Candidate & Petition Information

General Information on Petitions

The information contained here is intended to provide general guidance for those who are preparing to circulate petitions and is not to be used as a substitute for consulting the Election Law for specific petition requirements.

Persons wishing to run for elective office in most cases must circulate a petition getting at least a predetermined number of signatures that must then be filed with the Board of Elections according to an election calendar. If a candidate wishes to run on a particular constituted party line they may need to go through a designation process by that party and although a candidate may be designated by a political party they must still circulate a Designating Petition. If a candidate does not wish to run on a constituted party line they may create their own independent line by circulating and filing an Independent Nominating Petition. Party members may also circulate an Opportunity to Ballot Petition to create the opportunity to write in the name of an unspecified person for an office in which there is no contest for the party endorsement. The current political parties are the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Independence and Green parties. The requirements for all petitions are contained in Article 6 of the Election Lawadobe icon (3,303KB).

These sample forms were prepared by the State Board of Elections. They are all in Acrobat PDF format. You will need the Adobe (TM) Acrobat Reader to view and print them.

These forms can be printed and filled out by hand.

Electronic signatures are not acceptable.

SAMPLE DESIGNATING PETITIONadobe icon ( 39KB) (print on legal size paper)

SAMPLE INDEPENDENT NOMINATING PETITIONadobe icon ( 62KB) (print on legal size paper)

SAMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO BALLOT PETITIONadobe icon ( 63KB) (print on legal size paper)

SAMPLE VILLAGE DESIGNATING PETITIONadobe icon ( 30KB) (print on legal size paper)

SAMPLE VILLAGE DESIGNATING PETITION – COUNTYadobe icon ( 31KB) (to be used if Election is run by the County Board of Elections) (print on legal size paper)

SAMPLE VILLAGE INDEPENDENT NOMINATING PETITIONadobe icon ( 31KB) (print on legal size paper)

SAMPLE VILLAGE INDEPENDENT NOMINATING PETITION – COUNTYadobe icon ( 30KB) (to be used if Election is run by the County Board of Elections) (print on legal size paper)






Running for Office

Running for Office adobe icon

Form of Petitions

The statute requires that all petitions be substantially in the form set forth in the law. See, Election Law §6-132 (party designating petitions), §6-140 (independent nominating petitions) and §15-108 (village designating and independent petitions)adobe icon ( 3,303KB). Deviations or slight rearrangements of the form of petition are not fatal defects, provided that the petition contains all of the required information.

Each sheet of the petition must correctly set forth:

the date of the election

the name of the candidate and the office or position sought

the candidate’s residence, and if different, their mailing or post office address

information about the signer: date of signing, residence address, town or city

information relating to the person who witnesses the signatures

A petition may include a committee on vacancies. Failure to provide such a committee, or naming a committee of fewer than three persons, will not invalidate the petition.

The voter need only sign the appropriate line on the petition sheet. All other information may be filled in by someone else. Corrections may be made to any information on the signature line. Corrections or alterations in the date or the signature however, MUST be initialed by the person making the correction.

Voters may not sign a petition for more candidates than there are openings for an office. For example, if there is one council seat open, then the voter may only sign one petition for a candidate for that office. If there are 2 seats open, the voter may sign petitions for 2 candidates.

The pages of a petition must be sequentially numbered and securely fastened.

Cover Sheets

If there are 10 or more pages in a petition, there must be a cover sheet. A multi-volume petition requires a cover sheet for each volume.

Cover sheets must contain the following information:

  • Name, residence address (and mailing address if different) of the candidate.
  • The public office or party position sought.
  • The name of the party or independent body making the nomination.
  • A statement that the petition contains a number of signatures equal to or in excess of the number required by statute.
  • The volume number OR identification number of that volume.
  • The total number of volumes in each petition OR the identification number for each volume of the petition.

The following information is optional:

  • The name, residence address (and mailing address if different), telephone number and facsimile number of the person designated to receive notice of deficiencies in binding or cover sheet requirements.

There are additional requirements if the petition contains candidates for county committee, and/or if there are different candidates on the various pages of the petition. Those requirements are contained in Part 6215 of the rules and regulationsadobe icon ( 3,303KB) of the State Board of Elections.

Pursuant to Part 6215 of the rules and regulationsadobe icon ( 3,303KB) of the State Board of Elections, the Board will provide notice of any correctable error(s) in cover sheet(s) and binding.

Filing of Petitions, Acceptances, Authorizations and Declinations

All filings must be filed timely (See the Political Calendar) and in the proper manner at the appropriate board of elections. Pursuant to section 1-106(1) of the New York State Election Law, all papers are required to be filed between the hours of nine A.M. and five P.M. If the last day for filing shall fall on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the next business day shall become the last day for filing. All papers sent by mail in an envelope postmarked prior to midnight of the last day of filing shall be deemed filed timely and accepted for filing when received, except any documents that are required to be filed with the board of elections of the city of New York must be actually received by such city board of elections on or before midnight of the last day to file any such document. Failure to do so shall be a fatal defect.

No filings will be accepted by facsimile or e-mail.

Candidates must file a certificate of acceptance for nominations made by independent nominating petitions, or if they are named in a designating petition but are not enrolled members of that party. Neither an authorization nor an acceptance is required if the individual is a candidate for a judicial office. A declination must be filed should the candidate decide not to accept the designation or nomination.


Every petition is presumed to be valid when filed if, on its face, it appears to be in proper form and to contain enough signatures. However, a registered voter may challenge the validity of a petition. General written objections must be filed within 3 days after the petition is filed (1 day in a village election). Specifications of objections must be filed within 6 days of filing the general objections (2 days in a village election). For petitions filed with the State Board of Elections see the State Board’s web site for additional rules. The following rules and forms are specific to Oneida County.