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Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Alaska

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Ballot Access Requirements for Candidates
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U.S. House requirements for Independents in 2014
This page contains extensive information about ballot access requirements for state and federal candidates running for elected office in the state of Alaska. 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 Alaska. 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: Alaska elections, 2014

Alaska will have a primary election on August 19, 2014 and a general election on November 4, 2014. Voters will elect candidates to serve in the following state and federal offices:

The 2014 filing deadline for political party candidates and independent candidates was June 2, 2014. Independent candidates must then submit petitions by August 19, 2014.[1][2][3] The filing deadline for write-in candidates is October 30, 2014.[4] In order to create a new political party in time for the 2014 elections, a group must have met the requirements and filed all paperwork by May 31, 2014.[5]

Legend:      Ballot Access     Campaign Finance     Election Date




Dates and requirements for candidates in 2014
Deadline Event type Event description
May 31, 2014 Ballot access Filing deadline for political groups to submit paperwork to achieve political party status
June 2, 2014 Ballot access Filing deadline for partisan and independent candidates to submit a declaration of candidacy
June 2, 2014 Campaign finance Filing deadline for partisan and independent candidates to submit financial disclosure form**
July 21, 2014 Campaign finance 30 Day primary report due for candidates in the primary**
August 12, 2014 Campaign finance 7 Day primary report due for candidates in the primary**
August 19, 2014 Election date Primary date
August 19, 2014 Ballot access Filing deadline for independent candidates to submit a petition with the required signatures
October 6, 2014 Campaign finance 30 Day general report due (for period ending October 3)**
October 28, 2014 Campaign finance 7 Day general report due (for period ending October 25)**
October 30, 2014 Ballot access Filing deadline for write-in candidates participating in the general election
November 4, 2014 Election date General election
February 15, 2015 Campaign finance Annual report due (for period ending December 31, 2014)**
**For more information, see "Campaign finance" below.

Political parties

See also: List of political parties in the United States

As of October 2013, there are four recognized political parties in Alaska.[6] Independent candidates that file as "no party" or petition nominated candidate may choose to run as representatives of a "political group," as opposed to an officially recognized political party.[7] A political group is a group of like-minded registered voters that seek applications to become a recognized political party.[8] The three political groups seeking political party status as of March 2014 in Alaska are the Alaska Constitution Party, the Veterans Party of Alaska, and the Green Party of Alaska.[9]

Party Website link By-laws/Platform link
Alaska Democratic Party Official party website Party platform
Alaska Libertarian Party Official party website Party by-laws
Alaska Republican Party Official party website Party platform
Alaskan Independence 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. Alaska[10] does 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.[11]

Process to establish a political party

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 15.60.008 and Title 15.60.010 of the Alaska Election Law

Definitions
A "political group" in Alaska is a group of organized voters which represents a political program and which does not qualify as a political party.[12] Political groups may field candidates for district and statewide offices through petition.[13]

A "political party" is an organized group of voters that represents a political program and performs either of the following methods to achieve political party status:

  • A political group fields a candidate for governor who received at least three percent of the total votes cast for that office at the preceding general election, or has registered voters in the state equal in number to at least three percent of the total votes cast for governor at the preceding general election.
  • If the office of governor was not on the ballot at the preceding general election but the office of U.S. Senator was on the ballot, a political group fields a candidate for U.S. Senator who received at least three percent of the total votes cast for U.S. Senator at that general election or has registered voters in the state equal in number to at least three percent of the total votes cast for U.S. Senator at that general election.
  • If neither the office of governor nor the office of U.S. Senator was on the ballot at the preceding general election, a political group fields a candidate for U.S. Representative who received at least three percent of the total votes cast for U.S. Representative at that general election or has registered voters in the state equal in number to at least three percent of the total votes cast for U.S. Representative at that general election.[12]

Requirements
Political groups seeking recognized status must perform the following on or before May 31 of the election year for which the group seeks recognition:

  1. File an application with the director of the Division of Elections.
  2. Submit bylaws to the director and the United States Department of Justice.[14]
  3. Meet the statutory definition of a "political party" by fielding a candidate that achieves three percent of the total votes cast for the required office at the last preceding general election or have registered voters in the state equivalent to three percent of the total votes cast for that office.

