of Independent or Minor Political Party Candidate Nominated by Petition form (CAN-20 form) and the certified petition of nomination form (CAN-19 form) with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (Indianapolis time) on July 15.
  3. Candidates seeking office in the Indiana State Legislature must:
    1. File a Statement of Economic Interest form (location varies based on office). If seeking office in the Indiana State Senate, this form must be filed with the Principal Secretary of the Indiana State Senate. If seeking office in the Indiana House of Representatives, this form must be filed with the Principal Clerk of the Indiana House of Representatives. Statement of Economic Interest forms must be submitted as the original document, submitted in person or sent by mail. No faxes or photocopies will be accepted. Candidates may turn the form in as early as January 2 of the election year. The Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office will not accept any other filings until the Statement of Economic Interest, stamped by the corresponding office, has been submitted.[4][18]
    2. Collect signatures of registered voters equal to 2 percent of the total votes cast for Secretary of State in the last election in the election district the candidate seeks to represent. Signatures may be collected starting 118 days before the primary election and must be completed by June 30. These signatures must then be certified by the applicable county voter registration office.
    3. File a Consent of Independent or Minor Political Party Candidate Nominated by Petition form (CAN-20 form) and the certified petition of nomination form (CAN-19 form) with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (Indianapolis time) on July 15.

Write-in candidates

  1. Candidates seeking the office of U.S. Representative must:[4][20]
    1. File a Declaration of Intent to Be a Write-in Candidate form (CAN-3 form) with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (Indianapolis time) on July 3 before the general election.
  2. Candidates seeking a state office (such as governor or treasurer) must:
    1. File a Statement of Economic Interest with the Indiana Ethics Commission. The commission then gives the candidate a Certificate of Filing, which must be filed with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office before the division can accept any other forms.
    2. File a Declaration of Intent to Be a Write-in Candidate form (CAN-3 form) with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (Indianapolis time) on July 3 before the general election.
  3. Candidates seeking office in the Indiana State Legislature must:
    1. File a Statement of Economic Interest form (location varies based on office). If seeking office in the Indiana State Senate, this form must be filed with the Principal Secretary of the Indiana State Senate. If seeking office in the Indiana House of Representatives, this form must be filed with the Principal Clerk of the Indiana House of Representatives. Statement of Economic Interest forms must be submitted as the original document, submitted in person or sent by mail. No faxes or photocopies will be accepted. Candidates may turn the form in as early as January 2 of the election year. The Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office will not accept any other forms until the Statement of Economic Interest, stamped by the corresponding office, has been submitted.[4][18]
    2. File a Declaration of Intent to Be a Write-in Candidate form (CAN-3 form) with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (Indianapolis time) on July 3 before the general election day.


Petition requirements

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

In Indiana, candidates running with a minor party or as an independent must submit petitions to gain ballot access. Section 3-8-6 of the Indiana Code governs this process.

A registered voter that agrees to sign a candidate's petition must provide his or her name in legible, printed form and his or her residential address. Once a petition is completed, it must be filed with the county voter registration office to certify each signature's validity. Contact information for Indiana's county voter registration offices can be found on this page under the section titled "Election-related agencies."[21]

The code does not specify circulator requirements.

Campaign finance

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 3, Article 9, Chapter 5 of the Indiana Code

Candidates seeking a federal office must file with the Federal Election Commission. Reporting details for federal candidates are not included in this section. Candidates seeking a state executive or legislative office must file with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office.[22] Different reports are required depending on office sought, as explained below.

Reporting requirements

Figure 2: This is the Statement of Organization form for candidates seeking office in Indiana.

