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Ballotpedia's 2012 congressional election coverage plan

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Welcome to Ballotpedia’s one-stop source for information about the 2012 Congressional 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 congressional elections please contact Geoff Pallay.

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Click here for an index of all Congress related Ballotpedia reports.


[edit]

Our coverage

We will be covering elections in the 435 U.S. House seats as well as the 33 U.S. Senate races. Additionally, Ballotpedia will build pages on any special elections that occur in 2012.

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
  • Campaign logos
  • 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.

Primary elections

Ballotpedia staff will be playing particularly close attention to primaries that are contested -- meaning at least two candidates are seeking a party nomination. Profiles will be built and expanded in advance of the state primary.

As each primary takes place, Ballotpedia staff will be indicating the winners and losers within 24 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.

Example: Virginia State Senate elections, 2011

General election

On election night, Ballotpedia staff will update election pages with check marks (Approveda) to indicate the winner of the race.

Original analysis

Throughout this presidential election season, Ballotpedia staff will create analysis pages regarding the congressional races. For example:

2012 Congressional Primary Information
State Signature Filing Deadline Primary Date Notes/Costs for candidates Days between Deadline and Primary
Alabama 1/13/2012 3/13/2012 Candidates for House must submit signatures equal to at least 3% of the votes for the office of Governor in the last general election in the district the candidate is running. Candidates for Senate must submit signatures equal to at least 3% of the votes for the office of Governor in the last general election.[1] 60
Alaska 6/1/2012 8/28/2012 Candidates must pay a $100 Filing Fee.[2] 88
Arizona 5/30/2012 8/28/2012 Signature Requirements Vary by District[3] 90
Arkansas 3/1/2012 5/22/2012 82
California 3/9/2012 6/5/2012 Filing Fee equal to 1% of the first year's salary, $1,740.[4] 88
Colorado 4/2/2012 6/26/2012 Major Party Candidates for Senate are required to have 1,500 signatures per congressional district. Minor Party Candidates for Senate are required to have 1,000 signatures or signatures equal to 2% of votes, whichever is less. Major Party Candidates for the House are required to have 1,000 signatures, or 30% of the votes, whichever is less. Minor Party Candidates for House are required to have 800 signatures or 2% of votes, whichever is less.[5] 85
Connecticut 6/12/2012 8/14/2012 Signature requirements must be equal to either 1% of the votes cast for the same office in the last election, or 7,500 signatures, whichever is less[6] 158
Delaware 7/10/2012 9/11/2012 The filing fee amount is set by the candidate's political party and is payable to the candidate's political party. There is no filing fee for Independent candidates.[7] 63
Florida 6/8/2012 8/14/2012 Major Political Party Candidates must pay a filing fee of $10,440 and Candidates without a party must pay a filing fee of $6,960. Senate Candidates must submit 112,174 signatures, and House candidates must submit 2,298 signatures.[8] 67
Georgia 5/25/2012 7/31/2012 Candidates must pay a filing fee of $5,220, 3% of the annual salary of $174,000.[9] 67
Hawaii 6/5/2012 8/11/2012 Filing Fees vary with Office sought. Signature requirements range from 15-25 signatures depending on office.[10] 67
Idaho 3/9/2012 5/15/2012 Candidates are required to pay a $300 fee and file 500 signatures from with the congressional district.[11] 67
Illinois 12/27/2011 3/20/2012 Major Party Candidates are required to submit 600 signatures. Independent and New Party Candidates are required to submit 5,000 signatures.[12] 84
Indiana 2/10/2012 5/8/2012 Candidates for Senate must submit at least 4,500 signatures, with 500 signatures from each of the 9 congressional districts.Independent candidates for Senate must submit signatures equal to 2% of the votes cast in the previous election for Secretary of State, or 34,194. Candidate for House that are independent or minor party candidates must obtain signatures from registered voters equal to 2% of the total votes cast for

secretary of state in the 2010 general election in the election district the candidate seeks to represent.[13]

