Difference between revisions of "Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Wisconsin"

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==Election-related agencies==
 
==Election-related agencies==
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[[File:WI Declaration of Candidacy Form.PNG|thumb|300px|''Figure 1:'' This is the Declaration of Candidacy Form.]]
 
Candidates running for office will require some form of interaction with the following agencies:
 
Candidates running for office will require some form of interaction with the following agencies:
 
::''See also: [[State election agencies]]''
 
::''See also: [[State election agencies]]''

Revision as of 10:29, 19 November 2013

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See also
This page contains extensive information about ballot access requirements for state and federal candidates running for elected office in the state of Wisconsin. Offices included are:

This page will contain information on specific filing dates 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 Wisconsin. Information on running for election to county and municipal offices are not included.

Year-specific dates

2014

See also: Wisconsin elections, 2014 and Wisconsin state executive official elections, 2014

Wisconsin will have a primary for judicial candidates on February 18, 2014 and a general election for judicial candidates on April 1, 2014. A primary for statewide and legislative offices will be held on August 12, 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 all candidates running for statewide and legislative office is June 2, 2014 (for filing nomination papers and declaration of candidacy) and June 5, 2014 (for filing a Statement of Economic Interest).[1] The deadline for filing a petition to become a Ballot Status Party is April 1, 2014.[2]

Deadline Event
January 7, 2014 Deadline for judicial candidates to register their campaign committees
January 7, 2014 Deadline for judicial candidates to file a Nomination Paper for Nonpartisan Office form
January 7, 2014 Deadline for judicial candidates to file a Declaration of Candidacy form
January 10, 2014 Deadline for judicial candidates to file a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) form
February 18, 2014 Primary Date for non-partisan judicial offices
April 1, 2014 General election for judicial candidates
April 1, 2014 Deadline to file petition for a new political party to become a Ballot Status Party
June 2, 2014 Deadline for statewide and legislative candidates to register their campaign committees
June 2, 2014 Deadline for statewide and legislative candidates to file their Nomination Paper for Partisan Office form
June 2, 2014 Deadline for statewide and legislative candidates to file their Declaration of Candidacy form
June 5, 2014 Deadline for statewide and legislative candidates to file their Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) form
August 12, 2014 State Primary Date
November 4, 2014 General election

Political parties

As of October 2013, there are three recognized political parties in Wisconsin.

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

Process to become a political party

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, Chapter 5, Section 62

In Wisconsin, political parties entitled to primary and general election ballot position are called "ballot status parties." In order to qualify for ballot status, a political party must meet one of the following criteria:[3][4]

  • At the last gubernatorial election, one of the party's candidates for any statewide office must have received at least one percent of the total vote cast for that office. In 2010, for example, a total of 2,062,661 votes were cast for Treasurer, meaning that a party's candidate for that office would have had to win at least 20,627 in order for the party to have ballot status.[5] Alternatively, if the last general election was also a presidential election, the party's candidate for president must have won at least one percent of the total vote cast that for that office in the state. In 2012, for example, a total of 3,068,434 votes were cast for president, meaning that a party's candidate for that office would have had to win at least 30,685 votes in order for the party to have ballot status.[6]
  • A political organization that was listed as "independent" at the last general election and whose candidate met the above qualifications can receive ballot status by requesting such status from the Government Accountability Board. The request must include the party's name, which cannot be the same as that of an existing party, and must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on April 1 of the election year.
  • A political organization may petition for ballot status. The organization must file with the Government Accountability Board a petition containing the signatures of at least 10,000 qualified electors, including at least 1,000 from each of at least three separate congressional districts. The petition must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on April 1 of the election year and will entitle the organization to ballot status for the period ending with the general election.[7]

Selecting candidates

Ballot status parties nominate their candidates by primary.[3]

Maintaining party status

In order to maintain ballot status, one of the party's candidates for any statewide office at the last gubernatorial election must have received at least one percent of the total vote cast for that office. Alternatively, if the last general election was also a presidential election, the party's candidate for president must have won at least one percent of the total vote cast for that office in the state.[3]

Process to become a candidate

Quick facts about Lieutenant Governors
  • 45 states have Lt. governors, 43 of them fill the office by election
  • 21 states, including Wisconsin, elect Lt. governors on a single ticket with the governor at both the primary and general elections
  • 5 states 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: Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, Chapter 8

The filing process for both ballot status party candidates and other candidates (e.g., independents, non-recognized parties, etc.) is the same. The filing procedure, however, does vary somewhat according to the type of office sought. Please note that while the filing requirements are the same, only ballot status party candidates can participate in primaries.[8]

For federal candidates

Candidates for federal office must file a Declaration of Candidacy with the Government Accountability Board. The Declaration of Candidacy must state the following:[8][9]

