Date: January 14, 2020

To:     PA GOP State Committee Members

RE:    How to Run for Delegate

As members of the Republican State Committee many of you have requested information on how to run for Delegate or Alternate Delegate.  As the RPP has done in past Presidential Elections, this Memo will outline the instructions.  More information can be found on the Department of State’s website at [email protected] or contact them at 717-787-5280.  You can also feel free to reach out to Executive Director, Gerry Wosewick at (717) 234-4901, or [email protected] with any questions. For a downloadable .pdf of this document, please click here.

Dates to Remember:

  • First Day to Circulate and File Nomination Petitions:  January 28, 2020
  • Last Day to Circulate and File Nomination Petitions:  February 18, 2020
  • General Primary:  April 28, 2020

The Candidate Affidavit:

Each candidate must file with his or her nomination petition an affidavit setting forth information about the candidate, including the candidate’s residence, election district and the name of the office the candidate is seeking.  The Affidavit must be signed in front of a Notary Public.  It is illegal to have the affidavit “pre-signed”.  Each Notarization must include the date of the notarization, the notary public’s signature and the official rubber stamp seal of the notary. 

The Nomination Petitions:

Each page of the nomination petition contains three basic components: 1) the Preamble, 2) the signatures of the Electors, and the 3) the Statement of the Circulator

The Preamble:

The preamble is the portion of the nomination petition page where the information about the candidate is inserted.  The preamble includes the office for which the candidate seeks the nomination, the name of the candidate, the candidate’s occupation, the candidate’s residence, and the party affiliation of the signers.

You can create your nomination petition electronically, and all of the required information can be put on the nomination petition digitally at the PA Department of State Website at the link below.

Note: Each nomination petition has a specific county bar code on both the front and back, and when printed they must match up or the nomination petition will be null and void.  The nomination petition must be printed two-sided on one piece of 8 ½” x 11” paper, head to head or the petition will be null and void.  In other words, if you flip the page over, the other side should not be upside down.

Signatures of Electors:

Each person who signs a nomination petition must insert the following information about him or herself:

  1. Signature
  2. Printed name
  3. Address of Residence, including street and number, if any
  4. The Date in which he or she signed the nomination petition

Each signer must personally sign his or her name in the signature of the Elector column and print his or her name in the printed Name of the Elector Column.  Each signer must also insert in the Place of Residence column, his or her address exactly as it appears on his or her voter registration.  In the case of an elector having a rural route number or R.D. Numbers, the township should be listed.  The Elector must also insert the date of the signing in the Date of the signing Column which may be expressed in words or numbers.  Ex. January 28, 2020 or 1/28/20

A different nomination petition form must be used for signers residing in different counties. Example:  If you are seeking to file a nomination petition for Delegate in a Congressional District that covers three counties, then you must create a nomination petition for each of the counties and the signers on the nomination petition must all be from that county’s sheet.  A signer may only sign the nomination petition for up to three candidates for Delegate and three candidates for Alternate Delegate.  Each signer must be a registered Republican voter who resides in the political district (Congressional District) and county on the nomination petition.  Note: Signatures that are dated before the first day to circulate or after the last day to circulate will not be counted

Statement of the Circulator:

Each nomination petition must have a completed Statement of Circulator.  The circulator of the nomination petition must swear or affirm the following:

  1. That the Circulator is a qualified elector of the Commonwealth or of the district, as the case may be
  2. That the circulator is a duly registered and enrolled member of the political party designated in the nomination petition
  3. That the circulator’s address of residence is as set forth in items 4 and 5 of the Statement.
  4. That the signers of the nomination petition page signed with full knowledge of the contents of the nomination petition
  5. That the signers’ residences are correctly stated on the nomination petition page
  6. That each signer signed on the date that the signer inserted next to his or her signature, name and address of residence
  7. That, to the best if the circulators knowledge and belief, the signers are qualified electors, who are duly registered and enrolled in the political party designated in the petition and are residents in the County set forth in Item 1 on the affidavit. 

All Blank spaces which appear at the top of Side 1 of each Nomination petition page must be completed BEFORE signatures are obtained. 

Note: The Pennsylvania Department of State no longer requires nomination petition pages to be signed by a Notary Public.

Note: The circulator does not need to reside in the Congressional District, but he or she must be a registered Republican.

Filing Fees and Signature Requirements:

There is a $25.00 filing fee that must be submitted with your Candidate Affidavit and nomination petitions with either a certified check or money order payable to the Department of State.  Note: Personal Checks and cash are not accepted. 

In order to get on the ballot for Delegate or Alternate Delegate you must obtain a minimum of 250 signatures from qualified electors.  There is no maximum requirement.  You can only file if you have achieved the minimum requirement of 250 signatures.  You should try to get double the minimum requirement of signatures in case a challenge is filed to your signatures.  If challenges reduce the number of valid signatures to below 250, you will not be on the ballot.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • The signer improperly used ditto marks
  • The signer is not registered to vote
  • The signer is not registered to vote at the address listed on the nomination petition
  • The signer signed more nomination petitions than allowed by law
  • The signer is not a qualified elector of the Republican Party
  • Signatures and other information on the nomination petition are not sufficiently legible so as to verify the registration and identity of the signer
  • Duplicate signatures – the signer signed the same petition multiple times
  • The handwriting of the signer does not match the signature on the signer’s official voter registration record
  • The Nomination Petition was signed outside the permissible time limits for circulating nomination petitions
  • The signature of the signer is missing other required information such as printed name, address or date of signing
  • The signer did not sign his/her name
  • The circulator’s affidavit is defective
  • The candidate’s affidavit is defective

For a downloadable .pdf of this document, please click here.