Petition Candidate Filing Information for Nov. 2, 2010

Candidates may file by petition for almost every office on this year’s ballot.   There are no filing fees for petition candidates.  The deadline for petition candidates to file for the November 2, 2010 General Election is noon, Thursday, July 15, 2010.

To be nominated by petition, a candidate must file a nominating petition containing the valid signatures of at least 5% of the active, registered voters in the geographical area the office represents. The 5% is based on the total number of registered voters in the geographical area 120 days prior to the election. No petition requires more than 10,000 signatures.

Petitions for some local offices may have specific requirements set by state law that are different from the 5% requirement….as is the case with the Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioners.

If a petition candidate is filing for a countywide or less-than-countywide office, the candidate files with our office.

If a petition candidate is filing for a multi-county office or State House of Representatives, the candidate files with the SC State Election Commission (2221 Devine ST Suite 105  Columbia, SC 29205).

Petitions must:

  • Be printed on good quality original bond paper sized 8.5″ x 14″.
  • Contain a concise statement of purpose.
    • In the case of nomination of candidates, the name of the candidate, the office for which he is offering, and the specific election in which he is offering.
    • Statement of purpose must appear on each page.
  • Contain separate columns for voters to enter the following information:
    • Signature and Printed Name of voter
    • Address of residence of voter
    • Precinct of voter
  • Contain only signatures from one county per petition page
  • Have each signature numbered consecutively.
  • Have each page numbered consecutively.

You may download a petition here.

For more information on nominating petitions see sections 7-11-70, 7-11-80, 7-11-85, and 7-13-351 of the S.C. Code of Laws, available online at

New this year – Candidates are required to complete ethics forms.  A state law passed this year now requires these forms to be completed online.  Both of the forms below must be electronically filed here:

  • The Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) is for the candidate to complete at the time of filing or already have completed.   Candidates must file electronically, print,  and submit their “filing confirmation page” with their petition.   The State Ethics Act requires that candidates electronically file this form at the time of becoming a candidate and provide evidence of such filing with the official responsible for the election. If a candidate fails to electronically file the form at the time of filing as a candidate, his name shall not appear on the ballot. If through error or omission, a candidate’s name appears on the election ballot, the candidate shall not be certified subsequent to the election.
  • The Campaign Disclosure Form. It is the responsibility of the candidate to electronically file this form, initially, within ten days after receiving or expending their first $500, to include their own money (please note an initial report is not required after every $500 spent or received). Thereafter, quarterly reports are due within ten days following the end of each calendar quarter before and after each election, until a final report with a zero balance is filed, whether contributions have been received or expenditures made. All candidates must electronically file a Pre-election report fifteen days before each election showing contribution and expenditure activity current as of 20 days before the election. This report is electronically filed even if no funds are received and no expenditures made. A Final Report is electronically filed when the campaign account is closed (i.e., no funds are in the account and no money is due or owed). NOTE: If a pre-election report is required to be filed within thirty days of the end of the prior calendar quarter, the quarterly report and pre-election report must be combined and filed to meet the pre-election report deadline.