February 24, 2009

You can only sign once

As more candidates file into the field of prospective mayors, there's an election rule that affects you and me. Under state law, you can only sign one candidate's nomination papers.

You won't get punished for signing more than one candidate's papers, but only your first signature will count. For example, if you sign Q.A. Shakoor's papers today and Jody Harding's papers tomorrow, only your signature for Shakoor will count.

Simple as it seems, this could be a challenge for candidates. Since each of the 10 people running for mayor needs a minimum of 200 signatures, that's 2,000 people the candidates have to collectively reach before the March 11 filing deadline. Even in a city of 80,000, that's not an easy task in late winter. (Candidates can collect up to 400 signatures just in case some signers are stricken.)

So in essence, there's a primary to the primary. Who can collect enough signatures just to appear on the ballot? We'll find out March 11.


  1. Not true. It is not when you signed, but when the sheet you signed is turned in.

    If you signed Shakoor's papers today and Harding's tomorrow, but Harding turned her signatures in first than your signature would only count for Shakoor.

  2. Nope

    1st one dated is the official one that will count!!

  3. Anonymous is correct. That is why the signer of nomination papers must date their signature.

    And don't think that mayoral candidates will not be scrutinizing each other's nomination papers to see if they can remove a candidate from the April ballot.

    The infamous county board supervisor Ken Hall tried to get Brian Dey removed from the ballot. In fact, he hired a purported "handwriting expert" to determine whether or not the signatures were valid.

    Advice to candidates - Bring in at least 250 signatures so that you will be certain to get your name on the April ballot. In fact, why not go for the full 400? You are going to be knocking on doors anyways.

  4. Leisa Hill was collecting signatures in the Bryant Center on City time. She has city employees doing campaign work.