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Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Wyoming

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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 Wyoming. 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 Wyoming. 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: Wyoming elections, 2015

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

2014


Political parties

See also: List of political parties in the United States

As of February 2015, there were four recognized political parties in Wyoming. These are listed in the table below.[2]

Party Website link By-laws/platform link
Constitution Party Official party website Party platform
Democratic Party Official party website Party platform and by-laws
Libertarian Party Official party website Party by-laws
Republican Party Official party website 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. Wyoming 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: Title 22-4 of the Wyoming Election Code

Definitions

  • A "major political party" is a party whose candidate for either the office of U.S. House, governor or Wyoming Secretary of State received 10 percent of the total votes cast in the preceding general election. Only major parties are allowed to nominate by primary.
  • A "minor political party" is a party whose candidate for any one of the offices of the U.S. House, governor or secretary of state, received not less than 2 percent nor more than 10 percent of the total votes cast for that office in the most recent general election.
  • A "provisional party" means a political organization which has filed a legally valid petition. The filing of a legally valid petition entitles the provisional party to participate in the next general election.[5]

A major political party is allowed to nominate its candidates by primary election with its own party ballot, while minor and provisional political parties must nominate by convention.[6]

Requirements
Any group of persons desiring to form a new political party in Wyoming must file a petition with the secretary of state not later than June 1 in any general election year in which the party seeks to qualify for the general election ballot.[7] The petition must be approved by the secretary of state prior to circulation. To be valid, a petition shall contain the names and signatures of registered electors equal in number to not less than 2 percent of the total number of votes cast for the office of U.S. Representative in the last general election.[7]

The name of the party printed on the petition must consist of not more than two words and shall not be identical to, nor similar to, the name of any existing qualified political party as determined by the Secretary of State, nor include the word "independent."[7]

Signature requirements for a provisional party petition
Total votes cast for U.S. Representative in 2012 Signature requirements (2% of total votes cast)
241,205 4,833

Party organization and convention
Each provisional party must provide for a sufficient number of officers to govern the party and shall have at least a state party chairman and a state party secretary. Each officer shall be a registered elector in the party. Officers shall be elected or appointed in accordance with party rules and bylaws.[8]

The party's rules and bylaws, including the party's nominees for office, will be voted upon at a state political convention. The state party chairman and state party secretary shall certify all rules and bylaws that were promulgated or amended at the state convention and must file them with the secretary of state within 30 days after the adjournment of the state convention.[9]

Nomination of candidates
The chairman and secretary of the state political convention shall certify to the secretary of state the names of its party's nominees for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, all elective state offices, and legislative offices.

The names certified to the secretary of state shall be filed no later than the day before the primary election. Persons certified as nominees shall be members of that party, as shown by their affidavits of registration, at the time their names are certified to the secretary of state.[10]

Candidates seeking the nomination of a provisional party must submit the same application and fee that are required for the same office of a candidate seeking nomination by primary election.[11]

Process to become a candidate

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 22-5 of the Wyoming Election Code

Major party candidates

Figure 1: This is the Federal and State Offices Application for Nomination by Party Primary Form for candidates running for federal or state office.

A candidate seeking the nomination of a major party for state or federal office must be registered in the party whose nomination he or she seeks and must submit an Application for Nomination form to the Wyoming Secretary of State. If running for state legislative office, the candidate must be a resident of the district in which he or she seeks election for at least 12 months preceding the election. If running for governor, the candidate must be a resident of the state for at least five years prior to the election. If running for other statewide office, the candidate must be a registered elector in the state.[12][13][14]

The application must be accompanied by a filing fee. No application will be considered valid without a filing fee. The candidate must file the application and filing fee no later than 81 days preceding the primary election.[15]

Filing fees by office
Office Filing fee
Governor
U.S. Senator
Secretary of State
State Auditor
State Treasurer
$200
State House
State Senate
$25

Minor and provisional party candidates

A candidate seeking the nomination of a minor or provisional party is nominated by party convention. To be certified as the nominee of a minor or provisional party at a party's state convention, the candidate must submit an Application for Nomination to the Wyoming Secretary of State, along with the required filing fee (the filing fees are the same as those required of major party candidates). The candidate must file the requisite paperwork no later than 81 days prior the primary election.[16]

Independent candidates

An independent candidates for partisan office must be nominated by filing a signed petition. The petition must be approved by the Wyoming Secretary of State prior to circulation. The petition must be accompanied by the same fee required of party candidates. Petitions must be filed with the Wyoming Secretary of State no later than 70 days before a general election.[17][18][19]

For a statewide office, the petition must be signed by registered electors, which are residents of the state and eligible to vote for the petitioner, numbering at least 2 percent of the total number of votes cast for U.S. Representative in the last general election for the entire state.[20]

For a state legislative office, the petition must be signed by registered electors equaling at least 2 percent of the total number of votes cast for the office in that particular district in the last general election.[20]

For informational purposes, the table below provides examples for signature requirements past upon previous election data.

