Ballot access requirements for political candidates in North Dakota

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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 North Dakota. 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 North Dakota. 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: North Dakota elections, 2015

There are no regularly scheduled state executive, state legislative or congressional elections in North Dakota in 2015.

2014


Political parties

See also: List of political parties in the United States

As of February 2015, there were three recognized political parties in North Dakota. These are listed in the table below. In order to be recognized by the state, political parties must fulfill certain requirements (detailed below under "Process to establish a political party").[2]

Party Website link By-laws/platform link
Republican Party Official party website Party platform
Libertarian Party Official party website Party platform
Democratic Party Official party website Party by-laws

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. North Dakota 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.[3]

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

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Chapter 16.1-11, Section 30 of the North Dakota Century Code

Any political organization that is not already recognized by the state as a political party is "entitled to endorse a candidate or have candidates petition to be included on the primary ballot in a separate section of the consolidated primary election ballot." In order to qualify for such ballot access, the political organization must file a petition with the secretary of state before 4:00 p.m. on the 64th day prior to the primary election. This petition must include the name of the political organization, the party's platform principles, and the names of candidates to be included on the state's primary ballot. The petition must be signed by 7,000 qualified state electors.[5]

Party rules and requirements

A party's state committee must meet on or before July 1 of each odd-numbered year to organize. The committee must select its officers in accordance with the state committee's bylaws and must adopt rules and procedures. Within 30 days of organizing, the newly elected chairman of the party's state committee must notify the secretary of state of the names of the party's officers.[6]

Maintaining party status

To maintain qualified status, the party must have fielded a candidate who won at least 5 percent of the vote for one of the following offices at the most recent election for such office: president, governor, secretary of state, or attorney general.[5]

Office Votes cast in most recent election[7][8] Required votes to maintain qualified status
2012 elections
Presidential electors 322,627 16,132
Governor 317,812 15,891
2010 elections
Secretary of State 233,623 11,682
Attorney General 235,582 11,780

Process to become a candidate

Figure 1: This is the Petition/Certificate of Nomination Form for candidates.

For party candidates

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Chapter 16.1-11, Section 6 of the North Dakota Century Code

A candidate seeking the nomination of a recognized political party must submit a petition/certificate of nomination, an affidavit of candidacy, and a statement of interests. A petition/certificate of nomination must include the following information:[9]

  • the candidate's name, post-office address and telephone number
  • the title of the office being sought
  • the name of the party the candidate seeks to represent

For statewide partisan offices (including congressional seats), petitions must contain signatures equal to 2 percent of the total vote cast for the party's candidate for the same office in the last general election. No more than 300 signatures, however, may be required for such offices. See the table below for examples.[9]

3% of votes cast for a party's candidate for statewide office -- examples[10][11]
Office Party Votes cast for party's candidate Election year 3% of party candidate's vote Lesser of 3% of party candidate's vote or 300 signatures
Governor Democratic 109,047 2012 3,272 300
U.S. House District 1 131,869 2012 3,957 300
Public Service Commissioner 81,011 2010 2,431 300
Governor Republican 200,526 2012 6,016 300
U.S House District 1 173,433 2012 5,203 300
Public Service Commissioner 142,644 2010 4,280 300
Governor Libertarian No candidate 2012 N/A 300
U.S House District 1 10,261 2012 308 300
Public Service Commissioner 8,315 2010 250 250

For state legislative offices, petitions must contain signatures equal to least 1 percent of the total resident population of the legislative district according to the most recent federal census.[9]

Legislative district signature requirements -- 2014 examples[12]
Office Population as of 2010 Required signatures in 2014
State District 1 15,230 153
State District 2 13,822 139
State Senate District 1 15,230 153
State Senate District 3 14,922 150

In addition to petitions/certificates of nomination, candidates must also file affidavits of candidacy, which require basic information about the candidate. Any candidate for state executive or legislative office (excluding federal candidates) must also file a statement of interests, which details the candidate's sources of income and any businesses or organizations in which he or she has a financial or fiduciary responsibility.[13][14][15]

Candidates for federal, statewide executive or state legislative office must file the aforementioned paperwork with the North Dakota Secretary of State by 4:00 p.m. on the 64th day before the election.[9][1][16][17][18]