The director of the Division of Elections shall perform a verification at least once a month after the date of certification of the preceding general election. The director shall verify that the voters who have submitted registration forms to the division of elections are qualified and have declared affiliation with the political group or recognized political party for which the verification is performed.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name Within 10 days after a verification, the director shall provide to a political group seeking recognized political party status a written notification when the political group has obtained recognized political party status.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name

Nomination of candidates
Political groups can field independent candidates through the petition process. Candidates completing a petition to get on the ballot in the general election may provide the name of the political group, if any, supporting them. Candidates must run as independent candidates and submit a petition containing the required signatures for the office sought.[15]

Bylaws
A political group seeking political party status must also submit a notice, bylaws, and documentation to the director of the Division of Elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 1 of the calendar year before the calendar year in which a primary election is to be held. These must be provided by the party's chairperson or another party official designated by the party's bylaws. Party bylaws required to be submitted must be pre-cleared by the United States Department of Justice before submission. Documentation of the preclearance must accompany the submitted bylaws. [16]

Process to become a candidate

Figure 1: This is the Letter of Intent for candidates running for election in Alaska.
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, including Alaska, 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 elect Lt. governors separately from the Governor

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 15.25 of the Alaska Election Law

Partisan candidates
A member of a political party who seeks to become a candidate of the party in the primary election must file a Declaration of Candidacy form. The declaration must also be made under oath before an authorized officer in addition to being filed with the Alaska Division of Elections.[17] A Declaration of Candidacy form must be delivered in person or by mail at or before 5:00 p.m. on June 1 of the year in which a general election is held for office.[18]

At the time of filing a declaration of candidacy, candidates must pay a nonrefundable filing fee to the Division of Elections. For the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Senator, and U.S. Representative, the filing fee is $100. The filing fee for state legislative candidates is $30.[19] Candidates will also be filing a Financial Disclosure form at the same time of filing the declaration and filing fee (for further information on campaign finance requirements, see "Campaign finance" below).

Figure 1: This is the Declaration of Candidacy for candidates in Alaska.

Independent candidates
Independent candidates not representing a political party are nominated by petition. Candidates must also file a Filing Notification form, which must state the following:

  1. Full name of the candidate.
  2. The full residence and mailing addresses of the candidate and the date on which residency began.
  3. Name of the political group, if any, supporting the candidate.
  4. If running for state legislative office, the house or senate district of which the candidate is a resident.
  5. The date of the election at which the candidate seeks election.
  6. The length of residency in the state and in the district of the candidate.
  7. That the subscribers are qualified voters of the state or house or senate district in which the candidate resides.
  8. That the subscribers request that the candidate's name be placed on the general election ballot.
  9. That the proposed candidate accepts the nomination and will serve if elected, with the statement signed by the proposed candidate.
  10. The name of the candidate as the candidate wishes it to appear on the ballot.
  11. That the candidate is not a candidate for any other office to be voted on at the primary or general election and that the candidate is not a candidate for this office under any other nominating petition or declaration of candidacy.
  12. That the candidate meets the specific citizenship requirements of the office for which the person is a candidate.
  13. That the candidate will meet the specific age requirements of the office for which the person is a candidate.
  14. That the candidate is a qualified voter.
  15. If the candidacy is for the office of the governor, the name of the candidate for lieutenant governor running jointly with the candidate for governor.[20]

Independent candidates will also be filing a Financial Disclosure form at the same time of submitting the Filing Notification form (for further information on campaign finance requirements, see "Campaign finance" below). Both forms must be filed with the Division of Elections at or before 5:00 p.m. on June 1 of the year in which the general election is held.[18]

In lieu of a filing fee, independent candidates must acquire the necessary signatures depending on the office sought.

  • For state executive and federal offices, candidates must submit a petition containing signatures from qualified voters equivalent to at least one percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in the preceding general election.[21]
  • For state legislative offices, candidates must submit a petition containing signatures from qualified voters of the district in which candidates are running equal to one percent of the number of voters who cast ballots for that district in the preceding general election or 50 signatures, whichever is less.[22]

The petition containing signatures must be filed with the Division of Elections before or at 5:00 p.m. on the day of the primary election in the year in which a general election is held.[23]

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

Statutory signature requirements for independent candidates
Office Total votes cast for the office at the previous general election Required signatures
Governor[24] 256,192 2,562
Lt. Governor[24] 256,192 2,562
U.S. Senator[24] 254,819 2,549
U.S. Representative[25] 289,804 2,899
State House District 1[26] 6,953 70
State Senate District Q[27] 15,242 153

Write-in candidates
Write-in candidates must file a Letter of Intent with the director of the Division of Elections. The letter must be filed no later than five days prior to the general election.[28] Write-in candidates must also file a Financial Disclosure statement alongside the Letter of Intent. If a write-in candidate is running for the Office of Governor, the candidate must file a joint Letter of Intent together with a candidate for the Office of Lieutenant Governor.[28]

Petition requirements

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 15-25-180 of the Alaska Election Law

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 Alaska.

The relevant Alaska statutes do not stipulate anything regarding petition challenges or circulator requirements.

