arrowSection 2.2 - Getting on the Ballot

This topic is monitored by Moritz Law Professor Edward B. Foley

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Filing Deadlines for Independent Candidates in the 22 Most Competitive States for the 2004 Presidential Election

States
(Electoral Votes)
Filing Deadline Filing Requirements Statute
Washington (11) Candidates must file between 8:00am on July 26 and 4:00pm on July 30, 2004. Candidates must file any certificates of nomination and a nominating petition (1000 signatures of registered voters, gathered at valid conventions). Wash. Rev. Code §§ 29A.20.120, 29A.20.140, 29A.20.160, 29A.24.050, (2004)
Michigan (17) Candidates must file by 4:00pm on July 15, 2004. Candidates must file a qualifying petition (containing signatures equal in number to 1% of votes cast for all candidates for governor in the last election, at least 100 signatures from each of at least ½ of the congressional districts in the state) and two affidavits of identity. Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 168.590b, 168.590c (2004)
Maine (4) Candidates must file by 5:00pm on August 15, 2004. Candidates must file a nominating petition (4,000-6,000 signatures).

21-A M.R.S. § 354 (2003)

Pennsylvania (21) According to statute, candidates must file by May 7, 2004; however, a consent decree extends this date to August 1 Candidates must file a candidate affidavit, a nominating petition (containing signatures equal in number to 2% of the votes of the highest-vote getter in the previous election (this is approximately 20,000-25,000 signatures)), and pay a filing fee ($200). 25 P.S. §§ 2873, 2911 (2004)
Minnesota (10) Candidates must file between July 6 and September 14, 2004. Candidates must nominate a slate of presidential electors and file a nominating petition (containing signatures equal in number to 1% of the total number of voters in the preceding general election or 2000 signatures, whichever is less). Minn. Stat. §§ 204B.07, 204B.08, (2003)
Oregon (7) Candidates must file by August 24, 2004. Candidates must file a nominating petition (containing signatures equal in number to 1% of all votes cast in the previous presidential election). Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 249.722, 249.740
Iowa (7) Candidates must file between July 26 and August 13, 2004. Candidates must file an affidavit of candidacy, a list of presidential electors, and a nominating petition (1500 signatures). Iowa Code §§ 45.1, 44.4, 45.4 (2003)
Wisconsin (10) Candidates must file between August 1 and 5:00pm on September 7, 2004. Candidates must file a declaration of candidacy and a nominating petition (2000-4000 signatures). Wis. Stat. § 8.20 (2003)
New Mexico (5) Candidates must file by 5:00pm on September 7, 2004. Candidates must file a declaration of candidacy and a nominating petition (containing signatures equal in number to at least 3% of the total number of votes cast for governor at the last preceding general election (14,527 for the 2004 election)). N.M. Stat. Ann §§ 1-8-51, 1-8-52 (Michie 1978)
Florida (27) Candidates must file by July 15, 2004. Candidates must file a nominating petition (containing signatures equal in number to at least 1% of the registered electors of the state (93,024 for the 2004 election)). Fla. Stat. ch.   103.021 (2004)
New Hampshire (4) Candidates must file a declaration of intent between June 2 and 5:00pm on June 11, 2004 to the Secretary of State. The nominating petitions must be given to each respective town for certification by August 11, 2004.   Finally, the certified nominating petition is due by September 8, 2004 to Secretary of State. Candidates must file a declaration of candidacy, a nominating petition (3000 signatures of registered voters, 1500 from each congressional district), and pay a filing fee ($250). N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 655:42, 655:43, 6:55:19-a (2003)
Missouri (11) Candidates must file by 5:00pm on July 26, 2004. Candidates must file a declaration of candidacy and a nominating petition (10,000 signatures of registered voters). Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 115.321, 115.327, 115.329 (2004)
Ohio (20) Candidates must file by 4:00pm on    August 19, 2004. Candidates must file a statement of candidacy, a nominating petition (5000-15,000 signatures of registered voters), and a slate of presidential electors. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 3513.257, 3513.261 (Anderson 2004)
Nevada (5) Candidates must file by 5:00pm on August 13, 2004. Candidates must file a declaration of candidacy, a nominating petition (containing signatures equal in number to not less than 1% of the total number of votes cast at the last preceding general election for candidates for the offices of Representative in Congress), and pay a filing fee ($250). Nev. Rev. Stat. 293.200, 298.109 (2004)
Tennessee (11) Candidates must file by 12:00pm on August 19, 2004. Candidates must file a nominating petition (25 signatures per elector (Tennessee has 11), a total of 275 signatures). Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-5-101 (2003), Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 2-15-101, 2-15-102 (2004)
Arkansas (6) Candidates must file by May 1, 2004. Candidates must file a nominating petition (containing signatures equal in number to 3% of voters statewide). Ark. Code Ann. § 7-7-103 (Michie 2003)
Delaware (3) Candidates must file by 4:30pm on September 1, 2004. Candidates must file a nominating petition (containing signatures equal in number to 1% of the total number of registered voters from the previous year (5182 signatures)). Del. Code Ann. tit. 15, § 3002 (2004)
Arizona (10) Candidates must file between May 10 and 5:00pm on June 9, 2004. Candidates must file a nominating paper and a nominating petition (containing signatures equal in number to 3% of voters statewide). Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 16-311, 16-341 (2004)
West Virginia (5) Candidates must file the candidate's certificate of announcement and pay the filing fee by June 30, 2004. The nominating petition must be filed by August 2, 2004. Candidates must file a candidate's certificate of announcement, a nominating petition (signatures equal in number to 2% of the total votes for president in the previous general election (12,962 signatures are needed for the 2004 election), and pay a $2500 filing fee (or 1% of the candidates annual salary, whichever is less). W. Va. Code   § 3-5-23 (2003), 2004 W. Va. Acts 449
Louisiana (9) Candidates must file their materials between August 3 and 5:00pm on September 7, 2004, though the nominating petition must be filed August 6, 2004. Candidates must file a notice of candidacy, a slate of electors, and either pay a $500 qualifying fee or file a nominating petition (5000 signatures, 500 from each congressional district). La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 18:465(c), 18:1254, 18:1255 (West 2004)
Colorado (9) Candidates must file by 3:00pm on July 2, 2004. Candidates must file either a statement of intent and a filing fee ($500), or a nominating petition (5000 signatures), and a slate of presidential electors. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 1-4-303, 1-4-802 (2003)

The states are listed in the same order of competitiveness as presented in Adam Nagourney, "The 2004 Campaign: State By State," N.Y. Times, May 12, 2004, at A18.