Running for office in New York has changed a lot in 2019. The consolidation of primaries for federal and state elections into a single day should help give voters more say in choosing candidates and improve turnout. One challenge in running for local and state office is that now candidates need to pass petitions in late winter / early spring instead of summer. So, the time to start is now!
If you are a Democrat and you want to run for an office as a Democrat then you just need to pass a petition and gather signatures from Democrats that are registered in the area that the office represents. You don’t need permission from anyone else in the party – just your enthusiasm and energy. You can find out more about petitions both from the State Board of Elections, elections.ny.gov, and the Orleans County Board of Elections, orleansny.com/Elections.
For 2019 the first day for signing designating petitions is February 26 and the dates for filing designating petitions are April 1 – 4. But, as always, refer to the Board of Elections as the official source for information like this.
Here are a few tips on petitions. First, get extra signatures as people can challenge petitions. It is very common that a MINIMUM of 25% of the signature lines have some issue that can be challenged. Second, review your petitions carefully before submission to make sure that all the pages are filled out correctly – as entire pages and the whole petition can be challenged. It would be a good idea to have an experienced person help you review your petitions.
If more than one Democrat has petitions accepted at the Board of Elections for the same office then those candidates will be listed on the primary ballot. Hooray – Democracy in action.
Run for Town office. Run for County office. Run for State office. Run for Federal office. It is your right. Good luck!