Independent candidates, in addition to filing a declaration of candidacy, are required to file a nominating petition containing the required amount of signatures for the office sought. The petition must follow the format below and contain the following information:

NOMINATING PETITION FOR INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES
  1. The full name of the candidate;
  2. The full residence address of the candidate and the date on which residency at that address began;
  3. The full mailing address of the candidate;
  4. The name of the political group, if any, supporting the candidate;
  5. If the candidacy is for the office of state senator or state representative, the house or senate district of which the candidate is a resident;
  6. The office for which the candidate is nominated;
  7. The date of the election at which the candidate seeks election;
  8. The length of residency in the state and in the district of the candidate;
  9. That the subscribers are qualified voters of the state or house or senate district in which the candidate resides;
  10. That the subscribers request that the candidate's name be placed on the general election ballot;
  11. That the proposed candidate accepts the nomination and will serve if elected, with the statement signed by the proposed candidate;
  12. The name of the candidate as the candidate wishes it to appear on the ballot;
  13. That the candidate is not a candidate for any other office to be voted on at the primary or general election and that the candidate is not a candidate for this office under any other nominating petition or declaration of candidacy;
  14. That the candidate meets the specific citizenship requirements of the office for which the person is a candidate;
  15. That the candidate will meet the specific age requirements of the office for which the person is a candidate; if the candidacy is for the office of state representative, that the candidate will be at least 21 years of age on the first scheduled day of the first regular session of the legislature convened after the election; if the candidacy is for the office of state senator, that the candidate will be at least 25 years of age on the first scheduled day of the first regular session of the legislature convened after the election; and if the candidacy is for the office of governor or lieutenant governor, that the candidate will be at least 30 years of age on the first Monday in December following election or, if the office is to be filled by special election [under Alaska law], that the candidate will be at least 30 years of age on the date of certification of the results of the special election; or, for any other office, by the time that the candidate, if elected, is sworn into office;
  16. That the candidate is a qualified voter; and
  17. If the candidacy is for the office of the governor, the name of the candidate for lieutenant governor running jointly with the candidate for governor.[29][30]

Campaign finance

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 15.13 of the Alaska Election Law

Requirements
Each candidate shall appoint a campaign treasurer who is responsible for receiving, holding, and disbursing all contributions and expenditures, and for filing all reports and statements required by law. A candidate may also be a campaign treasurer.[31][32]

Each candidate for state office shall file the name and address of the campaign treasurer with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, or submit, in writing, the name and address of the campaign treasurer to the director for filing with the commission, no later than 15 days after the date of filing the declaration of candidacy.[31] Alongside the declaration of candidacy, candidates must file a Financial Disclosure form with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

After registering his or her campaign, the candidate will follow a campaign finance reporting schedule in which campaign contributions and expenditures are documented and reported. These reports will include the following information:

  1. The date and amount of all expenditures made by the candidate.
  2. The total amount of all contributions, including all funds contributed by the candidate.
  3. The name, address, date, and amount contributed by each contributor.
  4. For contributions in excess of $50 in the aggregate during a calendar year, the principal occupation and employer of the contributor.

If candidates do not intend to raise or expend more than $5,000 in seeking election to office, including both the primary and general elections, candidates should submit an Exemption Statement, although candidates must still abide by campaign disclosure law, including contribution limits and only using campaign funds for election-related activity.[33][34]

Reporting schedule
Each candidate shall make a full campaign finance report for the period ending three days before the due date of the report and beginning on the last day covered by the most recent previous report. If the report is a first report, it must cover the period from the beginning of the campaign to the date three days before the due date of the report. If the report is a report due February 15, it must cover the period beginning on the last day covered by the most recent previous report or on the day that the campaign started, whichever is later, and ending on February 1 of that year.[35]

Reports shall be filed according to the following schedule:

  1. After registering a campaign with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.
  2. 30 days before an election.
  3. 1 week before the election.
  4. 24 hour reports (for candidates who receive individual contributions that exceed $250 within nine days of an election).
  5. February 15 for expenditures made and contributions received that were not reported previously.[35]
Campaign finance statement schedule - Primary
Report type Due date Reporting period
Year start report February 15, 2014 Start of campaign - February 1
30 Day report July 21, 2014 February 2 - July 18
7 Day report August 12, 2014 July 19 - August 9
24 hour reports Daily as needed** August 10 - August 18
Final report February 15, 2015 August 10 - February 1
**For candidates that receive individual contributions exceeding $250 within 9 days of an election
Campaign finance statement schedule - General election
Report type Due date Reporting period
30 Day report October 6, 2014 August 10 - October 3
7 Day report October 28, 2014 October 4 - October 25
24 hour reports Daily as needed** October 26 - November 3
Final report February 15, 2015 October 26 - February 1
**For candidates that receive individual contributions exceeding $250 within 9 days of an election

