Difference between revisions of "Filing requirements for congressional candidates"

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{{TOC maker|1=Federal Requirements to run for congressional office|1.1=Federal Election Commission|2=State requirements to run for congressional office|3=Filing requirements detailed by state|4=See also|5=References}}This page details information about '''ballot access for congressional candidates'''.
 
 
 
==Federal Requirements to run for congressional office==
 
==Federal Requirements to run for congressional office==
 
According to the Constitution of the United States,
 
According to the Constitution of the United States,

Revision as of 11:32, 13 December 2012

Federal Requirements to run for congressional office

According to the Constitution of the United States,

"No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen."[1]

These are the fundamental requirements for running for congressional office. There are also federal regulations concerning campaign finances, which must be reported to the Federal Election Commission.

Federal Election Commission

According to the FEC, an individual becomes a federal candidate, and must begin to report their campaign finances, once he has either raised or spent $5,000 in pursuit of his campaign. Within fifteen days of this benchmark for status as a candidate, he must register with the FEC and designate his official campaign committee, to be responsible for the funds and expenditures of the campaign. This committee must have an official treasurer, and cannot support any candidate but the one who registered the committee. Detailed financial reports are then made to the FEC every financial quarter after the individual is registered with the FEC. Reports are also made before primaries and before the general election.[2]

State requirements to run for congressional office

States require the individual to establish himself as a candidate by two methods. The individual must either collect signatures of people who want him to be on the ballot, or pay a fee for registering as a candidate. In some cases, the state requires both a certain number of signatures and a fee, and in a few cases the candidate can choose either signatures or a fee.

Florida requires the most of its candidates: a major party candidate pays $10,440 and collects 112,174 signatures to run for U.S. Senate, and the same fee but 2,298 signatures to run for the House.[3] South Carolina also requires major party candidates to pay large fees, but does not require signatures. To run for US Senate in South Carolina, the candidate pays $10,440; to run for House, $3,480.[4]

In Alaska, individuals pay a $100 filing fee, and do not need any signatures.[5] In New Hampshire, a major party candidate can pay $50 or collect 100 signatures to run for the House of Representatives.[6]

In many states, the political party is responsible for paying the filing fee for its candidate. A filing fee of 1% of the salary of an elected congressman, or $1,740, is also common. The average of the state filing fees to run for the US House of Representatives is $1,465.


Filing requirements detailed by state

2012 Congressional Primary Information
State Notes/Costs for candidates
Alabama 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.[7]
Alaska Candidates must pay a $100 Filing Fee.[8]
Arizona Signature Requirements Vary by District [9]
Arkansas Fee set by party. [10]
California Filing Fee equal to 1% of the first year's salary, $1,740. [11]
Colorado 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.[12]
Connecticut 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 [13]
Delaware 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.[14]
Florida 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.[15]
Georgia Candidates must pay a filing fee of $5,220, 3% of the annual salary of $174,000. [16]
Hawaii Filing Fees vary with Office sought. Signature requirements range from 15-25 signatures depending on office.[17]
Idaho Candidates are required to pay a $300 fee and file 500 signatures from with the congressional district.[18]
Illinois Major Party Candidates are required to submit 600 signatures. Independent and New Party Candidates are required to submit 5,000 signatures. [19]
Indiana 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. [20]

