RUNNING FOR OFFICE

Petition Information

Nomination petitions

Where to get your petition?

  • nomination petition for state-level offices are available online at http://dos.state.pa.us; these petitions are filed with the Department of State in Harrisburg

  • All other nomination petitions are obtained and filed at your county Department of Elections

Candidate

  • fill in the Preamble portion of the petition

  • be sure to print your name as you want it to appear on the ballot

  • a candidate may sign her own petition (for the party with which she is affiliated)

  • a candidate should obtain more signatures than the required number

  • the candidate’s affidavit on each petition must be signed and notarized after each petition is circulated

  • if you do not intend to form a political committee or receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $250 during any financial reporting period, sign and have notarized the waiver of expense account reporting affidavit

  • ignore the “SS:” on the affidavits; it does not mean social security #

Petition Circulator

  • a person who is securing signatures on a petition for a candidate

  • must be of the same political party stated on the petition you are circulating

  • must witness all signatures obtained on the petition

  • a candidate can circulate her own petitions

  • all signatures on a petition must be obtained before the petition is notarized

  • the circulator’s affidavit on each petition page must be signed and notarized after the all the signatures on the petition are obtained; you cannot circulate a petition that has already been notarized

Challenged and Rejected Petitions

  • Your petition may be challenged in court for various reasons:

    • the affidavit of circulator was notarized and then the circulator went and got more signatures after the notarization

    • the Statement of Financial Interest form is not filed with the governing body sought by the candidate by the deadline

    • signer(s) not a resident in the district where the petitioner is running for office

    • signer(s) not enrolled voter in the petitioner’s party

  • Most common reasons petitions are rejected by the County Board of Elections

    • insufficient number of total signatures

    • petition was circulated prior to the first day

    • petition was filed after the deadline

    • petition is not properly notarized

    • the Statement of Financial Interest form does not accompany the petition

Statement of Financial Interest Form

  • all candidates seeking public office must file this form (not needed for candidates for party committee positions)

  • the form requires candidates to provide information regarding their sources of income

  • the form must be filed with the governing body where the person is going to be a candidate; for example, a candidate for a city council position would file the form with the city clerk; a candidate for school board would file the position with the secretary of the school district)

  • a copy of the completed form must be appended to the nomination petition at the time of filing the petition with the Election Office

Filing Fees

  • if a filing fee is required, it must be paid at the time of filing your petition and Statement of Financial Interest

  • filing fees can be paid in cash, by money order or a certified check payable to the filing county’s Treasurer’s Office

Candidate’s Campaign Committee

  • a candidate is not required to have a campaign committee

  • if a candidate establishes a campaign committee, such committee must have a chairperson and a treasurer who may not be the same individual

  • a vacancy in either the chairperson or treasurer office prohibits the committee from receiving contributions or making expenditures

  • before the committee may receive contributions on behalf of the candidate, the Authorization for a Political Committee to Receive Funds on Behalf of a Candidate form must be filed with the office in which the nomination petition was filed

  • when the committee has received an aggregate amount of $250 in contributions, a Registration Statement must be filed with the office where the nomination petition was filed

Things to do now!

  • get to the county elections office and obtain necessary paperwork (petition and financial forms) as well as the Campaign Finance Reporting Law: Manual for Candidates and Political Committees

  • identify a chairperson and a treasurer for your campaign committee

  • develop a one to two sentence reply to: why are you running for this office

  • have a “palm” card made; carry these with you at all times and hand one to everyone you meet and talk to about your candidacy

  • pick up a stack of voter registration forms; carry them with you; when you talk with someone interested in your candidacy & not registered you can give them a form

  • begin to attend the regular meetings of the governing body you are campaigning to join

  • get a social media site for your campaign (do not use your personal Facebook/ website)

  • get a campaign email address (do not use your current, personal email address)

  • begin to identify your network of supporters and contributors: family, friends, folks you have worked with in civic organizations and on events, professional associates, ….; people who know you, your knowledge, skills, integrity, commitment to serve others

County Election Offices

Materials Available from your County Elections Office

  • nomination petitions

  • Authorization for a Political Committee to Receive Funds on Behalf of a Candidate

  • financial forms

  • Campaign Finance Reporting Law: Manual for Candidates and Political Committees

  • street lists of registered voters

Lackawanna County Election Office

Director - Marion Medalis 

Phone: 570-963-6737 | Fax: 570-963-6691

E-mail:  medalism@lackawannacounty.org

http://www.lackawannacounty.org/index.php/departmentsagencies/elections/voter-registration

Luzerne County Election Office

Director - Marisa Crispell

Phone: 570-825-1715

Email: elections@luzernecounty.org

http://www.luzernecounty.org/county/departments_agencies/bureau_of_elections

Wyoming County Election Office​

Director - Florence Ball

Phone: 570-996-2226

http://www.wycopa.org/Offices/ElectVoter/Pages/default.aspx

©2019 by Progressive Women of NEPA

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