Initial Publication: 01-01-01 Latest Revision: 04-04-18 rls
Can You Stand for Public Office?
Our forebears were wise enough to have age, legal residence, and citizenship the only specified qualifications for public office in the U.S. Constitution. Our Ohio Constitution wisely follows the example. The expenses and requirements are surprisingly easy to accomplish. You do not have to be a Democrat or a Republican to be a successful candidate. Standing for office states your belief in our need for political transformation to create a more democratic republic.
Corrections to nonpartisan independent, minor party guide to public office qualifications: If you find any errors in the candidate information please send corrections, subject "CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS CORRECTIONS - IMMEDIATE ACTION!" to email@example.com.
Standing as an Independent/Minor Party Candidate
This page is freely adopted from "Standing as a Natural Law Party Candidate," a Natural Law Party document written to guide persons who want to "Stand" for Public Office — Gratitude is extended to Zanna Feitler, 1998 Natural Law Party Candidate for Governor of Ohio, for allowing an edited "copy" onto these web pages. The advice applies equally to populist nonpartisan candidates.
Standing as a populist nonpartisan or minor party candidate is a unique experience, as we take a different approach and make our own definitions of success. Just by having names on the ballot we show that these candidates have organizing power, and messages that an increasing number of people want to represent by standing for office. We have an even greater impact when we fill out some candidate questionnaires and talk to the press. When we are able to go to some candidate forums and debates, we have the opportunity to bring our messages live to the voters, and perhaps as importantly, to the other candidates. Because we believe in all-party government and conflict-free politics, no one can attack us. Because our platforms are totally backed by obvious needs for changes in government, no one can make fun of us.
Our campaigns are light-hearted and a lot of fun, because our focus at the moment is just in getting our messages out to whatever extent the people are ready to hear, and if we get lots of votes or win a seat in the process, so much the better! One of the best parts of campaigning is meeting the other candidates from other parties and getting friendly with them. All the candidates are polite to one another in public, and even those with very different views can be cultivated on some level. No matter who is elected, the more candidates we have, the more chances there are for our messages to start to sink in and get implemented in government at all levels.(Top of Page)
You should substantially agree with most of the platform items of any Minor Party whose endorsement you seek. Or, you can choose to endorse some Minor Party platform(s)/issues in your campaign on your own. Be ready to put in some minimum activity during the eight weeks before the general election.
Questionnaires You will receive many questionnaires from all sorts of organizations wanting to know your position on everything from agriculture to zinc usage. At the minimum, you should be ready to fill out ones from the League of Women Voters, Project Vote Smart, and your local newspapers. Most of these questionnaires will come in before the eight weeks before the election, and may help you clarify your position on some issues.
Newspaper Interviews You should be prepared to talk to your local newspaper when they call to interview you. Ideally, you will also be called to meet the Editorial Board along with the other candidates, and this can be a lot of fun.
Candidate Forums and Debates These are the fun part of campaigning. You will receive many invitations to give a 2-5 minute speech to many groups, and this is a chance to get friendly with the other candidates, and get your message to the public. Some of these forums may be broadcast on radio or TV.
It will be very good if you can establish a Campaign Fund, by filing a form with your Local Board of Elections, and raise some money. For $100 you can have a nice portrait taken for your press releases and for a little more, you can make up a flyer or brochure about who you are and what you stand for. Some candidates have raised enough for yard signs, and even billboards, which increases your credibility tremendously.
State of Ohio Requirements
For Ohio State Representative and Ohio Senator you must be at least 18 years of age, and have lived in the district you wish to represent for one year prior to the election.
For U.S. Congress: House of Representatives, you must be at least 25 years of age, be for 7 years a U.S. citizen, and live in Ohio. U.S. Senate, you must be at least 30 years of age, be for 9 years a U.S. citizen, and live in Ohio.
For local, county or municipal office, check with your local Board of Elections for age and residency requirements.
Minor Parties: If the Minor Party has Statewide Ballot Access (which is planned for the Independent Voters Alliance (IVA) and other Minor Parties), each candidate for State legislative office or U.S. Congress must collect 25 valid signatures from registered voters in the district they wish to represent at least 60 days before the primary election. It is recommended to get extra signatures, up to the 75 legal maximum, to ensure that enough signatures are valid. (Top of Page)
For any office, a legal maximum of three times (3X) the amount of valid signatures required can be turned in to the board of election for ballot access. The valid signature requirement must be met to be on the ballot.