Contribution limits
Candidates may not accept more than $500 from an individual contributor or more than $1,000 from a group that is not a political party.[36][37]

Election-related agencies

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

See also: State election agencies
  • Alaska Division of Elections
Why: To obtain and file nominating petitions, declaration of candidacy forms
240 Main Street, 4th Floor
PO Box 110017
Juneau, AK 99801
Telephone: (907) 465-4611
Fax: (907) 465-3203
Website: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/
  • Alaska Political Offices Commission (APOC)
Why: To obtain and file financial disclosure forms
2221 E Northern Lights Rm 128
Anchorage, Alaska 99508-4149
Telephone: (907) 276-4176
Toll Free: 1-800-478-4176
Fax: (907) 276-7018
Email: apoc@alaska.gov
http://doa.alaska.gov/apoc/

Term limits

State executives

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

State executive term limits in Alaska are as follows:[38]

There are no state executives that are term-limited in 2014.

State legislators

See also: State legislatures with term limits

There are no term limits placed on Alaska state legislators.

Congressional partisanship

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

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

Congressional Partisan Breakdown from Alaska
Party U.S. Senate U.S. House Total
     Democratic Party 1 0 1
     Republican Party 1 1 2
TOTALS as of July 2014 2 1 3

State legislative partisanship

Portal:State legislatures

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

State Senate

Party As of July 2014
     Democratic Party 7
     Republican Party 13
Total 20

State House

Party As of July 2014
     Democratic Party 14
     Republican Party 26
Total 40


See also

External links

Official state and federal links

Forms

Other information

References

  1. Secretary of State Division of Elections Candidate Information, "Political Party Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  2. Alaska Statutes, "Section 15.25, Nomination of Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  3. Secretary of State Division of Elections Candidate Information, "No Party or Nominating Petition Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  4. Secretary of State Division of Elections Candidate Information, "Write-in Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  5. Alaska Statutes, "Section 15.80.008, Recognized Political Party Status," accessed November 4, 2013
  6. State of Alaska Division of Elections Website, "Recognized Political Parties," accessed November 11, 2013
  7. Alaska Division of Elections, "No Party or Nominating Petition Candidates," accessed December 6, 2013
  8. Alaska State Code, "Section 15.80.010," accessed December 6, 2013
  9. Alaska Division of Elections, "Political Groups," accessed December 6, 2013
  10. Alaska Division of Elections, "No Party or Nominating Petition Candidates," accessed December 6, 2013
  11. E-mail consultation with ballot access expert Richard Winger in January 2014.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.60.010," accessed March 24, 2014
  13. Alaska Division of Elections, "Political Groups," accessed March 24, 2014
  14. Alaska State Legislature, "Alaska Election Law," accessed November 27, 2013
  15. Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.25.180," accessed March 24, 2014
  16. Alaska State Legislature, "Alaska Election Law," accessed November 29, 2013
  17. Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.25.030," accessed March 24, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.25.040," accessed March 24, 2014
  19. Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.25.050," accessed March 24, 2014
  20. Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.25.180," accessed March 24, 2014
  21. Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.25.160," accessed March 24, 2014
  22. Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.25.170," accessed March 24, 2014
  23. Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.25.150," accessed March 24, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 State of Alaska Division of Elections, "Unofficial results, statewide summary," updated November 30, 2010 at 15:27, accessed November 8, 2010, November 17, 2010, and December 20, 2010
  25. ABC News,, "2012 General Election Results Alaska," accessed November 7, 2012
  26. Alaska Election Division, "Official 2012 General election results," accessed November 16, 2012
  27. Alaska Election Division, "Official 2012 General election results," accessed November 16, 2012
  28. 28.0 28.1 Secretary of State Division of Elections Candidate Information, "Write-in Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  29. Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.25.180," accessed March 25, 2014
  30. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.13.060," accessed March 25, 2014
  32. Alaska Department of Elections, "Candidate Registration Form," accessed November 29, 2013
  33. Alaska State Legislature, "Alaska Election Law," accessed November 29, 2013
  34. Alaska Division of Elections, "Candidate Exemption," accessed March 28, 2014
  35. 35.0 35.1 Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.13.110," accessed March 25, 2014
  36. Alaska Election Law, "Title 15.13.070," accessed March 25, 2014
  37. Center for Competitive Politics, "2013 State Legislative Trends: Campaign Contribution Limits Increase in Nine States," accessed April 3, 2014
  38. Alaska Constitution, "Article III, Section 5 and Section 8," accessed November 4, 2013