Online Candidate Filing FAQs

May I File for Office Online rather than Coming to the Registrar of Voters’ Office?

The Orange County Registrar of Voters offers candidates a portal to start the Candidate Filing process, download many of the required documents, and return some of the documents to the Registrar of Voters’ office. Candidate Filing cannot be totally completed online due to California State law, but we have worked hard to make your filing process simpler and easier to understand.

 


What Contests will be on the June 5, 2012 Presidential Primary Election Ballot?

· President and Vice President · United States Senator · United States Representative · State Senator · State Assembly · Judge of the Superior Court · Member, County Board of Supervisors · Member, County Board of Education · Member, County Central Committee · Member, Green County Council

 


Will I be able to Obtain Information on Candidates Who have been Issued Papers to Run for Specific Contests?

There is a candidate log on our website which is updated daily or you can call the Registrar of Voters’ office at 714-567-7600.

 


What are the Qualifications to Run for a Specific Office?

The general qualifications for all candidates are: · Must be18 years old by election; · Must be a citizen of the state; · Must be a registered voter at the time nomination papers are issued, and, unless otherwise specifically provided, qualified to vote for the office; · Must be eligible to take the Oath of Office and be able to be bonded in the amounts provided for by statue; and · Must not have been convicted of designated crimes specified in the Constitution and laws of the State. For more information on qualifications to run for a specific office, review the Candidate’s Handbook.

 


Do I Need to Reside in the District to Run for Office?

Residency requirements are dependent upon the contest. For United States Representative, you do not need to reside in the district to be a candidate. For State Assembly, State Senate, County Board of Education, County Central Committee, and Green County Council, you need to reside in the district at the time Nomination Papers are issued. For County Board of Supervisors, you must be registered in the district for at least 30 days preceding the deadline for filing nomination documents for the office.

 


Is There an Election Calendar Available to Inform Candidates about Important Candidate Filing Dates?

Yes. An election calendar is available on the Registrar of Voters website, in the Candidate’s Handbook, and through the Online Candidate Filing system.

 


When may I Receive and File My Paperwork to Run for Office in the June 5, 2012 Presidential Primary Election?

The nomination period starts on February 14, 2012 and ends on March 9, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

 


Where Do I Find Information on Candidate Filing?

Information on Candidate Filing is available on the Registrar of Voters’ website, in the Candidate’s Handbook and through the Online Candidate Filing system.

 


To Access all Online Candidate Filing Documents, are There Minimum System Requirements?

Online Candidate Filing is a web-based system that requires a modern web browser, internet connection, and the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

 


If I Use the Online Candidate Filing System, will I be Informed about What Steps Needs to be Completed at the Registrar of Voters’ Office?

Yes. Throughout the system, the candidate is given instructions on how to file each document, including whether it can be filed online or must be completed at the Registrar of Voters’ office. In addition, they system tells the candidate whether the document is mandatory or optional for the candidate to file.

 


How do I Find out the Procedure for the Online Candidate Filing System?

The procedure for Online Candidate Filing is easy to follow. All steps are outlined on a “Candidate’s Dashboard”. The Candidate uses this dashboard to navigate through the system. There are instructions for each step which the candidate must read before continuing through the process to ensure that he/she understands exactly what must be done.

 


I’m Using the Online Candidate Filing System, and Do not Know how to Continue. What Do I Do?

Usually, by clicking on the “X” in the upper right-hand corner will solve your problem. Many times, there is information on how to proceed contained in the last document you read or an icon at the bottom of the page.

 


Is There a Fee to File for Office?

Yes. For most offices, there is a Filing Fee that must be paid in order to obtain Nomination Papers. For the June 5, 2012 Primary Election, candidates for Member of the County Board of Education, Member of the County Central Committee, and Member of the Green County Council do not pay a Filing Fee.

 


When Do I Pay My Filing Fee?

The Filing Fee must be paid before Nomination Papers can be issued. However, if you collected enough signatures on the Signatures-In-Lieu of Filing Fee Petitions to satisfy the nomination signature requirement, then you will not need to circulate Nomination Papers; in this case, the Filing Fee must be paid before you complete your Declaration of Candidacy.

 


If I am Using the Online Candidate Filing System, May I Pay My Filing Fee Online?

Yes, you may your Filing Fee online if you pay by credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

 


If I pay my Filing Fee online, will I receive a receipt?

Yes, you will receive a receipt immediately from the vendor and a receipt from the Registrar of Voters upon confirmation that you paid the Filing Fee by credit card.

 


If I Decide not to Run for Office after I File My Paperwork, May I Receive a Refund of My Filing Fee?

You may not withdraw your candidacy after you have completed the filing process for a Primary Election. You may not receive a refund of the Filing Fee.

 


I Did not Qualify to Run for Office. May I Receive a Refund of My Filing Fee?

No. The Filing Fee is non-refundable.

