Lehigh County - Running for Office

Running for Office

 

In order to have their name placed on the ballot, a prospective candidate should be familiar with the instructions on the nomination and state ethics forms. In addition, Each candidate should be aware of the rules and regulations spelled out in the Campaign Finance Reporting Law. Detailed booklets about these matters can be obtained that the Election Board Office. Qualifications for each office can be found on the Department of States website. http://www.newpa.com/get-local-gov-support/publications

Circulating A Petition

Potential candidates who wish to have their name placed on the ballot in a Primary Election should pick up nomination petition forms at the Election Board Office. Petition forms can only be circulated within a specific time frame and the directions on these forms should be followed very carefully. There is also a deadline when the petitions must be filed in the Election Board Office.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is a Statement of Financial Interests?

This two-part, carbonized statement, is also known as the ethics form and is the required method for the candidate to provide information about sources of income. The yellow copy must accompany the nomination form when it is filed in the Election Board Office. The original (white copy) must be filed with the municipality or school district office, depending on the type of office sought.

How many signatures must a candidate get on a nomination petition?
The number of required signatures varies depending on the type of office being sought. This information is on our web site under General Information - Petition Filing Information.


Why would a petition be rejected by the Election Board Office?

  • The wrong petition form was used; any petition form prior to 2015 is obsolete.
  • There were not enough signatures.
  • The petition was filed prior to the mandated start date.
  • The petition was received by the County Election Board after the deadline.
  • The dates on the signature lines did not fall within the specific time frame mandated.
  • The petition is not properly notarized.
  • Any required part of the petition form is not filled in.
  • The notary date is prior to the last required signature.
  • The ethics form (State of Financial Interests) does not accompany the petition
  • Any required fee is not submitted.

When can nomination petitions be challenged?

A petition must be challenged within 7 days of the filing deadline.

What are the reasons that petitions are challenged?

  • Petitions can be challenged in Court for various reasons. The most common are:
  • The signer is not an enrolled voter in the petitioner's party.
  • The signer does not reside in the district where the petitioner is seeking office.
  • The white ethics form is not filed with the governing body of the office sought by the petitioner. Again, an incumbent may be subject to different rules.
  • The dates on the signature lines are out of order.

How does a candidate find out if he or she is on the ballot?

The board of Elections will post a candidate list on its web site some time after all challenges are settled.

How is ballot position determined in a Primary Election?

A "Casting of Lots" is normally conducted approximately a week after the petition filing deadline. The time and place is published in most newspapers or can be obtained from the Election Board Office.

Do the winners in the Primary Election automatically appear on the November ballot?

Yes, unless the candidate withdraws.

What if someone who is not a member of a major political party (Democratic or Republican) would like to run for office? How does this candidate seek a position on the ballot in a  November Election?
Candidates of minor political parties or political bodies can file nomination papers after the deadline for accepting petitions. The time frame for filing nomination papers in normally extended into August because these candidates are seeking access to the November Ballot, rather than the Primary Ballot.

How many signatures must a minor political party or political body candidate get on a nomination paper?

Nomination papers contain signatures from qualified electors of the district where the candidate from the political party or political body is running. The required amount of signatures is at least 2% of the largest vote cast for a candidate elected within the same district as the office the minor political party or political body candidate seeks in the last Municipal Election.

The Election Board office will assist any candidate in determining the required number of signatures.