Signatures needed for independent candidates to qualify for United States House of Representatives elections, 2014

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The requirements for independent candidates to gain ballot access vary across the 50 states. This page contains information about signatures needed for independent candidates seeking office to the United States House of Representatives to gain ballot access in the 2014 general election.

Note: Information on this page was gathered by Richard Winger of Ballot Access News and then re-printed with his permission. Contact us if you have any questions or comments about the information on this page.

Summary

Three states do not require independent candidates to file a petition to gain ballot access -- only a filing fee is required. Those states are:[1]

  • Florida (Filing fees are three percent, election assessments are one percent and party assessments, if applicable, are two percent of the annual salary of the office sought)
  • Louisiana (Fees vary by office; for details, please see our ballot access page)
  • Oklahoma (Fees vary by office; for details, please see our ballot access page)

In seven states, independent candidates would require at least 10,000 valid signatures or votes in a primary election. Those states are:[1]

Full table

Portal:Third Party Ballot Access

The percentages in the table are the number of signatures needed in the average district in that state, divided by the number of voters in the average district who voted in the presidential election in November 2012. For California, Hawaii and Washington, the number of primary votes candidates receive, rather than signatures on a petition, determines whether they will move onto the general election ballot. This difference is reflected by the use of the words "primary votes" following the necessary number.[1]

Independent candidate requirements in 2014 House elections[1]
State Number of signatures
(unless otherwise specified)
Percentage Formula for requirement
Florida 0 0 no petition; pay filing fee
Louisiana 0 0 no petition; pay filing fee
Oklahoma 0 0 no petition; pay filing fee
Tennessee 25 0.01 number stated in law
New Jersey 100 0.03 number stated in law
Mississippi 200 0.06 number stated in law
Utah 300 0.12 number stated in law
Iowa 375 0.08 number stated in law
Kentucky 400 0.13 number stated in law
Idaho 500 0.15 number stated in law
Vermont 500 0.17 number stated in law
Rhode Island 500 0.22 number stated in law
Texas 500 0.23 number stated in law
Colorado 800 0.22 number stated in law
Wisconsin 1,000 0.26 number stated in law
Minnesota 1,000 0.27 number stated in law
Virginia 1,000 0.29 number stated in law
North Dakota 1,000 0.31 number stated in law
New Hampshire 1,500 0.42 number stated in law
Maine 2,000 0.56 number stated in law
Massachusetts 2,000 0.57 number stated in law
Arkansas 2,000 0.75 number stated in law
Nebraska 2,000 0.76 number stated in law
West Virginia 2,138 0.96 1% of 2012 vote cast for that office
Ohio 2,408 0.69 1% of 2010 gubernatorial vote within that district
Nevada 2,435 0.96 1% of 2012 vote cast for that office
Connecticut 2,933 0.94 1% of 2012 vote cast for that office
Michigan 3,000 0.89 number stated in law
Alaska 3,017 1 1% of number of voters who voted in 2012
South Dakota 3,171 0.87 1% of 2012 gubernatorial vote
Hawaii 3,193 primary votes 1.47 Lesser of the weakest party winner in the primary or 10% of total vote
New York 3,500 1.33 Number stated in law
Oregon 3,579 1 1% of 2012 presidential vote within district
Arizona 3,663 1.43 3% of number of registered independents in 2014
Indiana 3,799 1.3 2% of 2010 Secretary of State vote within that district
Pennsylvania 3,928 1.22 2% of 2012 winner’s vote for U.S. House
Maryland 4,628 1.37 1% of number of registered voters in 2014
Wyoming 4,833 1.94 2% of 2012 vote for U.S. House
Kansas 5,000 1.72 Lesser of 4% of registered voters or 5,000
New Mexico 6,018 2.3 3% of 2012 gubernatorial vote within that district
Delaware 6,364 1.54 1% of number of registered voters in 2014
Alabama 6,404 2.16 3% of 2010 gubernatorial vote within that district
Missouri 6,820 1.98 2% of 2012 gubernatorial vote within that district
South Carolina 10,000 3.56 Lesser of 5% of registered voters or 10,000
Montana 12,774 2.64 5% of 2012 vote for winner for that office
Illinois 14,050 4.82 5% of 2012 vote for that office
Georgia 17,620 6.33 5% of number of registered voters in that district in 2012
North Carolina 19,969 5.76 4% of number of registered voters in that district in 2014
California 23,542 primary votes 9.57 Must place first or second in June primary
Washington 35,201 primary votes 11.26 Must place first or second in August primary
Note: Both California and Washington have a top-two primary system in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of political party affiliation, move on to the general election. In the table, these two states show the required number of votes needed for candidates to place second in the top-two primary in the average district. The required number of votes needed for a Washington candidate is an average calculated using the results from 2008-2012. Since California has had only one top-two primary, the required number of votes needed for that state was calculated only from 2012 primary returns.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Richard Winger, Ballot Access News January 2014 Print Edition, Volume 29, Number 9