 


Do I Need to Collect Nomination Signatures as a Requirement to Run for Office?

Yes. The Online Candidate Filing system gives instructions on the Nomination Papers process.

 


How may Signatures are Needed for Nomination?

The number of signatures required is: · United States Senator: 65-100. · Representative in Congress, State Senate and State Assembly: 40-60. · Judge of the Superior Court, County Board of Education, County Board of Supervisors and County Offices: 20-40. · County Central Committee (Republican, Democratic, American Independent, and Green Parties): 20-40; signer must be a registered voter with the party and reside in the district. · County Central Committee (Peace and Freedom Party): 1st Supervisorial District – 20; 2nd Supervisorial District – 20; 3rd Supervisorial District – 16; 4th Supervisorial District – 20; and 5th Supervisorial District - 15. · County Central Committee (Libertarian Party): This party will not have a central committee election per letter from the Chairman.

 


May I File My Nomination Papers at Various Times during the Filing Period?

Yes. It is not required to file all nomination signatures at the same time.

 


Do the Signers of My Nomination Papers Need to be Affiliated with the Same Political Party as I am?

It depends on the office: The voter does not need to be registered with your political party unless they are signing Nomination Papers for County Central Committee Members and Green County Council Members. For these papers, the signers must be affiliated with the same political party as the candidate.

 


Do the Signers of My Nomination Papers Need to Reside in the District in which I am Running for Office?

Yes.

 


May I be Issued My Nomination Papers Online and after I’ve Circulated Them for Signatures, may I File Them Online?

You may download the Nomination Petition online if you are using the Online Candidate Filing system. However, after you circulate the petition, you must file it at the Registrar of Voters’ office, 1300 S. Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana, CA 92705.

 


What is a Ballot Designation?

A ballot designation is a description of no more than three words of your principal profession, vocation or occupation. A ballot designation may also be a current elected position title (no word limitation), the word “Incumbent”, or if appointed, the words “Appointed Incumbent”. You may access the Candidate Handbook here after December 15, 2011 to review the Ballot Designation Guidelines.

 


Where may I Find Ballot Designation Guidelines?

That information may be found in the Candidate’s Handbook by going to ocvote.com or by visiting/calling the Registrar of Voters’ office at 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana, CA; 714-567-7600.

 


May I Select My Ballot Designation Online?

You may download a Ballot Designation Worksheet, complete it at your leisure, and then bring it to the Registrar of Voters’ office when you file your Declaration of Candidacy. This must be done no later than March 9, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

 


May I Change my Ballot Designation?

Yes, but only until the close of Candidate Filing on March 9, 2012, 5:00 p.m. A new Ballot Designation Worksheet must be completed.

 


May I Change My Ballot Designation after the Primary Election to a Different Designation for the General Election Ballot?

Yes. A written request must be submitted at lease 98 days prior to the General Election. A new Ballot Designation Worksheet must be completed.

 


May I Challenge someone’s Ballot Designation? If so, how?

Yes. You may challenge someone’s Ballot Designation during the Nomination/Declaration of Candidacy period. To do so, you must submit a written statement outlining the reasons for the challenge to the Registrar of Voters. After Candidate Filing ends, there is a 10-day public review period in which you can challenge the Ballot Designation in Superior Court.

 


May I Obtain My Campaign Finance Kit Online?

No. The campaign finance kit must be picked-up at the Registrar of Voters’ office, 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana, CA 92705. However, if you need Form 501 or Form 470 only, you may download them if you are using the Online Candidate Filing system.

 


I Need to Complete a 700 Form. Is it Available online?

Yes, if you are using the Online Candidate Filing system, you may download the 700 Form, complete it at your leisure, and file it with the Registrar of Voters’ office when you file your Declaration of Candidacy.

 


I Want to Sign the Code of Fair Campaign Practices? May I access it online?

Yes, if you are using the Online Candidate Filing system, you may download the Code of Campaign Practices, sign it at your leisure, and file it with the Registrar of Voters’ office when you file your Declaration of Candidacy.

 


What is a Candidate’s Statement?

A Candidate’s Statement is a recitation of the candidate’s own personal background and qualifications, and makes no reference to another candidate’s qualifications, character, or activities.

 


May I have a Candidate’s Statement Printed in the County Sample Ballot Pamphlet?

Yes. You may have a Candidate’s Statement printed in the County Sample Ballot Pamphlet if you are a candidate for United States Representative, State Assembly, State Senate, County Board of Supervisors, County Board of Education, or Judge of the Superior Court. If you are running for United States Senator, you will need to file your Candidate’s Statement with the Secretary of State’s office.

 


May I Draft my Candidate’s Statement Online?

Yes. You may draft your Candidate’s Statement online if you are using the Online Candidate’s Filing system. This will save you time as you will not need to wait while the statement is being formatted. However, you must come to the Registrar of Voters’ office to sign the statement. The statement is not official and will not be printed in the County Sample Ballot Pamphlet until you have signed the statement.