74
Iowa 3/16/2012 6/5/2012 No Filing Fees. Signature Requirements will be based on 2010 voting results, and will vary when new 2011 Redistrict Law goes into effect.[14] 81
Kansas 6/11/2012 8/7/2012 Major Party Candidates for Senate must submit signatures equal to 1% of Party and a filing fee of 1% of Salary ($1,740) + $20. Candidates for House are required to submit signatures equal to 2% of Party and a filing fee equal to 1% of Salary ($1,740) + $20. Independent Candidates for both the House and Senate are required to submit 5,000 signatures and a filing fee of 1% of Salary ($1,740) +$20.[15] 67
Kentucky 2/7/2012[16][17][18] 5/22/2012[19] Candidates for both Senate and House are required to submit a $500 Filing Fee.[20] 112
Louisiana 8/17/2012 11/6/2012 Candidates for Senate and House must pay a $600 Qualifying Fee and Democratic and Republican Candidates must also pay a $300 State Central Committee Fee. Candidates for Senate may submit nominating petitions in lieu of fees with 5,000 signatures, with no less than 500 signatures from each congressional district. Candidates for House may submit nominating petitions in lieu of fees with 1,000 signatures.[21] 81
Maine 3/15/2012 6/12/2012 Major Party Candidates for House are required to submit 1,000-1,500 signatures. Major party candidates for Senate are required to submit 2,000-3,000 signatures. Non-Party Candidates for Senate are required to submit 4,000-6,000 signatures. Non-party candidates for House are required to submit 2,000-3,000 signatures.[22] 89
Maryland 1/11/2012 4/3/2012 Filing Fee Varies with Office Sought[23] Candidates for House must pay a $100 filing fee. Candidates for Senate must pay a $290 filing fee.[24] 83
Massachusetts 6/5/2012 9/6/2012 Candidates for House must submit at least 2,000 signatures.[25][26] Candidates for Senate must submit at least 10,000 signatures.[25] 105
Michigan 5/15/2012 8/7/2012 Partisan Candidates must submit at least 1,000 valid signatures by 5/11/2012. Independent Candidates must submit at least 3,000 valid signatures by 5/11/2012.[27] 84
Minnesota 6/5/2012 8/14/2012 Major party candidates must submit a $400 Filing Fee for Senate and a $300 Filing Fee for House. In place of the filing fee, candidates may submit 2,000 signatures for Senate and 1,000 signatures for House. A candidate not running as a member of a major political party must file a nominating petition to have his or her name placed on the general election ballot, with 2,000 signatures required for Senate and 1,000 signatures required for House. Independent candidates have the option of paying the filing fee instead of submitting signatures.[28] 70
Mississippi 1/13/2011 3/13/2012 Major party candidates for Senate must submit a $300 filing fee, and candidates for House must submit a $200 filing fee. Independent candidates must submit 1,000 signatures for Senate and 200 signatures for House.[29] 60
Missouri 3/27/2012 8/7/2012 Candidates for Senate must submit a $200 filing fee. Candidates for House must submit a $100 filing fee.[30] 133
Montana 3/12/2012 6/5/2012 Candidates for both Senate and House must submit a $1,740 filing fee.[31] 85
Nebraska 3/1/2012 5/15/2012 Candidates for Senate and House must pay a filing fee of $1,740.[32] 75
Nevada 3/16/2012 6/12/2012 Candidates for Senate must submit a $500 filing fee. Candidates for House must submit a $300 filing fee.[33] 88
New Hampshire 6/15/2012 9/11/2012 Major party candidates for Senate must submit $100 filing fee or 200 signatures. Major party candidates for House must submit a $50 filing fee or 100 signatures. Independent candidates for Senate must submit $100 AND 1,500 signatures for EACH district (3,000 signatures total). Independent candidates for House must submit a $50 filing fee AND 1,500 signatures.[34] 88
New Jersey 4/2/2012[35] 6/5/2012 Major party candidates for Senate must submit 1,000 signatures and major party candidates for House must submit 200 signatures.[36] 140
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.[37] 112
