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Procedure For Digital Collection & Submission of Candidate Petition Signatures Now Available

Posted on April 22, 2020 by Dene Westbrook

The Bureau of Elections has released complete regulations for digital signature collection for collecting and submitting signatures by e-mail as soon as possible. These include the following:

  • There are special blank countywide nominating partisan and countywide nominating non-partisan petitions for use in this election only, on the BOE website.
  • If a person wishes to download, print, and sign an electronic petition, any person in the household (including a signer) may be a witness and sign the circulator certificate, or the signature may be witnessed remotely using two-way audio and video technology between the signer and the circulator. For more information regarding remote witnessing, see the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-41 – issued April 8, 2020.
  • Petition signers/circulators may print and sign the petition, then photograph and scan the signature page to the candidate, as long as the complete sheet (including signatures) is visible.
  • Candidates who qualify may also file their petitions with the filing official via email. The petitions must be scanned into a single .pdf file. In limited instances, multiple files may be allowed, if necessary due to limits on file size transfer.
  • Whether candidates choose to file petitions in person or via email, their original submission must contain the minimum number of signatures to file for office. Candidates may combine sheets gathered on physical paper and sheets gathered through email to meet the minimum threshold.

Digital signature collection is only allowed for races on the August 2020 primary ballot that do not allow for a filing fee and does not include petition signatures for ballot proposals. Eligible races include US Congress, US Senate, non-incumbent judges, and any city office for which the city charter does not allow the option to file with a fee.

For these races, the filing deadline is extended to May 8 at 5 p.m., and the signature requirement is reduced by 50%. You can read about all changes in the court order here.

Read full guidance for the collection and submission of petition signatures here.  and the bulletin from the Secretary of State here.

Herasanna Richards is a legislative associate handling energy, environmental, elections, and external municipal services for the League. She can be reached at hrichards@mml.org or 517-908-0309.

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