Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Arizona
| Ballot access for major and minor party candidates |
| Redistricting |
|State ballot access information|
- 1 Year-specific dates
- 2 Political parties
- 3 Process to become a candidate
- 4 Election-related agencies
- 5 Term limits
- 6 Congressional partisanship
- 7 State legislative partisanship
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
- United States Congress
- Arizona state executive offices (e.g. Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, etc.)
- Arizona State Legislature (including Arizona State Senate and Arizona House of Representatives)
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 Arizona. 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.
Arizona will have a primary election on August 26, 2014 and a general election on November 4, 2014. Voters will elect candidates to serve in the following state and federal offices:
- Governor of Arizona
- Attorney General of Arizona
- Arizona Secretary of State
- Arizona Treasurer
- Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Arizona Corporation Commission (2 positions)
- Arizona Mine Inspector
- 9 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
- 30 seats in the Arizona State Senate
- 60 seats in the Arizona House of Representatives
The 2014 filing deadline for candidates is May 28, 2014. For write-in candidates wishing to participate in the primary election the deadline is July 17, 2014. If they only wish to participate in the general election, their filing deadline is September 25, 2014. The deadline to file paperwork to create a new political party in time for the 2014 elections is February 27, 2014.
|February 27, 2014||Deadline to file paperwork to create a new political party|
|May 28, 2014||Candidate filing deadline|
|July 17, 2014||Write-in candidate filing deadline for primary election|
|August 26, 2014||Primary election date|
|September 25, 2014||Write-in candidate filing deadline for general election|
|November 4, 2014||General election|
|Party||Website link||By-laws/Platform link|
Process to become a candidate
- See also: Arizona signature requirements
See statutes: Title 16, Chapter 3 of the Arizona Revised Statutes
Candidates in Arizona may access the ballot as political party candidates, as independent candidates or as write-in candidates. Before any candidate, regardless of how they decide to access the ballot, can accept contributions, make expenditures, distribute campaign literature or circulate petitions, they must file a Political Committee Statement of Organization or a $500 Threshold Exemption Statement. All candidates file with the Arizona Secretary of State.
Political party candidates
Political party candidates are nominated at the primary election. If no candidate is elected at the primary election for a specific office, no candidate for that office can appear on the general election ballot for that political party.
Political party candidates must file their nomination documents during the candidate filing period, which begins 120 days before the primary and ends 90 days before the primary. At the time of filing, a candidate must be a qualified elector residing in the geographic area represented by the office sought. The following documents must be filed in order to gain ballot access:
- A financial disclosure statement
- An affidavit ascertaining that the candidate will be eligible to hold office if elected
- A nomination paper including the following information:
- Candidate’s residence address
- Name of the party with which the candidate is affiliated
- Office the candidate seeks, with district or precinct, if applicable
- The candidate’s name as the candidate wishes it to appear on the ballot
- Date of the primary and corresponding general election (if successful at the primary) at which the candidate wishes to be elected
- A nomination petition
Nomination petitions must be signed by qualified electors who are eligible to vote for the office the candidate seeks. To calculate the number of signatures needed to be collected on the petition, the voter registration totals as of March 1 of the year of the election should be used. Look to the table below for signature requirements based on the office sought.
|Office sought||Minimum signatures required||Maximum signatures allowed|
|U.S. Senator or state executive office||At least one-half of one percent of the total statewide voter registration of the candidate's party**||No more than 10 percent of registered voters affiliated with the candidate's political party statewide|
|U.S. Representative||At least one percent of registered voters affiliated with the candidate's political party in the district the candidate seeks to represent||No more than 10 percent of registered voters affiliated with the candidate's political party in the district the candidate seeks to represent|
|State legislative office||At least one percent of registered voters affiliated with the candidate's political party in the district the candidate seeks to represent||No more than three percent of registered voters affiliated with the candidate's political party in the district the candidate seeks to represent|
|**Note: In July 2014, the Arizona Secretary of State announced that the state would no longer enforce a requirement that signatures come from at least three counties in the state. The decision was made following a lawsuit filed by the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance and four Maricopa County voters. The suit alleged that this requirement violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by "impermissibly diluting the value of signatures from citizens in more populous counties and increasing the value of signatures from citizens in less populous counties."|
|Examples of signature requirements for established party candidates|
|Office sought||Political party||Total registered voters affiliated with the party in the district as of October 1, 2013||Minimum number of signatures needed|
|State executive office||Democratic Party||964,088||4,820|
|State executive office||Republican Party||1,129,845||5,649|
|Arizona's 1st Congressional District||Democratic Party||140,376||702|
|Arizona State Senate District 1||Republican Party||60,400||302|
Newly qualified political party candidates
Newly qualified political party candidates must file all the same documents and at the same time as other political party candidates. The only difference in how they file is how many signatures are needed on their qualifying petitions. Candidates from political parties that have been established for at least one election cycle collect a certain number of signatures depending on voter registration totals. Candidates of newly qualified political parties must instead file signatures equal to at least one-tenth of one percent of the total vote cast for the winning presidential or gubernatorial candidate at the last general election in the district the candidate seeks to represent.
In 2012, 1,233,654 votes were cast for Mitt Romney, the winning presidential candidate in Arizona, meaning that new party candidates seeking state executive office in 2014 would need to collect 1,234 signatures on their qualifying petitions.
Candidates may not run as independent if they are representing a party that failed to fulfill the requirements to qualify as a party for the primary election, nor can they run if they tried to qualify as a political party candidate for the primary election and failed to submit enough signatures.
