Qualifying Petitions

How to Become a Candidate

To start the process of becoming a candidate, the person must first pick up a qualifying petition at our office. The candidate will take the petition and obtain at least 25 valid signatures of registered voters in the district that he or she is running in.

The potential candidate must also complete the following candidate forms:

  • Appointment of Political Treasurer (PDF) - Most candidates will appoint a Political Treasurer. The candidate may appoint himself/herself as Treasurer; most candidates do.
  • Statement of Interest (i.e., Conflict of Interest Statement)

The Qualifying Petition must be turned back to our office no later than 12:00 noon on the third Thursday of the third month prior to the election.

Qualifying Petition

The earliest day a person can pick up a qualifying petition is no more than 90 days before the qualifying deadline. Someone other than the candidate is allowed to pick up the petition. However, the election commission must fill out who it is for. A person cannot pick up a blank petition.

Valid Signature

A valid signature is:

  • A qualifying petition must contain at least 25 signatures of qualified voters of the district, City, or County in which the candidate is running in
  • A qualified voter is a registered voter who is a citizen of the U.S., a resident of the State of Tennessee, 18 years old or older or will be 18 by the day of the election and a non-felon (or they have had their voting rights restored)
  • Voters are required to vote in the precinct in which they live
  • The signer must give his/her residence address. P.O. Boxes as the only address cannot be counted as valid.
  • The signature of the signer must match the that on file. In other words, a person cannot sign for another person.
  • The signer must print his/her name and provide the residence address and sign where indicated

Withdrawing from the Race

If a candidate wishes to withdraw his/her petition, he/she must do so in writing to the election commission office no later than the seventh day after the qualifying deadline by 12:00 noon. However, a candidate cannot have his/her name removed from the ballot once the withdrawal deadline has passed.