Unless they are seeking an office with compensation equaling less than $5,000, all candidates seeking a state office in Indiana must file a Statement of Organization form (CFA-1 form) with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office. The Statement of Organization designates a principal campaign finance committee, naming a chairperson and treasurer who will be in charge of reporting campaign finances. A candidate may act as either or both positions. The Statement of Organization must be filed no later than noon (local prevailing time) 10 days after becoming a candidate or noon (local prevailing time) seven days after the final day to file as a candidate, whichever occurs first. An individual is considered a candidate when the individual, the individual's committee or a person acting with the consent of the individual receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of $100.[22][23]

  • Candidates seeking state executive office in Indiana, such as governor or treasurer, must file five quarterly reports (CFA-4 form) and supplemental reports (CFA-11 form) as needed with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office. These are all filed electronically.[22][23][24]
    • The first Quarterly Report covers all financial activity from January 1 (or the first day a principal campaign finance committee is organized) to March 31 and is due at noon (local prevailing time) on April 15.
    • The second Quarterly Report covers all financial activity from April 1 to June 30 and is due at noon (local prevailing time) on July 15.
    • The third Quarterly Report covers all financial activity from July 1 to September 30 and is due at noon (local prevailing time) on October 15.
    • The fourth Quarterly Report covers all financial activity from October 1 until the date 15 days prior to the general election. It is due by noon (local prevailing time) seven days before the general election.
    • The Annual Report covers all financial activity starting on the date 14 days before the general election through December 31. It is due by noon (local prevailing time) on the third Wednesday in January following the election.
    • Supplemental Reports must be filed within seven days of receiving a single contribution of $10,000 or more at any time or within 48 hours of receiving a total of $1,000 or more in multiple contributions during a supplemental reporting period. The four supplemental reporting periods are as follows: April 1 through April 15, July 1 through July 15, October 1 through October 15, and October 21 through noon on October 28.
  • Candidates seeking office in the Indiana State Legislature must file three quarterly reports (CFA-4 form): a Pre-primary Report, a Pre-election Report and an Annual Report with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office. A Primary Election Supplemental Report and General Election Supplemental Report (CFA-11 form) may also be required. The Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office mails to the candidate the appropriate forms three weeks before the report is due.[22][23][24]
    • Pre-primary Reports cover all financial activity starting January 1 (or the first day a principal campaign finance committee is organized) until 25 days before a primary election. These reports must be filed by noon (local prevailing time) seven days after the last day covered in the report.
    • Pre-election Reports cover all financial activity starting 24 days before the primary election through 25 days before the general election and must be filed by noon (local prevailing time) seven days after the last day covered in the report. If a candidate is defeated at a primary or convention, withdraws, or is disqualified to run in the general election in any way, a Pre-election Report is not required. Instead, the Annual Report will cover the time period since the last report.
    • Annual Reports cover all financial activity starting 24 days before the general election through December 31 of the election year. These must be filed by noon (local prevailing time) on the third Wednesday in January following the election.
    • Supplemental Reports cover all financial activity 25 days before a convention, primary, or general election until two days before the convention, primary or general election. These must be filed only if a candidate’s committee receives a total of $1,000 or more in multiple contributions during a supplemental reporting period. The Supplemental Report must be filed within 48 hours of receiving such contributions. Those contributions must also be included on the next quarterly report.
  • A minor party, independent or write-in candidate first files financial reports for the period starting on the day he or she becomes a candidate and ending 14 days after their nomination date or filing deadline. Reports must be filed with the Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office by noon (local prevailing time) seven days after the last date covered in the report.[22][23]

Additional reports that may need to be filed include the following:[22][23]

  • Outgoing Treasurer's Reports (CFA-4 form) are needed if a committee appoints a new treasurer during an election year. These reports cover financial activity occurring from the day after the most recent report until the last day the individual acted as treasurer. These reports are filed by the former treasurer.
  • Final/Disbanding Reports (CFA-4 form) must be filed if a committee disbands. These are due no later than 30 days after the disbanding and must cover financial activity occurring since the most recent report until the last day the committee existed.

Contribution limits

In addition to reporting requirements, candidates are also subject to contribution limits:[22]

  • Candidates cannot solicit or accept campaign contributions or conduct fundraising activities during the period beginning in January when the Indiana State Legislature reconvenes and ending when the legislature adjourns during odd-numbered years.
  • If a principal campaign finance committee accepts contributions or makes expenditures of more than $200 in a year, those funds cannot be mingled with personal funds of officers, members or associates of the committee.
  • Campaign funds may only be used to: campaign for public office, continue political activity and activity related to service in an election office or to make an expenditure to any national, state, or local committee of any political party or another candidate’s committee.
  • All expenses must be paid by a candidate's treasurer.[25]
  • Corporations and labor organizations may make contributions up to, but not over these amounts:
    • $5,000 apportioned in any manner among all statewide candidates
    • $2,000 apportioned in any manner among all candidates for the Indiana State Legislature
  • There are no limitations on individual contributions, but contributions cannot be made by an individual in the name of another person.[25]