Iowa No Filing Fees. Signature Requirements will be based on 2010 voting results, and will vary when new 2011 Redistrict Law goes into effect. [21]
Kansas 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.[22]
Kentucky Candidates for both Senate and House are required to submit a $500 Filing Fee.[23]
Louisiana 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. [24]
Maine 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. [25]
Maryland Filing Fee Varies with Office Sought [26] Candidates for House must pay a $100 filing fee. Candidates for Senate must pay a $290 filing fee.[27]
Massachusetts Candidates for House must submit at least 2,000 signatures. [28][29] Candidates for Senate must submit at least 10,000 signatures.[28]
Michigan 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.[30]
Minnesota 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. [31]
Mississippi 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. [32]
Missouri Candidates for Senate must submit a $200 filing fee. Candidates for House must submit a $100 filing fee. [33]
Montana Candidates for both Senate and House must submit a $1,740 filing fee. [34]
Nebraska Candidates for Senate and House must pay a filing fee of $1,740. [35]
Nevada Candidates for Senate must submit a $500 filing fee. Candidates for House must submit a $300 filing fee. [36]
New Hampshire 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. [37]
New Jersey Major party candidates for Senate must submit 1,000 signatures and major party candidates for House must submit 200 signatures. [38]
New Mexico 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.[39]
New York 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]
North Carolina Candidates must pay a $1,740 filing fee. [41]
North Dakota 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]
Ohio 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]
Oklahoma Candidates for U.S. House must pay a $750 filling fee. Candidates for U.S. Senate must pay a $1,000 fee. In lieu of payment, a candidate may submit a petition with signatures from at least 5% of registered voters.
Oregon 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. [44]
Pennsylvania 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. [45]
Rhode Island Candidates must submit 500 signatures. [46]
South Carolina 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.[47]
South Dakota 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. [48]
Tennessee A nominating petition with at least 25 signatures from voters from the candidate's district. [49]
Texas 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. [50]
Utah Candidates for Senate must pay filing fee of $1,305. Candidates for House must pay filing fee of $435.[51]
Vermont Candidates for both Senate and House, both major and minor parties, must submit 500 signatures. [52]
Virginia Candidates for House must pay a $3,480 filing fee and submit at least 1,000 signatures. [53]
Washington Candidates for both Senate and House must submit a filing fee of $1,740. [54]
West Virginia Candidates for both Senate and House must submit a filing fee of $1,740. [55]
Wisconsin Candidates for Senate must submit 2,000-4,000 signatures. Candidates for House must submit 1,000-2,000 signatures. [56]
Wyoming New party candidates and Independent candidates for both Senate and House are required to submit 3,740 signatures.[57]


States requiring signatures

These 19 states require petition signatures for candidates to achieve ballot access in a congressional race.
These 19 states require fees for candidates to achieve ballot access in a congressional race.
These four states require fees for candidates to achieve ballot access in a congressional race.
These eight states require both fees and petition signatures for candidates to achieve ballot access in a congressional race.

