The Government and Elections Codes provide most of the details that you need to know. In general, the law will require you and your campaign to be transparent. There will be specific rules you need to follow for political mail, radio and television ads, and other forms of outreach. Please consult a legal advisor for specific questions.
Show All Answers
Candidate filing begins 113 days before an election.
We publish a Candidate Handbook approximately 4 months before an upcoming election. Any questions prospective candidates have prior to the publication of the Candidate Handbook can be directed to our staff.
No. You may file for only one office at the same election.
In most cases, the filing fee is 1 percent of the annual salary of the office the candidate seeks. You must pay the filing fee upon declaring candidacy; if you are a judicial candidate, then you pay when filing the declaration of intent. Candidates may offset the filing fee with signatures in lieu. There are no filing fees if the annual salary for the office sought is $2,500 or less.
Yes. You have the option to submit a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ). The SOQ appears in the County Voter Information Guide for most offices. Nevada County Elections will charge you a fee to cover the printing costs, based on the number of registered voters in the district in which you are running. The fees are published in the Candidate Handbook prepared for each election.
You may also need district or countywide voter lists to conduct campaign activities. Countywide voter rolls are $50 and district-specific voter rolls are $37. Please refer to our Voter Rolls Information Requests page for more detailed information.
“In lieu” in this case means to substitute at least some of the filing fee with signatures. If you are required to pay a filing fee, then you may offset the cost with a Petition In-Lieu of Filing Fee.
You may start gathering signatures in lieu 173 days prior to the election. You may apply the signatures you gather toward your nomination, but you have to let our office know that is your intent before you start that process so that we can give you the proper forms.
The number of required signatures for nomination, as well as the number of signatures in lieu required to offset filing fees, are provided in the Candidate Handbook published prior to each election.
It depends. The number of signatures required varies depending on the office sought. We will provide information about the number of signatures needed for nomination in the Candidate Handbook that we publish ahead of every election.
You must gather signatures from voters of the district you are running in; if the office is countywide, then you may gather signatures from any registered voter of the county. If the office you are running for is party-specific, you must collect signatures from members of your party. Each signature is checked against the voter’s registration information.
You must gather the minimum number of valid signatures required for nomination. Our office will accept no more than the maximum number of signatures allowed. If a voter signs nomination petitions for more candidates than there are offices to be filled, the signatures are counted only on those nomination papers which, taken in the order filed, do not exceed the number of offices to be filled. You will be notified immediately if there are any irregularities or if you are disqualified.
Signatures on the Petition In-Lieu of Filing Fee may applied toward your nomination, but you must let us know ahead of time that that is your intent.
Candidate filing opens 113 days before an election and closes at 88 days before an election, unless extended.
You may only use official nomination documents issued by the Nevada County Elections Office. The forms for most candidates are available in our office. Candidates filing for a municipal office should refer to the appropriate City or Town Clerk for candidate filing documents and questions.
While appointments are not mandatory, they are highly recommended. Candidates should expect to spend approximately 30 minutes to complete the filing process.
State law requires that all nomination documents contain the candidate’s name and elective office title to which they are seeking nomination or election and be signed by the election official at the time of issuance.
Sometimes, but don’t count on it. If an incumbent does not file nomination documents by 5:00 pm on the 88th day before the election, any person other than the incumbent has until 5:00 pm on the 83rd day before the election to file nomination documents for the elective office. This section is not applicable where there is no incumbent eligible to be elected.
Nomination documents cannot be issued to or accepted by an unauthorized person. You may authorize another to act on your behalf, as long as you do so in a signed writing.
It depends. Certain types of felonies are disqualifying under section 20 of the California Elections Code. Please consult your legal advisor for more information.
Once you complete the Declaration of Candidacy, you may not withdraw.
Review the guidelines for preparing a candidate statement of qualifications.
The ballot name may be designated as follows:
Yes. A ballot designation appears below your name on the ballot and is optional. It is your professional title by which you would like voters to know you. Examples of ballot designations include “Attorney at Law,” “Incumbent,” or “Farmer.”
Ballot designations come with several regulations intended to protect voters. The Ballot Designation Worksheet, which we provide to all candidates, will help you navigate all these rules. Please contact our office for any specific questions.
If there is only one candidate for a county position, the candidate's name will appear alone on the ballot. For most other offices, the Board of Supervisors will make appointments in lieu of an election.
You are responsible for knowing the campaign finance rules and reporting requirements. Your best resources are NetFile and the Fair Political Practices Commission, and your legal advisor.
No. As a nonpartisan governmental entity, we cannot complete your disclosure forms and we will not provide any legal advice or in-kind services for any political campaign. If you have questions about a disclosure form, please ask the FPPC staff or your legal advisor.
No. In 2016, Nevada County passed Ordinance 2404, which requires candidates and political committees to file most documents electronically. The good news is, the FPPC and NetFile staff are incredibly helpful and will provide help and training suited to your needs.