Candidates for office must meet certain qualifications and are required to file specific documents in order to qualify to appear on the ballot. These qualifications and requirements may vary slightly depending on whether the office sought is a local office, a general assembly seat, a statewide office, or a federal office. Generally, all candidates must meet the following minimum qualifications:
- Be qualified to vote for and hold the office sought, and
- Be a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia for one year immediately preceding the election.
The board has developed and published candidate informational bulletins specific to each office type. In addition to the qualifications, forms and filing requirements, candidate information bulletins provide candidates with information he/she will need to run for office.
Instructions for Potential Candidates:
- Read the candidate bulletin for the office sought.
- Complete the Certificate of Candidate Qualification form for the office sought. This form may be filed any time after January 1 of the election year and before the filing deadline of the election. It must be filed before a candidate can purchase a registered voter’s list.
- Complete the necessary Campaign Finance documents and review the laws and policies for Campaign Committees.
- Complete the appropriate Statement of Economic Interest form, if required. The form will vary based on the office sought. Candidates for General Assembly may download the form here and all other candidates required to complete this form may obtain this form from the Secretary of Commonwealth's website.
- Complete the Declaration of Candidacy form and Petition of Qualified Voter form ( petition is not required if candidate is participating in non-primary party nomination process ). These forms must be filed together on or before the filing deadline for the election.
- Declaration of Candidacy - for all offices except US President / Vice President
- Petition of Qualified Voters ( 8 1/2 x 11 Letter Size or 8 1/2 x 14 Legal Size ) - for all offices except US President / Vice President
If filing for Presidential Primary:
- Consent / Declaration of Candidacy - for the offices of US President / Vice President
- Petition of Qualified Voters for Presidential Primary ( 8 1/2 x 11 Letter Size or 8 1/2 x 14 Legal Size )
If filing for Presidential General Election:
- Petition of Qualified Voters for Electors for President and Vice-President ( 8 1/2 x 11 Letter Size or 8 1/2 x 14 Legal Size )
- Petition of Qualified Voters For Electors For President and Vice-President [SBE-543(PC)]. This petition may only be circulated by constitutionally qualified candidates seeking the Office of President of the United States. ( 8 1/2 x 11 Letter Size or 8 1/2 x 14 Legal Size )