Filing for 2016 election changed to Dec. 1

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Candidates wanting to file for the 2016 election in North Carolina will have to do so between Dec. 1 and Dec. 21 this year.

The state changed the filing dates from the February of the year of the election to the December of the year before.

In order for a candidate’s name to appear on the 2016 ballot, the candidate must file a notice of candidacy from noon on Tuesday, Dec. 1 to noon on Monday, Dec. 21, according to the state board of elections.

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A recent law modified the required length of time a candidate for a partisan primary must have been affiliated with the political party for which he/she desires to file as a candidate from 90 days previously to 75 days. The change in date means that the latest date a candidate must have changed his/her partisan affiliation for the 2016 general election is Oct. 7, 2015. If someone changed their party affiliation on Oct. 7, 2015, that candidate could not file his/her notice of candidacy until the last possible date, Dec. 21.

The 2016 election will include several state and federal races, including the U.S. president. Locally, three board of commissioners seats will be up for election, as well as the Polk County Registrar of Deeds and Polk County School Board seats.

The seats of Polk County Commissioners Tom Pack (R), Michael Gage (R) and Keith Holbert (R) will be up for re-election in 2016.

Polk County resident Andy Millard (D) has announced his intention to seek the office of U.S. Congress 10th district, but filing cannot be done until the December filing dates. The seat is currently held by U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry (R).

In order to run for local offices, candidates must submit paperwork to the county board of election.

In order to file a notice of candidacy for local offices, candidates must file a fee of one percent of the annual salary of the office sought.

Other requirements for local candidacy include:

• a candidate must be at least 21 years of age

• a candidate must be a registered voter affiliated with the same political party in which he or she intends to file (a person changing party affiliation must do so 75 days prior to the date the candidate files)

• at the time of filing all candidates must also file a certificate signed by the director or chairperson of the county board of election where they are registered to vote at their current residential address in that county. The certification states the party with which the person is affiliated and that the person has not changed party affiliation in the past 75 days

• the notice of candidacy includes questions about any previous felony convictions of the candidate and will require a further report on those convictions if there are any. Active felons who have not had their citizenship rights fully restored (full completion of any felony sentence, including probation, restitution, etc.) are not eligible to be registered to vote or run for elected office.

•  a candidate may not file for more than one office in the same election.

• a filed candidate who remains unopposed after the close of the filing period will be certified as his or her party’s nominee without the need for a primary.

Candidates may also file for election as an unaffiliated candidate but must file a petition with at least four percent of the total number of registered voters in the district. The petition must be signed by the four percent of voters by Jan. 1 of the year of the election and filed by noon on the last Friday in June preceding the general election, or June 24, 2016, according to the state board of elections.

Next year’s election will also include different primary election dates.

The primary election will be on March 15, 2016. The general election will be on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The 2016 election will also be the first year voter ID is required to vote.