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 Non-Party Affiliated Candidates

For Non-Party Affiliated Candidates 

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

  • While the parties in West Virginia that have gained ballot access nominate candidates in the primary, or by convention if the party is small, other 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 petitioning process assures that a candidate or party has some level of 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. 

Basic Rules for Petition

  • The essential requirements for petitions for nomination are listed below. For a publication containing detailed information, review the Running for Office Manual, or refer to West Virginia State Code.
    • Petitions must be on forms prescribed by the Secretary of State. To prevent problems, a completed version of the petition heading should be submitted to the Secretary of State for review and approval before any petitions are circulated. All copies of the petition form should be reproduced in identical format.
    • All nominating certificates must be filed with the Secretary of State for offices to be voted for by voters of the entire state or by any subdivision of the state other than a single county.  In the case of all candidates for county and magisterial district offices, including all offices to be filed by the voters of a single county, with the County Clerk.  Candidates must file their Certificate of Announcement and pay the filing fee no later than August 1 preceding the General Election. 
    • The petitioners must obtain credentials from the County Clerk of each county authorizing them to solicit signatures from that county's voters.  Those credentials must be exhibited to each voter canvassed. In 2002, a law was adopted that no longer requires those collecting signatures to be residents of West Virginia.
    • For groups of citizens petitioning under the name of a minor party, multiple candidates may be listed on the same petition, and a valid signature will be counted for each candidate provided the signing voter resides in the division where that candidate is to be nominated. For example, petitions circulated in one county could contain the names of statewide candidates, the congressional district candidate from that county, and so forth.
      • Each page of the petition should be used in only one county, and the county name should be entered on the petition. This allows the completed petitions to be returned to the proper county for verification.  
    • 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. For example, since 755,887 voters cast ballots for President of the United  States in 2004, the number of valid signatures to get on the ballot for that office in that district would be 7,559.
    • The completed petitions must be filed no later than August 1 preceding the General Election.
    • The petitions will be checked and the number of valid signatures counted by the County Clerk of the county where the signatures were obtained. 

Required Valid Signatures by Office for Non-Party Affiliated Candidates

 

Federal Offices

 Office

 Total Votes Cast

 Signatures Required

United States Senate

702,189 votes

7024 signatures

U.S. Representative (1)

214,151 votes

2141 signatures

U.S. Representative (2)

226,766 votes

2269 signatures

U.S. Representative (3)

200,437 votes

2005 signatures

State Offices

 Office

 Total Votes Cast

Signatures Required 

State Senate (1)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (2)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (3)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (4)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (5)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (6)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (7)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (8)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (9)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (10)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (11)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (12)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (13)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (14)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (15)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (16)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

State Senate (17)

N/A - Redistricting

25 signatures

WV Delegate (1)*

14,193 votes

142 signatures

WV Delegate (2)

6,610 votes

67 signatures

WV Delegate (3)

18,136 votes

182 signatures

WV Delegate (4)

15,624 votes

156 signatures

WV Delegate (5)

5,692 votes

57 signatures

WV Delegate (6)

5,966 votes

60 signatures

WV Delegate (7)

5,356 votes

54 signatures

WV Delegate (8)

7,250 votes

73 signatures

WV Delegate (9)

6,861 votes

69 signatures

WV Delegate (10)

24,799 votes

248 signatures

WV Delegate (11)

5,792 votes

58 signatures

WV Delegate (12)

6,924 votes

70 signatures

WV Delegate (13)

12,812 votes

129 signatures

WV Delegate (14)

6,211 votes

63 signatures

WV Delegate (15)

7,004 votes

71 signatures

WV Delegate (16)

17,281 votes

173 signatures

WV Delegate (17)

11,690 votes

117 signatures

WV Delegate (18)

6,668 votes

67 signatures

WV Delegate (19)

11,931 votes

120 signatures

WV Delegate (20)

5,863 votes

59 signatures

WV Delegate (21)

5,253 votes

53 signatures

WV Delegate (22)

11,083 votes

111 signatures

WV Delegate (23)

6,388 votes

64 signatures

WV Delegate (24)

7,591 votes

76 signatures

WV Delegate (25)

4,880 votes

49 signatures

WV Delegate (26)

3,847 votes

39 signatures

WV Delegate (27)

18,772 votes

188 signatures

WV Delegate (28)

12,973 votes

130 signatures

WV Delegate (29)

6,986 votes

70 signatures

WV Delegate (30)

7,289 votes

73 signatures

WV Delegate (31)

6,231 votes

63 signatures

WV Delegate (32)

13,675 votes

207 signatures

WV Delegate (33)

4,575 votes

46 signatures

WV Delegate (34)

4,741 votes

48 signatures

WV Delegate (35)

28,567 votes

286 signatures

WV Delegate (36)

17,071 votes

171 signatures

WV Delegate (37)

5,229 votes

53 signatures

WV Delegate (38)

7,916 votes

80 signatures

WV Delegate (39)

6,416 votes

65 signatures

WV Delegate (40)

5,769 votes

58 signatures

WV Delegate (41)

6,446 votes

65 signatures

WV Delegate (42)

13,236 votes

133 signatures

WV Delegate (43)

13,939 votes

140 signatures

WV Delegate (44)

5,591 votes

56 signatures

WV Delegate (45)

5,669 votes

57 signatures

WV Delegate (46)

5,670 votes

57 signatures

WV Delegate (47)

6,599 votes

67 signatures

WV Delegate (48)

25,414 votes

255 signatures

WV Delegate (49)

6,500 votes

65 signatures

WV Delegate (50)

21,730 votes

218 signatures

WV Delegate (51)

29,755 votes

298 signatures

WV Delegate (52)

4,932 votes

50 signatures

WV Delegate (53)

7,053 votes

71 signatures

WV Delegate (54)

6,323 votes

64 signatures

WV Delegate (55)

7,341 votes

74 signatures

WV Delegate (56)

7,182 votes

72 signatures

WV Delegate (57)

6,227 votes

63 signatures

WV Delegate (58)

5,699 votes

57 signatures

WV Delegate (59)

6,023 votes

61 signatures

WV Delegate (60)

5,448 votes

55 signatures

WV Delegate (61)

6,206 votes

63 signatures

WV Delegate (62)

5,024 votes

51 signatures

WV Delegate (63)

6,043 votes

61 signatures

WV Delegate (64)

4,882 votes

49 signatures

WV Delegate (65)

6,900 votes

70 signatures

WV Delegate (66)

7,108 votes

72 signatures

WV Delegate (67)

7,597 votes

76 signatures