Getting on the ballot is a confusing and unnecessarily complicated process. Don’t be that candidate who spends months pulling together a run for office, only to miss the ballot—ending up watching someone else win a race you could’ve won. We’ve never had a candidate knocked off the ballot.
In over 700 campaigns over the last decade, Cor has not had a single candidate knocked off the ballot. Our ironclad petition and perfected ballot access process works.
From Start to Finish Game Plan
Whether it’s initially filing or organizing paid or volunteer walkers to collect signatures, we can put together a field plan that will get you across the finish line and ensure you’re on the ballot.
Connect with us if you need more information or would like our support with ballot access!
Frequently Asked Questions
Other than for legislative races, the location and population of the district impacts how many signatures are required. We’ve seen requirements as low as 50 and as high as 10,000. Your county clerk is often your best resource for learning how many signatures are needed for your specific race.
Many campaigns will hire political experts like Cor or an election attorney to develop their petition. However, you can get a generic petition from the Illinois State Board of Elections or your county clerk. You then fill in your information in the header portion to create a master original, then make copies of that master, using the copies to circulate so all your petitions are uniform.
As long as you’re in a public place and not on private or government property, you’re allowed to gather petition signatures anywhere you can! The best places are where people from your district tend to congregate, so at local sporting events, libraries, community events, fairs, train stations, or other public venues. For higher quality signatures and conversations, going door-to-door is always the best method.
This depends on the office for which you’re running. Some local and county offices require candidates to submit their petitions at their county seat. In most other cases, candidates must submit them in Springfield at the Illinois State Board of Elections office.
Federal, state, and county candidates of established political parties file from November 27th–December 4th. Candidates must include their nominating paperwork when submitting their petitions.
Instructions for Petition Signers & Circulators – Illinois
Directions for Signers
- You must be a registered voter in the district. Your voting history in previous elections does not matter.
- You may sign petitions for as many candidates of the same political party as you wish each election. You may not sign petitions for candidates of more than one political party in the same election.
- Take your time! Your signature needs to match your official signature on file with the Clerk’s Office for it to count.
- Use your official signature regardless of any variations on how you print your name.
- Do not use ditto marks for any part of an address or county.
- You must use the address where you are registered to vote. PO Boxes are not acceptable.
- You cannot sign anyone else’s name, including a family member’s.
Directions for Circulators
- You must be 18 years of age or older (or 17 years of age and qualified to vote in Illinois) and a US Citizen.
- You need not have voted in a previous election. Your voting history in previous elections does not matter. You do not need to be a registered voter to circulate petitions.
- You may not circulate petitions for more than one political party in the same election. You also may not circulate petitions for independent/non-partisan candidates and established party candidates in the same election.
- You must personally witness all signatures made on this petition.
- You may sign your own petition if you are a registered voter in the district.
- You may pass this petition anywhere, though signatures must be from registered voters who reside within the district.
- Petitions with fewer names than a full page do count. If you are not able to fill a petition sheet, still send it in to the campaign. Each signature counts.
- If you learn a signature is not valid, do not cross it out. Bad signatures do not knock out other good signatures or invalidate a petition. However, known bad signatures should be brought to the attention of the campaign so they can be officially struck.
- When done circulating, you must fill out and sign the bottom circulator portion of each petition sheet before a Notary Public licensed in Illinois, and the Notary Public must affix their seal or stamp. Most banks and libraries will notarize free of charge.
- Do not number the petition page.
- Circulate carefully and intentionally. A circulator who routinely disregards the signature gathering rules may have an entire sheet stricken even if some signatures are valid.