Independent candidates may be nominated by petition to run in the general election. The nomination petition may be filed along with the financial disclosure statement during the candidate filing period, which begins 120 days before the primary election and ends 90 days before the primary election.
An independent candidate's nomination petition must be signed by registered voters eligible to vote for the office the candidate seeks who have not signed a political party candidate’s petition. The number of signatures required on the petition is equal to at least three percent of all registered voters who are not affiliated with a recognized political party in the district the candidate seeks to represent. The voter registration totals should be used from calculations as of March 1 of the year of the election. Though the number of signatures required to gain ballot access as an independent is related to the number of registered voters who are not affiliated with recognized political parties, the affiliation of those signing the petitions does not matter as long as they have not already signed a political party candidate's petition.
Candidates may not file as write-in candidates if:
- They ran in the primary election and failed to get elected.
- They did not file enough signatures to be allowed ballot access when previously filing for primary ballot access.
- They filed nomination petitions to run in the general election but did not submit enough valid signatures to gain ballot access.
Write-in votes will not be counted unless the candidate written in on the ballot filed a nomination paper and financial disclosure form no later than 5 p.m. on the 40th day before the election in which the candidate seeks to run. The nomination paper must include:
- The candidate's name and signature
- The candidate's residence address or description of place of residence and post office address
- The candidate's age
- The length of time the candidate has been a resident of the state
- The candidate's date of birth.
- See also: State election agencies
Candidates running for office may require some form of interaction with the following agencies:
Office of the Secretary of State: Oversees candidate filing and reporting and all election procedures.
- Capitol Executive Tower, 7th Floor
- 1700 W. Washington Street
- Phoenix, AZ 85007-2808
- Telephone: (602) 542-8683
- Fax: (602) 542-1575
- Capitol Executive Tower, 7th Floor
Citizens Clean Elections Commission: Administers alternative campaign financing system for candidates who choose to participate and oversees contribution limits for all candidates.
- 1616 W. Adams, Suite 110
- Phoenix, AZ 85007
- Telephone: 602-364-3477
- Fax: 602-364-3487
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1616 W. Adams, Suite 110
Arizona state executives and legislators have term limits. These limits were established by Propsition 107, which was passed by voters in 1992 to amend Section 1, Article 5 of the Arizona Constitution.
- Governor may serve no more than two consecutive terms.
- Secretary of State may serve no more than two consecutive terms.
- Attorney General may serve no more than two consecutive terms.
- Treasurer may serve no more than two consecutive terms.
- Superintendent of Public Instruction may serve no more than two consecutive terms.
The state executives who are term-limited in 2014 are:
|Ken Bennett||Republican||Secretary of State|
|Gary Pierce||Republican||Corporation Commissioner|
- See also: State legislatures with term limits
No state senators will be termed out in 2014, but three state representatives will be termed out.
|Andy Tobin||Republican||State House||District 1|
|John Kavanagh||Republican||State House||District 23|
|Chad Campbell||Democratic||State House||District 24|
A total of seven state legislators were termed out in 2012.
- State Senate: 2
- State House: 5
A total of 23 state legislators were termed out in 2010.
- State Senate: 10
- State House: 13
Here is the current partisan breakdown of the congressional members from Arizona:
|Congressional Partisan Breakdown from Arizona|
|Party||U.S. Senate||U.S. House||Total|
|TOTALS as of September 2014||2||9||11|
State legislative partisanship
Here is the current partisan breakdown of members of the state legislature of Arizona:
|Party||As of September 2014|
|Party||As of September 2014|
- Arizona elections, 2014
- Campaign finance requirements for Arizona ballot measures
- Arizona signature requirements
- State election agencies
- State executives with term limits
- States with gubernatorial term limits
- Arizona state executive official elections, 2014
- State legislatures with term limits
- List of United States Representatives from Arizona
- List of United States Senators from Arizona
- Official Website of the Arizona Secretary of State
- Official Website of the Arizona Citizens Clean Election Commission
- Official Website of the Federal Election Commission
- FEC 2014 Primary Election Dates and Candidate Filing Deadlines
- Candidate Filing Checklist
- Campaign Finance Filing Guide
- Secretary of State Website, "2014 Election Important Dates," accessed November 4, 2013
- State of Arizona Registration Report, "October 2013 Voter Registration," accessed November 11, 2013
- Arizona Secretary of State, "Candidate Checklist," accessed March 17, 2014
- Arizona Revised Statutes, "Title 16, Chapter 3, Section 301," accessed March 17, 2014
- Arizona Revised Statutes, "Title 16, Chapter 3, Section 302," accessed March 17, 2014
- Arizona Revised Statutes, "Title 16, Chapter 3, Section 311," accessed March 17, 2014
- Arizona Revised Statutes, "Title 16, Chapter 3, Section 322," accessed March 17, 2014
- Election Law Blog, "Citizens Successfully Challenge Unconstitutional Arizona Ballot Access Law," July 24, 2014
- Arizona Secretary of State, "State of Arizona Registration Report," Updated October 21, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Federal Elections 2012," Updated July 2013
- Arizona Revised Statutes, "Title 16, Chapter 3, Section 341," accessed March 17, 2014
- Arizona Revised Statutes, "Title 16, Chapter 3, Section 312," accessed March 17, 2014
- Arizona Constitution, "Article V, Section 1, Version 2," accessed November 4, 2013
- State of Arizona 1992 Ballot Proposition Voting Guide, "Proposition 107," accessed November 4, 2013