Signature requirements for state office
Office Total votes cast in last general election Required signatures for petition (2% of total votes cast)
Statewide office 241,205 4,825
State House District 10 3,882 78
State Senate District 15 4,611 93

Write-in candidates

Each person who requests to have all votes cast for him or her as a write-in candidate counted must file an application for candidacy together with the appropriate filing fee with Wyoming Secretary of State no later than two days after the election in which the person desires to have the write-in votes counted.[21]


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 Wyoming.

Format requirements

Petitions for a new political party

Petitions for the creation of a provisional party must include the following language:

PETITION FOR A PROVISIONAL PARTY

I know the contents of this petition including the names of the provisional party officers and request that the ________ party be printed on the ballot for the next general election. I am a registered elector for the next primary and general election. (This statement shall appear at the head of each petition page.)

PROVISIONAL PARTY OFFICERS

__________________________________________________________

NAME & ADDRESS

CHAIRPERSON __________________________________________

TREASURER __________________________________________.[22][23]

The petition must also contain the signatures of registered electors in the state and in the following format:

PETITIONERS

(Signature) (Printed Name) (Residence) (Date)

1. ___________________________________________________

2. ___________________________________________________.[22][23]

Petitions containing signatures must also be verified by circulators in the following format:

VERIFICATION BY CIRCULATORS

I, ...., do hereby certify that I am a circulator of this petition, and I solely and personally circulated this petition, that all the signatures appearing herein were made in my presence from ....(month) ....(day), ....(year) through ....(month) ....(day), ....(year), and to the best of my knowledge and belief such signatures are those of the persons whose names they purport to be.

.... (signature)

.... (residence address)[22][23]

Petition for independent candidates

Independent candidates for office will complete and submit a petition containing the required signatures for the office sought. The petition must include a declaration including the language below:

PETITION FOR NOMINATION (INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES)

I, ...., swear or affirm that I was born on ...., ....(year), that I have been a resident of the State of Wyoming since ...., and that I am a registered voter of Election District No. ...., in Precinct No. ...., County of ...., residing at ...., (if for the office of state senator or representative, commissioner or other district office) in Senate (House) (Commissioner or other) District ...., State of Wyoming, and having obtained the number of signatures required by law for nomination by petition, I hereby request that my name be printed on the official ballot at the next general election as an independent candidate for the office of .... and declare that if nominated and elected, I will qualify for the office.

Dated the .... day of ...., ....(year).

....................... (Signature)

............... (Residence Address)

The eligible, registered electors supporting my nomination, and numbering not less than the number required, are as follows:

(Signature) (Printed Name) (Residence) (Date)

1._____________________________________________

2._____________________________________________.[24][23]

Petitions containing signatures must also be verified by circulators in the following format:

VERIFICATION BY CIRCULATORS

I, ...., do hereby certify that I am a circulator of this petition, and I solely and personally circulated this petition, that all the signatures appearing herein were made in my presence from .... (month) .... (day), ....(year) through .... (month) .... (day), ....(year), and to the best of my knowledge and belief such signatures are those of the persons whose names they purport to be.

............... (Signature)

........(Residence Address)[24][23]

Circulation requirements

Petitions for a particular election may only be circulated for signatures during the calendar year in which the election is to be held.[25] A petition circulator must also complete a declaration stating that he or she personally circulated a petition, that all signatures appearing on the petition were made in his or her presence, and that to the best of his or her knowledge, the signatures are the names they purport to be and are registered electors.[26]


Campaign finance

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 22-25 of the Wyoming Election Code

A candidate seeking to collect contributions and make expenditures for the purpose of an election must form a candidate campaign committee. The candidate must file a statement of formation within 10 days of filing for office. This statement is required when any candidate's campaign committee is formed, whether before an election to aid in the campaign, or formed after an election to defray campaign debts incurred. The committee must also include a chairman and treasurer, who must be separate individuals. Campaign finance reports must be filed electronically through the Wyoming Campaign Finance Information System.