For independent candidates

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Chapter 16.1-12 of the North Dakota Century Code

Independent candidates may petition for access to the general election ballot. Like party candidates, an independent candidate must file a petition/certificate of nomination, an affidavit of candidacy and a statement of interests. Signature requirements for independent candidates differ from those to which party candidates are held.[19]

Independent candidate signature requirements
Office Required signatures
Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Secretary of State, Attorney General of North Dakota, Agriculture Commissioner, Tax Commissioner, Public Services Commissioner 1,000
North Dakota Legislative Assembly At least two percent of the resident population of the district according to the most recent decennial federal census, but no more than 300 signatures may be required
State legislature candidate signature requirements -- 2014 examples[12]
Office District population 2% of population Lesser of 2% of population or 300 signatures
State District 1 15,230 305 300
State District 2 13,822 278 278
State Senate District 1 15,230 305 300
State Senate District 3 14,922 299 299

Completed filing paperwork must be submitted to the North Dakota Secretary of State office by 4:00 p.m. on the 64th day before the general election.[1][16][17][18][20]

For write-in candidates

In order to have his or her votes tallied, a write-in candidate for federal, statewide or state legislative office must submit a certificate of write-in candidacy to the North Dakota Secretary of State. Certificates for federal and statewide candidates are due by 4:00 p.m. on the 21st day prior to the election. Certificates for state legislative candidates are due by 4:00 p.m. on the fourth day prior to the election. The certificate must include the candidate's name, address, and office being sought. Along with this form, the candidate must also submit a statement of interests (the same as that submitted by party and independent candidates).[16][17][18][21][22]


Petition requirements

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 in North Dakota.

Signature requirements

The Secretary of State's office produces official petition forms for both candidates and new party organizers. Only qualified electors of the state (or district, as may be the case) may sign petitions. A signer must include his or her signature, date of signing, complete residential address and complete mailing address if different from the residential address provided.[23]

Circulation requirements

Primary election candidates may begin circulating petitions on January 1 of the election year and must file completed petitions by 4:00 p.m. on the 64th day prior to the election. Independent general election candidates may begin circulating petitions on the 150th day before the election and must file completed petitions by 4:00 p.m. on the 64th day prior to the election. Petitions for new political parties must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on the 64th day prior to the primary election if the new party desires to field candidates for the primary.[23]

The relevant statutes do not stipulate any requirements (such as residency or pay status) that petition circulators must meet.

Campaign finance

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Chapter 16.1-08.1 of the North Dakota Century Code

For campaign finance disclosure purposes, North Dakota considers a candidate and his or her candidate committee to be one and the same. All candidates and candidate committees for statewide executive or state legislative office must register with the North Dakota Secretary of State. A committee must file registrations within 15 days of first receiving a contribution or making an expenditure. The registration must include the following information:[24][25]

  • committee information, including committee name, acronym (if applicable), telephone number, and address
  • candidate information, including the name of candidate, party affiliation, office being sought, and the type of office (e.g., statewide or legislative)
  • additional information, including the full name of the committee's agent, agent's title, telephone number, and mailing address

Registrations must be signed by the candidate or an agent acting on behalf of the candidate or committee. Registrations must be renewed each year.[25][26]

Candidates and their committees are required to submit regular disclosure reports that include the following information:[27]

  • Section A: candidate and committee information
    • the name of candidate or committee; office being sought; party affiliation; candidate or candidate committee address, and name and telephone number of person filing the statement
  • Section B: Type of report being filed
    • pre-primary election, pre-general election, pre-special election, year-end, 48-hour; or amended
  • Section C: Cash on hand and contributions
    • cash on hand at the beginning of the reporting period
    • cash on hand at the end of the reporting period
    • total of all contributions received in excess of $200
      • for contributions greater than $200 but less than $5,000, the contributor's name and address must be included, as well as the total amount of contributions made and the date of the most recent contribution
      • for contributions of $5,000 or more, the contributor's name, address, occupation and employer must be included, as well as the total amount of contributions and date of the most recent contribution
    • total of all contributions received of $200 or less
  • Section D: Signature of the person completing the statement