 


What is the Cost of a Candidate’s Statement?

You will need to refer to the Candidate’s Handbook or contact the Registrar of Voters’ office at 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana, CA; 714-567-7600 for the estimated cost of your statement. The cost of Candidates’ Statements varies depending on the contest.

 


How Do You Estimate the Candidate’s Statement Deposit?

The Candidate’s Statement deposit amount is based on estimates of the Sample Ballot Pamphlet printing costs, translations costs, labor, and overhead. The deposit makes the following assumptions: (1) Two 200-word Candidates’ Statements for each race; (2) The same number of pages in the Sample Ballot Pamphlet as a similar, previous election; and (3) The number of Sample Ballot Pamphlets printed is equal to 125% of the number of registered voters, plus an additional few Sample Ballot Pamphlets per language per precinct.

 


Why Do I Need to Pay a Deposit to Put a Candidate’s Statement in the Sample Ballot Pamphlet?

The Elections Code allows the Registrar of Voters to require each candidate filing a statement to pay in advance his/her estimated pro rata share as a condition of having his/her statement included in the Sample Ballot Pamphlet. Since the candidate is paying based on an estimate, candidates will be billed for any additional amount of the actual cost or refunded if the deposit exceeds the actual cost within 30 days of election.

 


How are Candidate’s Statements Actual Costs Calculated?

The intent of the Candidate’s Statement charges is to determine the actual cost of putting the Candidate’s Statement in the Sample Ballot Pamphlet. The actual costs are calculated based on labor and overhead; the cost to translate into Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese; and the cost to print the Candidate’s Statement in the Sample Ballot Pamphlet.

 


What will Affect the Actual Cost of the Candidate’s Statement?

The biggest impact on the actual cost of the Candidate’s Statement is from the number and type of Candidates’ Statements actually submitted. Up to four 200-word Candidates’ Statements (or the equivalent) can share one page in the Sample Ballot Pamphlet. One 200-word Candidate’s Statement will pay the cost of the entire page, whereas four 200-word Candidates’ Statements will each pay only 25% of the entire page.

 


May I Pay the Candidate’s Statement Deposit Online?

Yes, if you are using the Online Candidate Filing system you may pay online by credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

 


If I Pay the Candidate’s Statement Deposit Online, Will I Receive a Receipt?

Yes, you will receive a receipt from the vendor and a receipt from the Registrar of Voters’ office after confirmation of your payment by credit card is received.

 


May I Use Bolding, Underlining, Bullet Points and All CAPS in My Candidate’s Statement?

No. You may not include any of those elements in your statement. In addition, you may not make reference to another candidate’s qualifications, character, or activities.

 


If I Want to Run for an Office That is Within More Than One County, Do I Need to File My Candidate’s Statement in Only One County for It to Appear in Each County’s Sample Ballot Pamphlet?

No. You will need to file the Candidate’s Statement with each county and pay the fee to each county in which you would like your statement to appear in the Sample Ballot Pamphlet.

 


How many Words may be Included in My Candidate’s Statement?

The number of words varies depending on the contest: · United States Representative: 250 words · State Senate and State Assembly: 250 words · County and Judicial offices: 200 or 400 words

 


May I Challenge Someone’s Candidate’s Statement? If so, How?

Yes. You may challenge someone’s Candidate’s Statement during the Nomination/Declaration of Candidacy period. To do so, you must submit a written statement outlining the reasons for the challenge to the Registrar of Voters. After Candidate Filing ends, there is a 10-day public review period in which you can challenge the Candidate’s Statement in Superior Court.

 


If I am in a General Election Run-off, May I Use the same Candidate’s Statement as I Used in the Primary Election?

Yes. You may submit the same or a new Candidate’s Statement during the filing period for the General Election, but in either case, you must pay a deposit. The deposit will be the same as paid in the Primary Election.

 


May I Complete the Declaration of Candidacy Online?

No. State law prohibits the issuance or filing of the Declaration of Candidacy online. You must come to the Registrar of Voters’ office at 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana, CA 92705, no later than March 9, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

 


I am Unable to Come to the Registrar of Voters’ Office to be Issued and to File My Declaration of Candidacy. What Can I Do?

You may complete a Letter of Authorization to allow another individual to pick-up and/or file your Declaration of Candidacy. If you will not be filing, in person, your Declaration of Candidacy, the document must be notarized. If you are using the Online Candidate Filing system, you may download the Letter of Authorization form. It must be presented to Registrar of Voters’ staff to be issued the Declaration of Candidacy.

 


What Happens if the Incumbent Does not File for Re-Election?

If the incumbent does not file for re-election but is eligible to file, the contest will be extended for five days after the filing period has closed for any candidate other than the incumbent.