Ballotpedia's 2012 state legislative election coverage plan
Welcome to Ballotpedia’s one-stop source for information about the 2012 state legislative elections. On this page you can find comprehensive, unbiased coverage of candidates and elections, including links to every state’s general election page on Ballotpedia and unique election reporting.
If you have any questions about state legislative elections please contact Tyler King.Click here for an index of all State Legislature related Ballotpedia reports.
We will be covering elections in 86 state legislative chambers in 44 states. Nearly 6,000 seats will up for election which represents more than 80% of all state legislators.
Our candidate pages
There are two types of candidates: current officials who are running for office and new candidates who do not currently hold an office we cover on Ballotpedia. For all candidates we strive to provide you, our reader, with the following information:
- Clear biographical information, including education
- Who the candidates is running against and when the elections will be held
- Photo of the candidate
- Campaign themes
- Links to their campaign website, Facebook candidate pages, and Twitter accounts (where available)
- Election results
Signature filing deadlines
Each state sets the deadline for when candidates must declare for election. Once the filing deadline passes, the state will verify signatures and issue an official list of candidates document. The timing of a document like this varies for each state. Some states will immediately release a document that is an unofficial list of candidates -- meaning it could contain some candidates who ultimately may either withdraw or be disqualified prior to the primary. In these situations, Ballotpedia staff will be adding links to these lists and adding names of candidates to election pages within 1-2 weeks of the list being released. Profiles will then be built for the final list of candidates.
However, in other situations, states do not release any compiled list of candidates until weeks or even months have elapsed past the deadline. In these situations, Ballotpedia staff will work to build as many candidates profiles based on news reports and direct contact with candidates.
Once official lists are released, those links will be compiled here
As each primary takes place, Ballotpedia staff will be indicating the winners and losers within 24-48 hours of the primary. Candidates who defeat an opponent in a primary will then have an election box added to the profile.
- Example: Mark Frechette
Following the primary, the elections page will be updated to indicate which candidates will appear in the general election. The timing of the results will vary by state.
In the months leading up to the general election, Ballotpedia staff will build profiles of candidates, as well as identify certain “game-changers” or “races to watch.”
On election night, Ballotpedia staff will update election pages with check marks () to indicate the winner of the race. We will also indicate which party wins the majority in each of the 86 chambers, with a particular emphasis on the chambers that might have flipped partisan control.
Throughout this presidential election season, Ballotpedia staff will create analysis pages regarding the state legislative races. For example:
- List of candidates running. This page will display every single candidate who appears on a primary election ballot.
- List of state legislative incumbents retiring. This page will display all state legislative incumbents who are not seeking re-election to the same chamber.
- "Game-changers". This page will identify races that could ultimately decide partisan control of a chamber or perhaps have some other specific significance that makes it particularly noteworthy.
- Competitiveness analysis. For the third consecutive election, Ballotpedia staff will be conducting our competitiveness analysis. This studies analyzes the lists of candidates in state legislative races and provides a competitiveness rating based on three factors -- whether the incumbent is running; whether the incumbent, if running, will face a primary opponent; and finally, if there is a candidate from both major parties appearing on the general election ballot.
- Ballotpedia study about primaries: Primary Challenge: Anti-Incumbency Voting Patterns in State Legislative Elections
Alabama will not hold any state legislative elections in 2012.
Louisiana will not hold any state legislative elections in 2012.
Maryland will not hold any state legislative elections in 2012.
Michigan will not hold any state senate elections in 2012.
Mississippi will not hold any state legislative elections in 2012.
New Jersey will not hold any state legislative elections in 2012.
Virginia will not hold any state legislative elections in 2012.