Nonpartisan Independents: If a Minor Party does not have Statewide Ballot Access, then each of their candidates must get on the ballot as a non-affiliated independent. All independent candidates need petitions with valid signatures totaling at least 1% of the total votes cast in the election for the specific office sought in the last Gubernatorial election year, typically somewhere between 300 and 1,000 for state legislative office, and over 1,000 for U.S. House of Representatives. For Statewide Ohio offices, U.S. Senate, and U.S. President, 5,000 signatures are needed, as opposed to just 1,000 with Statewide Minor Party Ballot Access. The name of independents can appear one of three ways on the ballot, with no text (a blank space) after the name, or "non-party" or "other party." populist nonpartisans can choose "non-party." (Top of Page)
Filing Fees: There is a filing fee of $25.00 for State Offices, and U.S. House of Representatives. (Needs to be determined by each candidate and to be updated. The filing fee to stand for Representative to the U.S. Congress in Ohio has been $85 since 2000.)
Financial Disclosure:Once you are confirmed on the ballot for state office, you must file a Financial Disclosure with the Ohio Ethics Commission, along with a filing fee. (They want to know who pays your paycheck, whether you own more than two pieces of property, and to whom you may owe any large sums of money. They do not need to know specific amounts.) Federal offices report to Congress and the FEC when $5000 has been raised or spent on the campaign.
Votes in Primary:You must receive at least one vote in the Primary Election, (or get more votes than any other candidate in your Minor Party standing for the same office.) populist nonpartisans have no need to be on the primary ballot, but are on the general election ballot only.
Campaign Finance Reports:Before you raise or spend any money for a State race; you must File a Declaration of Treasurer Form with your Board of Elections. You can be your own Treasurer or get a trusted friend to do it, and you will have to keep track of all contributions and expenditures.
Income Tax Credits:For a State office, each Ohio taxpayer can contribute up to $50 per calendar year to the campaign committee of a candidate for Ohio State office, and get a direct credit off of their bottom line tax liability. If you owe $200 in taxes, you would owe just $150 if a $50 contribution were made to an eligible Campaign Committee. So good friends, your spouse, and you, can "lend" your campaign money, $50 per taxpayer with more than a $50 projected tax liability, until they receive it back at tax time next spring. A couple can contribute $100 with a $100 credit at tax time. Notice it does not apply to elections for local or national public offices. (Top of Page) (Your Voice)
If you are running for U.S. Congress, you will need to file a report with the FEC if you raise more than $5,000.
"If not you, who? If not now, when?"
edited by RICH STEVENSON
Ballot access petitions will be available on IVA web pages and other web pages for use by populist nonpartisan citizens. Freedom is participation in power.
Be a proactive petition circulator and Election Day participant.
Be a proactive citizen in your voting precinct.
A Little Effort — A Lot of Liberty
Welcome to the populist ballot access movement.
OHIVA Pages Guide:
(IVA Priority) Certify Petition Circulators
(Your Voice) Manage IVA Web Pages
(Your Voice) Meet ups, Coffees, and Speakers
(Petitions/Web Pages) Nonpartisan Candidates on Ohio Ballots
(Initiative/Party) Active Petitions
(Nonpartisan Candidate) THIS PAGE Can You Stand for Public Office?
(Qualify at 18 years of age) (Gen X, Y Issues Invited)
(Your Privilege) Proactive Citizenship
(Directory) Ohio Local IVA Home Pages
(Directory) Ohio IVA Central Committee (Members Needed — Your Voice?)
(Download, Print) Ohio IVA Documents
(A Civics Lesson) Political ID Card
(Links to Learning) Study Hall, Today's Politics
(Positive, Creative Blogs) Sounding Board (Improve the Politics We Live With)
(Referenda) Ohio Ballot Initiative Ideas Page
(Ohio Income Tax Credit) $50 for your Political Use
(ohiva at cs2pr.us) OHIVA Email
IVA Home Page
IVA Home Page
IVA Home Page
We can elect candidates who represent the
We Are The 99.999%!
We can elect candidates who represent the
We Are The 99.999%!