*Questions About Petitions for Municipal Offices

Post date: Jul 24, 2013 3:26:34 PM

Q: My local town committee bylaws have a petition requirement of 1% of enrolled voters, instead of 5% as stated in state laws. Since the petition is for a potential primary in that party, do their rules override the statute?

A: Check Section 9-406. Filing of primary petition candidacies for municipal offices and town committee members. …Any such candidacy shall be filed by filing with the registrar—within the applicable time specified in section 9-405—a petition signed by (1) at least 5% of the electors whose names appear upon the last-completed enrollment list of such party in such municipality or in such political subdivision, senatorial district or assembly district, or (2) such lesser number of such electors as such party by its rules prescribes, as the case may be. Compute this percentage by using the last printed certified party enrollment list prior to the date the first primary petition was issued (updated to exclude names of individuals who ceased to be electors).

Q: I just received my party’s endorsement. Can I also appear on the ballot as a nominating petition candidate?

A: Check Section 9-453t. The nomination of a candidate by a major party shall disqualify such candidate from appearing on the ballot by nominating petition unless (1) the petition is circulated by an existing minor party and (2) the minor party is otherwise qualified to nominate candidates on the same ballot. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any candidate from appearing on the ballot as the nominee of two or more major or minor parties for the same office.

Q: If a candidate submits a nominating petition, and then wins their party’s nomination, can the candidate ask to withdraw their petition?

A: Yes, the candidate would be given the chance either to stay as a petitioning candidate or to take the party endorsement, unless the exceptions in Q2 apply.