Election-related agencies

See also: State election agencies

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

Secretary of State Office, Indiana Election Division:

Why: This agency provides and processes most candidate forms and reports.
200 W. Washington St., Room 201
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Telephone: (317) 232-6531
Fax: (317) 233-3283
http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/index.htm

Ethics Commission:

Why: This agency processes Statements of Economic Interest.
Office of the Inspector General
315 West Ohio Street, Room 104
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Telephone: 317-232-3850
Fax: 317-232-0707
Email: info@ig.in.gov
http://www.in.gov/ig/2335.htm

Counties

See also: Counties in Indiana

County offices are used to certify nominating petitions. Individual county contact information can be found below. If a website or email address is not provided, it is because one does not exist for this municipality. To submit information for this table, please email us.

Term limits

Indiana state executives are term-limited. These limits are established in Article 5 of the Indiana Constitution.

State executives

Portal:State Executive Officials
See also: State executives with term limits and States with gubernatorial term limits and Indiana state executive official elections, 2014

The state executive term limits in Indiana are as follows:[26][27]

There was one state executive who was term-limited in 2014:

Name Party Office
Richard Mourdock Ends.png Republican Treasurer

State legislators

See also: State legislatures with term limits

Indiana does not place term limits on state legislators.

Congressional partisanship

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

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

Congressional Partisan Breakdown from Indiana
Party U.S. Senate U.S. House Total
     Democratic Party 1 2 3
     Republican Party 1 7 8
TOTALS as of March 2015 2 9 11

State legislative partisanship

Portal:State legislatures

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

State Senate

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 10
     Republican Party 40
Total 50

State House

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 29
     Republican Party 71
Total 100


Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Indiana ballot access news feed

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See also

External links

Official state and federal links

Forms

Other information

References

  1. Indiana Election Division, "2015 Election Calendar," accessed January 12, 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ballotpedia email with Indiana Election Division, September 18, 2013
  3. Indiana Secretary of State, "2014 Indiana Election Calendar," accessed November 27, 2013
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Indiana Secretary of State, "2014 Indiana Candidate Guide" accessed November 27, 2013
  5. Indiana Election Division, "2015 Indiana Candidate Guide," accessed January 13, 2015
  6. 6.0 6.1 Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-6," accessed December 17, 2013
  7. E-mail consultation with ballot access expert Richard Winger in January 2014.
  8. Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-6, Nomination by Petition for Independent or Minor Political Party Candidates," accessed December 16, 2013
  9. Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-4, State Conventions," accessed December 16, 2013
  10. Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-2-1," accessed December 16, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 Indiana Secretary of State, "Election Results - Secretary of State," December 24, 2014
  12. Indiana Election Division, "Election Results for the Indiana General Election November 2, 2010," Last Updated February 8, 2011
  13. Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-4, State Conventions," accessed December 16, 2013
  14. Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-2-1," accessed December 16, 2013
  15. Ballotpedia email correspondence with Election Division of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office in December 2013.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-2-4," accessed December 17, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-4," accessed December 17, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Indiana Code, "Section 2-2.1-3, Legislative Ethics," accessed December 18, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-7-8," accessed December 17, 2013
  20. Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-2," accessed December 17, 2013
  21. Indiana Code, "Section 3-8-6," accessed December 31, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 Indiana Secretary of State, "2014 Indiana Campaign Finance Manual," accessed December 18, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Indiana Code, "Section 3-9-5, Reports Required of Candidates and Committees," accessed December 18, 2013
  24. 24.0 24.1 Indiana Secretary of State, "2014-2015 State of Indiana Campaign Finance Reporting Schedule," accessed December 18, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 Indiana Code, "Section 3-9-4-16," accessed December 18, 2013
  26. Indiana Constitution, "Article V," accessed November 11, 2013
  27. Council of State Governments, "2012 Book of the States" accessed November 27, 2013