|2012 State Legislative Primary Information|
|State||Signature Filing Deadline||Primary Date||Notes/Costs for candidates||Days from Deadline to Primary|
|Alaska||6/1/2012||8/28/2012||Major party candidates for the State Senate or House of Representatives must pay a $30 filing fee, while non-affliated candidates do not have to submit a fee.||88|
|Arizona||5/30/2012||8/28/2012||Signature requirements vary by district.||90|
|Arkansas||3/1/2012 ||5/22/2012||Individual parties set filing fees in Arkansas. Democrats must pay $4,500 (Senate) and $3,000 (House) while Republicans must pay $7,500 (Senate) and $3,000 (House).||82|
|California||3/9/2012||6/5/2012 ||Candidates must pay 1% of the first year's salary ($952.91) or obtain 3,000 (Senate) and 1,500 (House) signatures in lieu of the fees.||88|
|Colorado||4/2/2012 ||6/26/2012 ||Major party candidates must obtain signatures equal to the lesser of 1,000 or 30% of votes cast in the previous primary election. Minor party candidates must obtain signatures equal to the lesser of 600 (Senate) and 400 (House) or 2% of votes cast in the previous primary election.||85|
|Delaware||7/10/2012||9/11/2012||Filing fees will be set in 2012. There are no signature requirements for major party candidates. Unaffiliated candidates must obtain signatures equal to 1% of the voters registered in the district.||63|
|Florida||6/8/2012 ||8/14/2012 ||Major party candidates must pay $1,781.82. Minor party candidates must pay $1,187.88. Candidates must also obtain 1,552 (Senate) and 518 (House) signatures.||67|
|Georgia||5/25/2012 ||7/31/2012 ||Candidates must pay $400 in filing fees.||67|
|Hawaii||6/5/2012 ||8/11/2012 ||Candidates must pay $25 if they agree to the campaign finance affidavit or $250 if they don't agree. Candidates are also required to obtain 15 signatures.||67|
|Idaho||3/9/2012 ||5/15/2012 ||67|
|Illinois|| 12/5/2011 (Major party)
6/25/2012 (New Party / Independent) 
|3/20/2012 ||Major party candidates must obtain 1,000 (Senate) and 500 (House) signatures. New party and independent candidates must obtain 3,000 (Senate) and 1,500 (House) signatures.||106|
|Indiana||2/10/2012||5/8/2012||Minor party and independent candidates must obtain 2% of the total votes cast in the previous election for Secretary of State in their district.||88|
|Iowa||3/16/2012||6/5/2012||Candidates must obtain 100 (Senate) and 50 (House) signatures.||81|
|Kansas||6/11/2012||8/7/2012 ||Candidates must obtain signatures equaling the lesser of 1% of Party and 75 (Senate) and 25 (House). Candidates must also pay $103 (Senate) and $105 (House) in filing fees or $55 if they petition.||67|
|Kentucky||1/31/2012 ||5/22/2012 ||Candidates must pay $200 in filing fees.||111|
|Maine||3/15/2012 ||6/12/2012 ||2012 info will be posted on 12/16/2012.||89|
|Massachusetts||6/5/2012||9/6/2012||Candidates must obtain 300 (Senate) and 150 (House) signatures.||93|
|Michigan House of Representatives ||5/15/2012||8/7/2012 ||Major party candidates must obtain 200 signatures or pay $100 in lieu. Minor party candidates must obtain 600 signatures.||84|
|Minnesota||6/5/2012 ||8/14/2012 ||Candidates must pay $100 in filing fees.||70|
|Missouri||3/27/2012 ||8/7/2012 ||Candidates must pay $100 (Senate) and $50 (House) in filing fees.||133|
|Montana||3/12/2012 ||6/5/2012 ||Candidates must pay $15 in filing fees.||85|
|Nebraska||2/15/2012 (Incumbents), 3/1/2012 (non-incumbnets)||5/15/2012 ||Candidates must pay $120 in filing fees.||89|
|Nevada||3/16/2012 ||6/12/2012 ||Candidates must pay $100 in filing fees.||88|
|New Hampshire||6/15/2012||9/11/2012 ||Major party candidates must pay $10 (Senate) and $2 (House) or obtain 20 (Senate) and 5 (House) signatures in lieu. Independent candidates must pay $10 (Senate) and $2 (House) or obtain 750 (Senate) and 150 (House) signatures in lieu.||88|
|New Mexico||3/20/2012 ||6/5/2012 ||Candidates for both Senate and House must submit a $50 filing fee. Signature requirements vary with a 2% and 4% threshold and depending on political party and office.||77|
|New York||7/12/2012||9/13/2012||Candidates must obtain signatures equal to the lesser of 5% of the enrolled voters of the political party in the district and 1,000 (Senate) or 500 (House). The minimum numbers are from 2011. New minimum figures will be released on 4/1/2012.||61|
|North Carolina||2/29/2012||5/8/2012||Candidates must pay a filing fee equal to 1% of the salary of the office sought.||69|
|North Dakota||4/13/2012||6/12/2012||Major party candidates must obtain signatures equal to 1% of the total population in the district. Minor party candidates must obtain signatures equal to 2% of the total population in the district.||60|
|Ohio||12/7/2011||3/6/2012||Candidates must pay a filing fee of $85. Major party candidates must obtain 50 signatures and minor party candidates 25. Major party candidates must submit at least 50 signatures and minor party candidates at least 25 signatures. Independent candidates have signature requirements based on the number of votes cast in the congressional district in the last general election for governor. If there were fewer than 5,000 votes in the last election, the signature requirement would be 25 signatures, or 5% of the vote, whichever is less. If there were more than 5,000 votes in the last election, the signature requirement would be 1% of the vote.||90|
|Oklahoma||4/13/2012 ||6/26/2012 ||74|
|Oregon||3/6/2012||5/15/2012||Candidates must pay $25 in fees and an additional $750 to be included in the voter's pamphlet. Candidates may obtain 300 signatures in lieu of the $750.||70|