For candidates seeking state office, the statement of formation must be filed with the Wyoming Secretary of State and contain the following:[27]

  1. the name and mailing address of the committee
  2. the name and address of the committee chairman and treasurer
  3. the date the committee was formed
  4. the purpose of the committee

Statutory filing dates

After formation of a campaign committee, the candidate is required to file campaign finance reports throughout the election year.[28]

  • Every candidate must file a fully itemized statement of receipts at least seven days before any primary, general or special election.
  • Every candidate, whether successful or not, must file a fully itemized statement of receipts and expenditures within 10 days after any general or special election.
  • Every candidate in any primary election must file a fully itemized statement of receipts and expenditures within 10 days after the primary election
Statutory campaign finance statement schedule
Report type Closing date of statement Due date
Pre-primary report 14 days before the primary election 7 days before the primary election
Primary report Within 10 days of the primary election 10 days after the primary election
Pre-general report 14 days before the general election 7 days before the general election
General report Within 14 days of the general election 10 days after the general election

Campaign finance reports

Campaign finance statements must set forth the full and complete record of receipts, including cash, goods or services. A statement must also include a fully itemized statement of receipts, including actual and promised expenditures.[29] Receipts that exceed the $25.00 threshold must be itemized.

A candidate or committee must continue to make the reports until the campaign committee terminates and the candidate or committee files a statement of termination with the Wyoming Secretary of State. A statement of termination may be filed upon retirement of all debts.[29]

Contribution limits

Effective January 1, 2015, a candidate for statewide political office may not receive more than $2,500 per election from an individual contributor. A candidate for non-statewide office may not receive more than $1,500 per election from an individual contributor.[30]

Election-related agencies

See also: State election agencies

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

Wyoming Secretary of State[31]

Why: This agency provides and processes applications for nomination forms. This agency also processes campaign finance reports.
Elections Division
State Capitol Building
200 West 24th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020
Phone: 307-777-7186
Fax: 307-777-7640
Email: elections@state.wy.us
website: http://soswy.state.wy.us/Elections/Elections.aspx

Term limits

State executives

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

The state executive term limits in Wyoming are as follows:

  • The governor is eligible for eight out of 16 years.
  • The comptroller is limited to a total of two terms.
  • The treasurer is limited to a total of two terms.

There were no state executive officials term-limited in 2014.

State legislators

See also: State legislatures with term limits

There are no term limits placed on Wyoming state legislators.

Congressional partisanship

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

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

Congressional Partisan Breakdown from Wyoming
Party U.S. Senate U.S. House Total
     Democratic Party 0 0 0
     Republican Party 2 1 3
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 Wyoming:

State Senate

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 4
     Republican Party 25
     Vacancy 1
Total 30

State House

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 9
     Republican Party 51
Total 60

Recent news

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

Wyoming 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 Wyoming Secretary of State, "2014 Key Election Dates," accessed November 7, 2013
  2. Wyoming Secretary of State, "Political Party Information," accessed November 25, 2013
  3. Wyoming Election Statutes, "Article 3, Section 22-5-301," accessed December 4, 2013
  4. E-mail consultation with ballot access expert Richard Winger in January 2014.
  5. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-1-102," accessed March 25, 2014
  6. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-202," accessed March 29, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-4-402," accessed March 26, 2014
  8. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-4-303," accessed March 26, 2014
  9. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-4-305," accessed March 26, 2014
  10. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-4-305," accessed March 26, 2014
  11. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-4-304," accessed March 26, 2014
  12. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-204," accessed March 26, 2014
  13. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-102(a)," accessed March 26, 2014
  14. Wyoming Secretary of State, "Federal and State Offices," accessed March 26, 2014
  15. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-209," accessed March 26, 2014
  16. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-304," accessed March 26, 2014
  17. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-301," accessed March 26, 2014
  18. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-306," accessed March 26, 2014
  19. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-307," accessed March 26, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-304," accessed March 26, 2014
  21. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-501," accessed March 26, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-4-402," accessed March 26, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-301," accessed March 26, 2014
  25. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-305," accessed March 26, 2014
  26. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-5-301," accessed March 26, 2014
  27. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-25-101," accessed March 26, 2014
  28. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-25-105," accessed March 26, 2014
  29. 29.0 29.1 Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-25-106," accessed March 26, 2014
  30. Wyoming Election Code, "Title 22-25-102," accessed March 26, 2014
  31. Wyoming Secretary of State: Elections