Home | Business4WV | News Center
FacebookFollow Secretary Tennant on Twitter Subscribe to Secretary Tennant's Videos on VimeoUstream   Font size: A-  A  A+

 Non-Party Affiliated Candidates

Only recognized parties in West Virginia may nominate candidates for the General Election in the Primary Election or by convention. Citizens who want to run independently or under the banner of a minor party must petition the voters within the state by gathering signatures to get on the General Election ballot. The petition process assures that a candidate or party has support among the voters before being placed on the ballot. WV Code prohibits anyone who was a candidate on the primary ballot from collecting petition signatures to be a candidate on the general election ballot.  

 West Virginia Code §3-5-23 and §3-5-24


 

Rules for Collecting Nominating Petitions

 

Your first step
Before you start collecting signatures, you must obtain official credentials from the county clerk (for statewide elections) or town or city recorder (for municipal elections) - these credentials will authorize you to collect signatures from voters registered in that jurisdiction. You must show your credentials to each voter you canvass.

What forms should I use?

You may only collect petition signatures on forms provided by the Secretary of State. A completed version of the petition heading should be submitted to the Secretary of State for approval before any petitions are circulated. All copies of the petition form should be reproduced in identical format. You may find all the forms necessary for collecting signatures on our Candidate Filing Forms page under the heading "Petitions and Waivers."

Who can collect signatures?

In 2002, the legislature adopted a law that no longer requires those collecting signatures to be residents of West Virginia.

Collecting signatures for more than one candidate

A group of citizens petitioning under the name of a minor party may list multiple candidates on the same petition - a valid signature will be counted for each candidate listed, as long as the voter signing resides in the division where the candidate is seeking nomination.

Collecting signatures in multiple counties

You must use separate petition pages for each county in which you collect signatures, and the county name should be entered on the petition. This allows the completed petitions to be returned to the proper county for verification.


How many signatures do I need for my name to be on the General Election ballot?

The completed petitions must contain valid signatures of at least one percent of the entire amount of votes cast for the specific office in the previous election for that office; but cannot be less than twenty-five. View petition signature requirements by office for the 2016 Election on the chart below.

Where do I file my nominating petitions and certificate of announcement?

Secretary of State: candidates for Federal offices, State Senate and House of Delegates, all judicial offices except magistrate, and those running for an office in more than one county.

County Clerk: candidates for an office which is entirely within one county.

Municipal Recorder: candidates for a municipal office.

Deadline for filing signatures

The completed petitions and certificate of announcement must be filed no later than August 1 preceding the General Election.

Filing Fees

Visit the 2016 Offices on the Ballot page for filing fees.

 

Signature verification

The county clerks will verify the number of valid signatures you collect within their counties.



 

2016 Petition Signature Requirements   

Office 

District

Signature Total

President   6706
US Senate                     6602
US House of Representatives 1 1447
2 1543
  3 1404
Governor   6645
Secretary of State   6385
Auditor   6196
Treasurer   6285
Commissioner of Agriculture   6137
Attorney General   6436
Supreme Court of Appeals   7164
State Senate 1 395
  2 295
  3 335
  4 398
  5 281
  6 350
  7 260
  8 365
  9 345
  10 269
  11 376
  12 292
  13 368
  14 277
  15 357
  16 386
  17 284
House of Delegates 1 93 
  2 48
  3 116
  4 91
  5 42
  6 37
  7 37
  8 47
  9 46
  10 143
  11 43
  12 50
  13 91
  14 44
  15 53
  16 108
  17 85
  18 46
  19 81
  20 40
  21 33
  22 71
  23 48
  24 45
  25 41
  26 24
  27 156
  28 95
  29 49
  30 52
  31 45
  32 122
  33 45
  34 43
  35 199
  36 137
  37 38
  38 44
  39 48
  40 43
  41 51
  42 94
  43 97
  44 41
  45 41
  46 52
  47 51
  48 174
  49 48
  50 147
  51 187
  52 37
53 40
  54 39
  55 49
  56 37
  57 37
  58 45
  59 47
  60 40
  61 36
  62 35
  63 35
  64 27
  65 42
  66 40
  67 51