New York 4/16/2012 6/26/2012[38][39] Major party candidates for either Senate or House must submit signatures equal to 5% of the enrolled voters of the political unit, or 1,250 signatures, whichever is less. Independent candidates for Senate or House must submit 5% of enrolled voters of the political unit, or 3,500 signatures, whichever is less.[40] 71
North Carolina 2/29/2012 5/8/2012 Candidates must pay a $1,740 filing fee.[41] 69
North Dakota 4/13/2012 6/12/2012 Signature requirement are equal to 3% of the total votes cast for the candidates of the same party for the same office in the last general election. (No more than 300 signatures required)[42] 60
Ohio 12/7/2011 3/6/2012 Candidates for Senate must pay a $150 filing fee. Major party candidates must submit at least 1,000 signatures, minor party candidates 500 signatures, and independent party candidates at least 5,000 signatures. Candidates for House must pay a $85 filing fee. 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.[43] 90
Oklahoma 4/13/2012 6/26/2012[44] 74
Oregon 3/6/2012 5/15/2012 Senate candidates must pay $150 filing and to be included in the Voters Pamphlet submit 500 verified signatures or $3,000. House candidates must pay $100 filing fee and to be in included in the Voters Pamphlet submit 300 verified signatures or $2,500.[45] 70
Pennsylvania 2/14/2012 4/24/2012 Candidates for Senate must pay a $200 filing fee and submit at least 2,000 signatures. Candidates for House must pay a $150 filing fee and submit at least 1,000 signatures.[46] 70
Rhode Island 6/27/2012 9/11/2012 Candidates must submit 500 signatures.[47] 70
South Carolina 3/30/2012 6/12/2012[48] Major party candidates for Senate must pay $10,440 filing fee, to be paid by party. Major party candidates for House must pay $3,480 filing fee, to be paid by party.[49] 74
South Dakota 3/27/2012 6/5/2012 Republican candidates for Senate and House are required to submit 1,951 signatures, equal to 1% of the votes for the 2010 republican gubernatorial candidate, 195,406. Democratic candidates for Senate and House are required to submit 1,221 signatures, equal to 1% of the 2010 democratic gubernatorial candidates, 122,037. Independent candidates for Senate and House are required to submit 3,171 signatures, equal to 1% of the total votes for governor in 2010, 317,083. Newly Recognized Political Party candidates for Senate and House must submit 250 signatures. Candidates for Senate and House forming a new political party must submit $7,928 signatures, equal to 2.5% of the total vote for governor in 2010, 317,083.[50] 70
Tennessee 4/5/2012 8/2/2012 A nominating petition with at least 25 signatures from voters from the candidate's district.[51] 119
Texas 3/9/2011 5/29/2012 Candidates for Senate must pay a filing fee of $5,000 or submit 5,000 signatures. Candidates for House must pay a filing fee of $3,125 or 500 signatures. Independent candidates for Senate must submit signatures equal to 1% of votes for gubernatorial candidates cast in applicable territory in 2010 general election. Independent candidates for House must submit signatures equal to 5% of votes for gubernatorial candidates cast in the applicable territory in the 2010 general election.[52] 81
Utah 3/15/2012 6/26/2012 Candidates for Senate must pay filing fee of $1,305. Candidates for House must pay filing fee of $435.[53] 102
Vermont 6/14/2012 8/28/2012 Candidates for both Senate and House, both major and minor parties, must submit 500 signatures.[54] 75
Virginia 3/29/2012 6/12/2012 Candidates for House must pay a $3,480 filing fee and submit at least 1,000 signatures.[55] 75
Washington 5/18/2012 8/7/2012 Candidates for both Senate and House must submit a filing fee of $1,740.[56] 81
West Virginia 1/28/2012 5/8/2012 Candidates for both Senate and House must submit a filing fee of $1,740.[57] 101
Wisconsin 6/1/2012 8/14/2012 Candidates for Senate must submit 2,000-4,000 signatures. Candidates for House must submit 1,000-2,000 signatures.[58] 74
Wyoming 6/1/2012 8/21/2012 New party candidates and Independent candidates for both Senate and House are required to submit 3,740 signatures.[59] 81