A candidate or committee who receives contributions of greater than $500 in the aggregate from any individual in the 39-day period leading up to an election must file a supplemental statement noting the name and address of the contributor and the total amount of the contribution within 48 hours of receiving it.[28]

Contribution limits

There are no limits placed on campaign contributions in North Dakota.[29]


Election-related agencies

See also: State election agencies

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

  • North Dakota Secretary of State, Elections Division
Why: This agency provides and processes candidate filing paperwork for statewide executive offices and congressional seats.
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 108, 1st Floor
Bismarck, ND 58505-0500
Telephone: 701.328.4146
Toll-free: 1.800.352.0867
TTY: 1.800.366.6888
Fax: 701.328.2992
Email: soselect@nd.gov
Website: http://www.nd.gov/sos/electvote/

Term limits

State executives

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

There are no state executive offices with term limits in North Dakota.

State legislators

See also: State legislatures with term limits

There are no term limits placed on North Dakota state legislators.

Congressional partisanship

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

Here is the current partisan breakdown of the congressional members from North Dakota:

Congressional Partisan Breakdown from North Dakota
Party U.S. Senate U.S. House Total
     Democratic Party 1 0 1
     Republican Party 1 1 2
TOTALS as of March 2015 2 1 3

State legislative partisanship

Portal:State legislatures

Here is the current partisan breakdown of members of the state legislature of North Dakota:

Senate

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 15
     Republican Party 32
Total 47

House

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 23
     Republican Party 71
Total 94

Recent news

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

North Dakota ballot access news feed

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See also

External links

Official state and federal links

Forms

Other information

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 North Dakota Secretary of State, "2014 Election Calendar," accessed November 15, 2013
  2. North Dakota Secretary of State, "Established Political Parties in North Dakota," accessed February 11, 2015
  3. North Dakota Century Code, "Title 16.1, Chapter 6, Section 5," accessed December 5, 2013
  4. E-mail consultation with ballot access expert Richard Winger in January 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-11, Section 30," accessed February 6, 2014
  6. North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-03, Section 11," accessed February 6, 2014
  7. North Dakota Voting Information and Central Elections System, "Official Results General Election - November 6, 2012
  8. North Dakota Voting Information and Central Elections System, "Official Results General Election - November 2, 2010," accessed February 6, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-11, Section 6," accessed February 6, 2014
  10. North Dakota Voting Information and Central Elections System, "Official Results General Election - November 6, 2012," accessed February 6, 2014
  11. North Dakota Voting Information and Central Elections System, "Official Results General Election - November 2, 2010," accessed February 6, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Public Mapping Project, "North Dakota 2010 Census Selected Statistics," accessed February 6, 2014
  13. North Dakota Secretary of State, "Affidavit of Candidacy," accessed February 6, 2014
  14. North Dakota Secretary of State, "Statement of Interests," accessed February 6, 2014
  15. North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-11, Section 10," accessed February 6, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 North Dakota Secretary of State, "Running for Partisan Statewide Executive Office in 2014," accessed February 6, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 North Dakota Secretary of State, "Running for the ND Legislature," accessed February 6, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 North Dakota Secretary of State, "Running for U.S. Congress," accessed February 6, 2014
  19. North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-12, Section 02," accessed February 7, 2014
  20. North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-12, Section 4," accessed February 7, 2014
  21. North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-12, Section 2.2," accessed February 7, 2014
  22. North Dakota Secretary of State, "Certificate of Write-in Candidacy," accessed February 7, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-11, Section 16," accessed February 7, 2014
  24. North Dakota Secretary of State, "2013-2015 Campaign Finance and Disclosure Requirements," accessed February 7, 2014
  25. 25.0 25.1 North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-08.1, Section 3.2," accessed February 7, 2014
  26. North Dakota Secretary of State, "Political Committee Registration," accessed February 7, 2014
  27. North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-08.1, Section 2," accessed February 7, 2014
  28. North Dakota Century Code, "Chapter 16.1-08.1, Section 4," accessed February 7, 2014
  29. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Limits on Contributions to Candidates," updated October 2013