States requiring fee

States requiring either signatures or a fee

States requiring both signatures and a fee

See also

References

  1. National Archives "The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription" Accessed December 7, 2012
  2. Federal Election Commission "Candidate Registration Brochure" Accessed December 7, 2012
  3. Florida Division of elections "2012 Qualifying information" Accessed December 8, 2012
  4. SCVote.org "Filing Fees" Access December 8, 2012
  5. Alaska Division of Elections "Filing for Office" Accessed December 8, 2012
  6. New Hampshire Secretary of State "Filing for office" Accessed December 8, 2012
  7. Alabama Secretary of State "Candidate Guide" Accessed December 8, 2011
  8. State of Alaska Division of Elections "Political Party Candidates" Accessed November 26, 2011
  9. Arizona Department of State: Office of the Secretary of State "2010 Congressional Partisan Signature Requirements" Accessed November 25, 2011
  10. Arkansas state board of election comissioners "Running for public office: a "Plain English" handbook for candidates" Accessed December 7, 2012
  11. United States Representative in Congress "Summary of Qualifications and Requirements for Partisan Nomination" Accessed November 27, 2011
  12. Colorado Secretary of State "How to Run for Office" Accessed November 26, 2011
  13. Connecticut Election Services "Frequently Asked Questions" Accessed January 7, 2012
  14. State of Delaware: The Official Website of the First State "Candidates for Federal Office" Accessed November 26, 2011
  15. Florida Division of Elections "2010 Qualifying Information" Accessed November 26, 2011
  16. Legal Notice for Publication in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Qualifying Fees" Accessed November 26, 2011
  17. Office of Elections: State of Hawaii "Factsheet: Candidate Filing Process 2012 Elections" Accessed November 26, 2011
  18. Idaho Secretary of State, "2012 Federal & State Candidate Filing Requirements," Accessed February 8, 2012
  19. Illinois State Board of Elections "2012 Candidates Guide" Accessed November 26, 2011
  20. Indiana Secretary of State "2012 Candidate Guide" Accessed December 1, 2011
  21. Office of the Iowa Secretary of State "Candidate's Guide to the Primary Election" Accessed November 26, 2011
  22. Kansas Election Standards "Chapter IV: Candidates" Accessed November 26, 2011
  23. Kentucky State Board of Elections "Candidate Qualifications and Filing Fees" Accessed November 26, 2011
  24. Louisiana Secretary of State "Fees/Nomination Petitions" Accessed December 1, 2011
  25. State of Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap "State of Maine 2012 Candidate's Guide to Ballot Access" Accessed November 26, 2011
  26. Maryland State Board of Elections "Candidacy" Accessed November 27, 2011
  27. Maryland Elections Division "Candidacy Requirements" Accessed January 7, 2012
  28. 28.0 28.1 Massachusetts Secretary of State "Candidates Guide" Accessed April 25, 2012
  29. Massachusetts Elections Division "Election Schedule" Accessed December 1, 2011
  30. State of Michigan Secretary of State Department of State "Filing Requirements: U.S. Representative in Congress" Accessed November 26, 2011
  31. Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie "Filing Fees" Accessed November 27, 2011
  32. State of Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann Secretary of State "2012 Candidate Qualifying Guide" Accessed November 27, 2011
  33. Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan "Filing Information for Candidates" Accessed November 27, 2011
  34. Secretary of State Linda McCulloch Elections and Government Services Division "Offices and Filing Fees for the 2012 Ballot" Accessed November 27, 2011
  35. Nebraska Secretary of State "Filing Fee Schedule" Accessed December 1, 2011
  36. State of Nevada Ross Miller Secretary of State "Campaign Guide 2012" Accessed November 27, 2011
  37. State of New Hampshire "Filing for Office for State Primary" Accessed November 27, 2011
  38. State of New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections "Partisan Candidates" Accessed November 27, 2011
  39. State of New Mexico Dianna J. Duran Secretary of State "2012 Candidate Guide" Accessed November 27, 2011
  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. Oregon Secretary of State: Kate Brown "Candidate's Manual" Accessed November 27, 2011
  45. Pennsylvania Department of State "Running for Office: Filing Fees and Signature Requirements" Accessed December 1, 2011
  46. A. Ralph Mollis Secretary of State "Rhode Island How to Run for Office: A guide for Candidates" Accessed November 27, 2011
  47. South Carolina Votes "Filing Fees" Accessed November 2011
  48. South Dakota Secretary of State Jason M. Gant "2012 Signature Requirements" Accessed November 27, 2010
  49. U.S. House 2012 "Qualifying Procedures for Tennessee Candidates for United States House of Representatives" Accessed November 27, 2011
  50. Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade "Republican or Democratic Party Nominees" Accessed November 27, 2011
  51. UtCaah Lieutenant Governor Elections Becoming a Federal Candidate" Accessed November 27, 2011
  52. Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos "Elections and Campaign Finance Division" Accessed November 27, 2011
  53. Virginia State Board of Elections "Candidate Bulletins" Accessed December 1, 2011
  54. Washington Secretary of State "2012 Filing for Public Elective Office in Washington State" Accessed November 27, 2011
  55. West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant "Offices on the Ballot 2012" Accessed November 27, 2011
  56. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board "Ballot Access Checklist for 2012 Federal Candidates in Wisconsin" Accessed November 27, 2011
  57. Wyoming Elections Division "2012 Key Election Dates" Accessed November 27, 2011