Petition Candidate Filing

Deadline – Noon, July 15, 2016

Citizens may file by petition to become candidates for almost every office on this year’s ballot. There are no filing fees for petition candidates, but the petitioner must meet (or will meet by time of the General Election) all qualifications for the office.  Petition Candidates are not linked to any “Straight Party” ticket nor is any party affiliation displayed on the ballot for these candidates.

The deadline for petition candidates to file their complete petitions required for the November 8, 2016 General Election is Noon, July 15, 2016.  There are no exceptions for emergencies, bad traffic, bad weather, etc.  The receiving authority for the petition will issue a receipt.   Once a petition is submitted, the petitioner cannot come back to add additional signature pages.  The Board of Voter Registration & Elections of Pickens County has until 12:00PM (Noon) on August 15, 2016 to validate all signatures on the petitions submitted. Persons who have submitted petitions are not a candidate until their petitions have been validated.

If a petition candidate is filing for a county office, the candidate files with the Board of Voter Registration and Elections of Pickens County (222 McDaniel Ave B-9 Pickens, SC 29671).  This includes the following Pickens County offices: Auditor, Clerk of Court, Coroner, County Council districts 3, 4, 5, & 6, Sheriff.

If a petition candidate is filing for a federal, state, or multi-county office, the candidate files with the SC State Election Commission (1122 Lady Street, Suite 500 Columbia, SC 29201). This includes the following offices:  U.S. Senate,  U.S. House of Representatives District 3, State Senate, State House of Representatives District 3, 4, 5, and 10.

To be nominated by petition, a citizen must file a nominating petition containing the valid signatures of not less than 5% of the active, registered voters in the geographical area the office represents and meet all qualifications of the office. 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.

The Board of Voter Registration and Elections of Pickens County recommends getting at least 25-35% more signatures than the minimum required, as there may be a large number of people who may sign your petition but not be registered or otherwise eligible.    However, this does not guarantee the petition is good.  Candidates should collect as many signatures as possible.

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 Pickens County Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioners.  Citizens wishing to be candidates for this office must submit to the Board of Voter Registration & Elections a nominating petition with the signatures of 100 qualified electors (registered voters) of the district or 1%, whichever is less.

All petitions must:

  • Be printed on good quality original bond paper sized 8.5″ x 14″ (legal size…not letter).
  • Contain the name of the petition candidate, the office for which he is running for, and the specific election date in which he is offering to run as a candidate must appear on EVERY page of the petition.
  • Use the petition template provided by the SC State Election Commission (download it below)
  • Contain only signatures from one county per petition page
  • Have each signature numbered consecutively.
  • Have each page 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 www.scstatehouse.net.

You may view candidates that have filed HERE.


Important Note on Ethics Forms – Concerns candidate filing for all offices

Candidates are required to file a Statement of Economic Interests and a Campaign Disclosure online with the State Ethics Commission at http://ethics.sc.gov. Failure to file these documents may result in a candidate fine but will not disqualify a candidate from the election. Contact the State Ethics Commission for more information.

Citizens no longer need to provide a paper printout of their Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) at the time of filing to become a candidate. Candidates are still required to file an SEI online during the candidate filing period with the State Ethics Commission; however, candidates are no longer required to present a copy of the SEI at the time of filing. The filing of the SEI has no bearing on a candidate’s ballot access. If a candidate fails to properly file an SEI (or campaign disclosure), the candidate may be fined by the State Ethics Commission but may not be denied ballot access. This change applies to all candidates in all elections.