References

  1. Alabama Secretary of State "Candidate Guide" accessed December 8, 2011
  2. State of Alaska Division of Elections "Political Party Candidates" accessed November 26, 2011
  3. Arizona Department of State: Office of the Secretary of State "2010 Congressional Partisan Signature Requirements" accessed November 25, 2011
  4. United States Representative in Congress "Summary of Qualifications and Requirements for Partisan Nomination" accessed November 27, 2011
  5. Colorado Secretary of State "How to Run for Office" accessed November 26, 2011
  6. Connecticut Election Services "Frequently Asked Questions" accessed January 7, 2012
  7. State of Delaware: The Official Website of the First State "Candidates for Federal Office" accessed November 26, 2011
  8. Florida Division of Elections "2010 Qualifying Information" accessed November 26, 2011
  9. Legal Notice for Publication in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Qualifying Fees" accessed November 26, 2011
  10. Office of Elections: State of Hawaii "Factsheet: Candidate Filing Process 2012 Elections" accessed November 26, 2011
  11. Idaho Secretary of State, "2012 Federal & State Candidate Filing Requirements," accessed February 8, 2012
  12. Illinois State Board of Elections "2012 Candidates Guide" accessed November 26, 2011
  13. Indiana Secretary of State "2012 Candidate Guide" accessed December 1, 2011
  14. Office of the Iowa Secretary of State "Candidate's Guide to the Primary Election" accessed November 26, 2011
  15. Kansas Election Standards "Chapter IV: Candidates" accessed November 26, 2011
  16. Moved from initial date of 1/31/2012
  17. Courier Press "Judge to rule by Tuesday on Kentucky legislative filing deadline," January 30, 2012
  18. Kentucky Secretary of State "Primary Filing Deadline" accessed January 9, 2012
  19. Kentucky Secretary of State "2012 Election Calendar" accessed January 9, 2012
  20. Kentucky State Board of Elections "Candidate Qualifications and Filing Fees" accessed November 26, 2011
  21. Louisiana Secretary of State "Fees/Nomination Petitions" accessed December 1, 2011
  22. State of Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap "State of Maine 2012 Candidate's Guide to Ballot Access" accessed November 26, 2011
  23. Maryland State Board of Elections "Candidacy" accessed November 27, 2011
  24. Maryland Elections Division "Candidacy Requirements" accessed January 7, 2012
  25. 25.0 25.1 Massachusetts Secretary of State "Candidates Guide" accessed April 25, 2012
  26. Massachusetts Elections Division "Election Schedule" accessed December 1, 2011
  27. State of Michigan Secretary of State Department of State "Filing Requirements: U.S. Representative in Congress" accessed November 26, 2011
  28. Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie "Filing Fees" accessed November 27, 2011
  29. State of Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann Secretary of State "2012 Candidate Qualifying Guide" accessed November 27, 2011
  30. Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan "Filing Information for Candidates" accessed November 27, 2011
  31. Secretary of State Linda McCulloch Elections and Government Services Division "Offices and Filing Fees for the 2012 Ballot" accessed November 27, 2011
  32. Nebraska Secretary of State "Filing Fee Schedule" accessed December 1, 2011
  33. State of Nevada Ross Miller Secretary of State "Campaign Guide 2012" accessed November 27, 2011
  34. State of New Hampshire "Filing for Office for State Primary" accessed November 27, 2011
  35. FEC.gov "2012 Presidential Primaries and Candidate Filing Deadlines" accessed December 10, 2011
  36. State of New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections "Partisan Candidates" accessed November 27, 2011
  37. State of New Mexico Dianna J. Duran Secretary of State "2012 Candidate Guide" accessed November 27, 2011
  38. Moved from original date of September 11, 2012
  39. Albany Times Union "U.S. judge sets June primary date," January 27, 2012
  40. New York State Election Board "Running for Office" accessed December 1, 201
  41. North Carolina State Board of Elections "Candidacy Filing Fees" accessed November 27, 2011
  42. Secretary of State Alvin A. Jaeger "Running for U.S. Congress" accessed November 27, 2012
  43. Ohio Secretary of State "2012 Ohio Candidate Requirement Guide" accessed December 1, 2011
  44. Oklahoma Elections-2012 "Calendar 2012" accessed November 27, 2011
  45. Oregon Secretary of State: Kate Brown "Candidate's Manual" accessed November 27, 2011
  46. Pennsylvania Department of State "Running for Office: Filing Fees and Signature Requirements" accessed December 1, 2011
  47. A. Ralph Mollis Secretary of State "Rhode Island How to Run for Office: A guide for Candidates" accessed November 27, 2011
  48. South Carolina Election Commission "2012 Primary and General Election Election Calendar" accessed November 27, 2011
  49. South Carolina Votes "Filing Fees" accessed November 2011
  50. South Dakota Secretary of State Jason M. Gant "2012 Signature Requirements" accessed November 27, 2010
  51. U.S. House 2012 "Qualifying Procedures for Tennessee Candidates for United States House of Representatives" accessed November 27, 2011
  52. Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade "Republican or Democratic Party Nominees" accessed November 27, 2011
  53. UtCaah Lieutenant Governor Elections Becoming a Federal Candidate" accessed November 27, 2011
  54. Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos "Elections and Campaign Finance Division" accessed November 27, 2011
  55. Virginia State Board of Elections "Candidate Bulletins" accessed December 1, 2011
  56. Washington Secretary of State "2012 Filing for Public Elective Office in Washington State" accessed November 27, 2011
  57. West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant "Offices on the Ballot 2012" accessed November 27, 2011
  58. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board "Ballot Access Checklist for 2012 Federal Candidates in Wisconsin" accessed November 27, 2011
  59. Wyoming Elections Division "2012 Key Election Dates" accessed November 27, 2011