  • That the individual is a candidate for the office named on the form
  • That the individual meets the qualifications for office, or will meet the qualifications by the time he or she assumes office if elected
  • That the individual will otherwise qualify for office if nominated and elected

The Declaration of Candidacy must be sworn before an individual authorized to administer oaths.[9] The Declaration of Candidacy must be filed by 5:00 p.m. on June 1 preceding the election (if June 1 falls on non-business day, the form will be due on the next preceding business day).[8][10][11]

In addition to the Declaration of Candidacy, the candidate must submit a Nomination Paper for Partisan Office to the Government Accountability Board. The number of signatures required varies according to the office sought:[8][10][11]

Nomination paper signature requirements for federal candidates
Office Minimum signatures Maximum signatures
United States Senator 2,000 4,000
United States Representative 1,000 2,000

Nomination papers must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on June 1 preceding the election (if June 1 falls on non-business day, the form will be due on the next preceding business day).[8][10][11]

For state candidates

Candidates for statewide and state legislative office must file a Declaration of Candidacy (the same as that filed by federal candidates). Like federal candidates, candidates for state-level office must also file nomination papers. Signature requirements vary according to the office sought:[10][11][12]

Nomination paper signature requirements for state-level candidates
Office Minimum signatures Maximum signatures
Statewide offices (e.g., Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, etc.) 2,000 4,000
State Senator 400 800
State Representative 200 400

Declarations of Candidacy and nomination papers must be filed with the Government Accountability Board by 5:00 p.m. on June 1 preceding the election (if June 1 falls on non-business day, the form will be due on the next preceding business day).[10][11][12]

In addition to these documents, state-level candidates must also submit a Statement of Economic Interests to the Government Accountability Board by 4:30 p.m. on the third day following the last day for filing nomination papers.[10][11][12]

Write-in candidates

On April 2, 2014, Governor Scott Walker signed into law AB 419, which requires that write-in candidates file campaign finance statements in order to have their votes tallied.[13]

Campaign finance

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, Chapter 11

Organizational requirements

A candidate is required to file a campaign registration form when he or she develops the intent to become a candidate and before circulating nomination papers, receiving contributions, or making expenditures. The campaign registration must include the following information:[14][15]

1.) Information identifying the candidate committee, including party affiliation (if applicable), office sought, and date of the election
There are two types of candidate campaign committees: personal campaign committees (organized by the candidate for campaign purposes) and support committees (a committee organized on the candidate's behalf, with the candidate's approval, to support a potential candidacy). In order to appear on the ballot, the candidate must register a personal campaign committee.
2.) Information identifying the campaign treasurer[16]
The candidate is entitled to serve as his or her own treasurer. The treasurer's name, address, email address, and telephone number must be provided. All notices and forms for campaign finance reports will be delivered to the treasurer.
3.) Information identifying the committee's principal officers (if applicable)
4.) Information identifying the committee's financial depository[16]
All candidates must have a single depository account into which all contributions will be deposited and from which all expenditures will be made.

The candidate and the committee treasurer must sign the form and send it to the Government Accountability Board.[14][15]

A candidate may be exempted from reporting requirements if he or she meets all of the following requirements:[14]

  • The candidate expects that his or her campaign will not accept contributions, make expenditures, or incur obligations in an aggregate amount exceeding $1,000 per calendar year (including the candidate's own contributions).
  • The candidate expects that his or her campaign will not accept any contribution or cumulative contributions from a single source exceeding $100 per calendar year (excluding the candidate's own contributions).

Regardless of exemption status, the candidate or treasurer must keep detailed financial records.[14][17]

Reporting requirements

Candidate committees must file regular disclosure reports until the committee terminates its registration. Reports generally include the following types of information:[14][17]

  • Receipts
    • Receipts of $20 or less are reported as aggregate totals. A single contribution or cumulative contributions from the same source exceeding $20 must be itemized. The contributor's name and address must be included, as well as the date amount of the contribution. A single contribution or cumulative contribution from the same source exceeding $100 must also include the contributor's occupation and the name and address of his or her principal place of employment.
  • Expenditures
    • Expenditures totaling $20 or less are reported as aggregate totals. An expenditure greater than $20 must be itemized. The name and address of the person or business to whom the expenditure was made must be noted, as well as the date, amount and purpose of the payment.
  • Incurred obligations
    • Any incurred obligation must be reported when an enforceable agreement has been reached and must continue to be reported until the obligation has been reduced to zero.
  • Loans
    • Loans from individuals or political committees must be reported as contributions. Loans from financial institutions are reported as other income and as a loan. Each loan payment must be reported as an expenditure, and the cumulative amount of the payments made must also be noted.

