Attention Candidates: PA Has New Nominating Petitions
The Department of State is taking the process into the 21st century with new petition forms meant to streamline form submission and review.
Candidates will be able to fill out their information in the preamble before printing them and will be issued a unique barcode. Previously, candidates and campaign staffers had to individually fill out each form or have them photocopied.
Candidates still need to have their signatures completed in hard copy and then have those forms notarized, but a new QR code on the form will allow the Department to count the signatures electronically.
The new forms will be available online within the next week or two, according to Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman. They will print out on 8.5 by 11 inch paper.
“Pages will still be manually reviewed but this process will be much more efficient for candidates as well as Department of State workers,” Ruman said. “We encourage candidates to use this system. “
Old, hard copy forms are still available and accepted.
Candidates can begin circulating petitions to appear on the primary ballot on February 18. They are due to be filed by March 11.
2014 will be a busy year for the Department of State with an abundance of open legislative seats and a large field for governor. They expect over 1,000 candidates to circulate petitions, according to Ruman. That means a lot of people are likely to crowd into the department’s office on March 11.
“We believe that this will reduce line time,” Ruman said.
Candidates for Governor will need 2,000 signatures, including at least 100 from each of at least 10 different counties. Lieutenant Governor hopefuls need 1,000 signatures with 100 from at least 5 different counties.
Congressional candidates must collect 1,000 signatures from voters within the district. Candidates for state Senate need 500 signatures and House candidates need 300.
The rule of thumb is that candidates should collect twice as many signatures as they need, lest any of their signatures be challenged by opponents.
Hat tip to elections attorney Larry Otter for alerting PoliticsPA to the change.
Keegan Gibson contributed to this report.