New faces are essential for creating the dynamic political atmosphere that leads to successful and efficient government. While running for office can be a long and arduous process, the rewards, both public and private, for a job well done are countless. Thus we urge all those with the desire and fortitude to stand in the political fire to do so, and remind the population that citizen participation is essential for our government, a government “of the people [and] by the people,” to succeed. Those interested in taking up the challenge of running for any of our offices to be elected will find the necessary information below.
The procedure for running for office clearly varies greatly depending on the position desired; people do not become U.S. Senators the exact same way they become Village Trustees. Because there is no simple step-by-step process which can be followed across the board, prospective candidates need to be scrupulous to ensure they maintain the legality of their candidacy. The basic instructions needed to properly run for office, as well as example forms, can be obtained from the New York State Board of Elections HERE.
Clearly one of the most important facets of successfully running for office is getting your name on the ballot. While the technicalities of the petition process vary depending on whether you are affiliated with a party or running as an independent, you will need to obtain a certain number of petition signatures (depending on enrollment numbers and the position coveted) to be on the ballot. Candidates who would like to run for an office with a district extending beyond the borders of Putnam County should check with the New York State Board of Elections for enrollment numbers and signature requirements.
5% Designating Petition Numbers – Candidates who would like to run for an office within the borders of Putnam County may
CLICK HERE for the 5% Designating Petition Numbers.
5% Independent Nominating Petition Numbers – Candidates who would like to run for an office within the borders of Putnam County may CLICK HERE for the 5% Independent Nominating Petition Numbers.
To obtain a Sample Petition Form CLICK HERE.
While the above resources provide an outline for campaigning, the most reliable and in-depth resource is the New York State Election Law. This is the authoritative source on all election related issues in New York State and should be consulted in times of doubt and confusion.
The following articles are particularly relevant for prospective candidates:
- Article 6 “Designation and Nomination of Candidates”
- Article 14 “Campaign Receipts and Expenditures”
- Article 15 “Village Elections”
- Article 17 “Violations of the Elective Franchise”
If you have any questions regarding interpretation of the law, please contact our Election Commissioners for clarification.
The process of running for office is filled with deadlines that candidates must be aware of, whether they are for submitting petitions, campaign finance forms, or any number of other documents. It is important that candidates heed these deadlines; please contact the Board of Elections for this information. You may also view the 2017 Political Calendar HERE.
Candidates must also be vigilant in the record-keeping of their campaign’s finance. New York State has strict restrictions regarding a candidate’s finances and the disclosure of these finances. Please see our Campaign Finance section for a more detailed explanation of the subject.