Candidates must file pre-primary and pre-general election reports, each due eight days before the applicable election. Committees must also file continuing reports in January and July of each year until they dissolve. For informational purposes, the reporting schedule for 2014 is provided in the table below:[14][18]

2014 campaign finance reporting schedule
Report type Filing deadline Reporting period
July continuing report July 21, 2014 Date of committee registration - June 30, 2014
Fall pre-primary report August 4, 2014 July 1, 2014 - July 28, 2014
Fall pre-election report October 27, 2014 July 29, 2014 - October 20, 2014
January continuing report February 2, 2015 October 21, 2014 - December 31, 2014

Candidates must file special reports within 24 hours of receipt for contributions of $500 or more (or contributions from a single source totaling $500 of more) received in the 14-day period before the primary or general election (including a candidate's own contributions).[14]

A committee with receipts of $20,000 or more during a campaign period must file both electronic and paper copies of their reports. Paper reports must be submitted to the Government Accountability Board. Electronic reports are filed with the state through the Wisconsin Campaign Finance Information System.[14]

A candidate committee can terminate its registration only if it meets all of the following criteria:[14][19]

  • The committee determines that all financial activity will stop and that the committee will no longer receive contributions, make disbursements, or incur obligations.
  • The committee files a termination report showing that all obligations have been paid or satisfied and that the campaign's cash balance has been eliminated.
  • The committee completes the requisite termination request form.

Candidate committees can dispose of surplus campaign funds in the following ways:[14][19]

  • Returning money to contributors
  • Donating money to tax-exempt charitable organizations, the Common School Fund, the Wisconsin Election Campaign Fund, or any other government entity.
  • Transferring money to another registrant, provided the transfer is within the permitted contribution limit.

Contribution limits

Individual contribution limits apply to the entire primary and general election campaign in which the candidate is participating. Limits vary according to the office being sought.[14][20]

Individual contribution limits
Office Contribution limit
Statewide executive offices (e.g., Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, etc.) $10,000
State Senator $1,000
State Representative $500

An individual cannot contribute more than $10,000 in a calendar year to any combination of state candidates or political committees.[14][20]

Election-related agencies

Figure 1: This is the Declaration of Candidacy Form.

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

See also: State election agencies

Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
212 East Washington Avenue, Third Floor
PO Box 7984
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7984
Phone: 608-266-8005
Toll-free: 1-866-VOTE-WIS
FAX: 608-267-0500
website: http://gab.wi.gov/
Contact website: http://gab.wi.gov/contact
Email: gab@wi.gov

Term limits

State executives

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

There are no term limits for Wisconsin state executive positions and no officeholders term-limited in 2014.

State legislatures

See also: State legislatures with term limits

There are no term limits placed on Wisconsin state legislators.

Congressional partisanship

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

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

Congressional Partisan Breakdown from Wisconsin
Party U.S. Senate U.S. House Total
     Democratic Party 1 3 4
     Republican Party 1 5 6
TOTALS as of December 2014 2 8 10

State legislative partisanship

Portal:State legislatures

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

State Senate

Party As of December 2014
     Democratic Party 15
     Republican Party 17
     Vacancy 1
Total 33

State house

Party As of December 2014
     Democratic Party 38
     Republican Party 60
     Independent 1
Total 99

See also

External links

Forms

References

  1. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board "Ballot Access Checklist for 2014 Statewide and Legislative Candidates," Accessed November 7, 2013
  2. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board "Ballot Petition Form for Parties," Accessed November 7, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, "Chapter 5, Section 62," accessed March 27, 2014
  4. Correspondence with Wisconsin Government Accountability Board in October 2013.
  5. Government Accountability Board, "2010 General Election Results," accessed March 27, 2014
  6. Government Accountability Board, "2012 General Election Results," accessed March 27, 2014
  7. Government Accountability Board, "Petition for Ballot Status," accessed March 27, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Government Accountability Board, "Ballot Access Checklist for 2014 Federal Candidates in Wisconsin," accessed March 27, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, "Chapter 8, Section 21," accessed March 27, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, "Chapter 8, Section 20," accessed March 27, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, "Chapter 8, Section 15," accessed March 27, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Government Accountability Board, "Ballot Access Checklist for 2014 Legislative and Statewide Constitutional Office Candidates," accessed March 27, 2014
  13. Ballot Access News, "Wisconsin Will No Longer Count Write-in Votes Unless Write-in Candidate Files Paperwork," May 17, 2014
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 Government Accountability Board, "Campaign Finance Overview: State Candidates," accessed March 27, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, "Chapter 11, Section 5," accessed March 27, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, "Chapter 11, Section 10," accessed March 27, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, "Chapter 11, Section 6," accessed March 27, 2014
  18. Government Accountability Board, "Campaign Finance Report Dates," accessed March 27, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations Chapter 11, Section 19," accessed March 27, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, "Chapter 11, Section 26," accessed March 27, 2014