|Pennsylvania||2/16/2012||4/24/2012||Candidates must pay $100 and obtain 500 (Senate) and 300 (House) signatures.||68|
|Rhode Island||6/27/2012||9/11/2012||Candidates must obtain 100 (Senate) and 50 (House) signatures.||96|
|South Carolina||3/30/2012||6/12/2012||2012 primary fees will be posted in January 2012||74|
|South Dakota||3/27/2012||6/5/2012 ||Signature Requirements vary with district and political party||70|
|Tennessee||4/5/2012||8/2/2012 ||Candidates must obtain 25 signatures.||119|
|Texas||3/9/2011||5/29/2012||Major party candidates must pay $1,250 (Senate) and $750 (House) in filing fees or obtain 2% (500) of votes for gubernatorial candidates cast in the applicable territory in the 2010 general election. Independent candidates must obtain 5% (1,250) of votes for gubernatorial candidates cast in the applicable territory in the 2010 general election.||81|
|Utah||3/15/2012||6/26/2012 ||Major and minor party candidates must pay $26.30 (Senate) and $13.20 (House) in filing fees. Minor party candidates must also obtain signatures equaling the lesser of 300 and 5% of registered voters in their district.||102|
|Vermont||6/14/2012 ||8/28/2012 ||Candidates must obtain 100 (Senate) and 50 (House) signatures.||75|
|Washington||5/18/2012 ||8/7/2012||Filing requirements will be made available in January 2012.||81|
|West Virginia||1/28/2012||5/8/2012||Major party candidates must pay $200 (Senate) and $100 (House) in filing fees. Minor party candidates must obtain 1% of the last general election votes.||101|
|Wisconsin||6/1/2012||8/14/2012||Candidates must obtain 400 (Senate) and 200 (House) signatures.||74|
|Wyoming||6/1/2012 ||8/21/2012 ||Candidates must pay $25 in filing fees. New party and independent candidates must also obtain 3,740 signatures.||81|
- ↑ Confirmed via email with Arkansas Board of Elections, June 20, 2011
- ↑ Confirmed via email with California Secretary of State office, July 12, 2011
- ↑ Colorado Secretary of State, 2012 Election Calendar
- ↑ Confirmed via email with Colorado Board of Elections, June 28, 2011
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/lib/sots/electionservices/calendars/2012_election/2012_election_calendar.pdf
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Confirmed with Delaware Secretary of State office, September 9, 2011
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Florida Division of Elections, Calendar of Election Dates, accessed June 17, 2011
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Confirmed via email with Georgia Secretary of State office, July 12, 2011
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Hawaii.gov, 2012 ELECTION CALENDAR, accessed June 17, 2011
- ↑ Idaho.gov, Idaho Statutes, accessed July 6, 2011
- ↑ Idaho.gov, Idaho Statutes, accessed July 6, 2011
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/2012CanGuide.pdf
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Confirmed via email with the Kansas Legislative Research Dept. on July 18, 2011]
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Kentucky 2012 election calendar
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Confirmed via email with Maine Secretary of State-Elections Division, July 12, 2011
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Massachusetts Secretary of State "2012 State Election Calendar"
- ↑ Michigan will not be holding any state senate elections in 2012.
- ↑ Michigan Secretary of State, Important Dates and Filing Deadlines, accessed July 6, 2011
- ↑ Minnesota Secretary of State, Filing Periods, accessed July 7, 2011
- ↑ Minnesota Secretary of State, Important Election Dates, accessed July 7, 2011
- ↑ Confirmed via email with the Missouri State Legislature on July 6, 2011]
- ↑ Confirmed via email with the Missouri State Legislature on July 6, 2011]
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Confirmed via email with the Montana Legislative Services on August 4, 2011]
- ↑ Nebraska Secretary of State Candidate Filing Periods for 2012, accessed June 6, 2011
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 Confirmed via email with the Nevada Legislature on 7/6/2011.
- ↑ Confirmed via email with New Hampshire Secretary of State-Elections Division, July 12, 2011
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Confirmed via email with the New Mexico Legislative Council Service, July 15, 2011]
- ↑ WHAM, "New York Primary Date Changed," May 15, 2012
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 Confirmed via email with Oklahoma Board of elections, July 18, 2011
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Oregon Secretary of State, May 15, 2012 Primary Election, March 18, 2011
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 [Confirmed via phone with Secretary of State's Office in August 2011]
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 [Confirmed via email with State Senate office in September 2011]
- ↑ South Dakota Secretary of State Primary Election Candidates, accessed July 13, 2011
- ↑ Tennessee Department of State - Division of Elections Election Calendar, accessed July 13, 2011
- ↑ Confirmed via email with the Utah Legislature on August 11, 2011]
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 Confirmed via email with the Vermont Legislative Council on July 8, 2011]
- ↑ Washington Secretary of State 2012 Election Calendar, accessed Aug. 23, 2011
- ↑ JSOnline, Assembly passes bill to move presidential primary, Sept. 13, 2011
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 2012 Key Election Dates