Petition FAQ


It is the candidate's responsibility to file a complete and accurate petition by the applicable deadline.

A candidate guide can be found at the Ohio Secretary of State's website.

What is a Petition?

A petition is a prescribed form that potential candidates will use to run for particular offices.

Most petitions have three main parts:

  1. Statement of candidacy
  2. Body of petition, which includes electors signatures
  3. Circulators Statement

Signatures and Fees

You will be required to obtain a prescribed amount of 'valid' elector signatures and pay a set filing fee.

Amount of signatures and filing fee varies based on office sought.

A 'valid' elector is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which you are a candidate.

Statement of Candidacy

Name, address, and signature should match the candidate's voter registration on file with the Board of Elections.

Candidate's address MUST be a street address- NO P.O. Boxes!

State the office sought and term clearly.

Partisan candidate include party designation

Signed and dated by candidate prior to obtaining signatures

Fill in petition for candidate/ nominating petition section

Body of Petition

The circulator must witness every signature

The elector may only sign their name on the petition

The signature must match the signature on file with the Board of Elections

The elector's address should match the address on file with the Board of Elections (Street Addresses only!)

The date column must be filled- in with a valid date (same date or after the candidate signed the Statement of Candidacy)

The elector may fill out a registration card prior to signing a part petition to update any information needed

Circulator Statement

Circulator's name printed on the proper line

Accurate number of signatures reported

Circulator will sign and put address on proper line

Circulator MUST witness each signature

Qualifications of Circulators

Must be at least 18 years of age

A Circulator is not required to be an Ohio elector or an Ohio resident

Each circulator of a candidate petition must be a member of the political party named in the declaration of candidacy (Primary)

Candidate as Circulator: A candidate may circulate his or her own part-petition

Not an Ohio Elector: If the circulator is not an Ohio elector, the Board of Elections should accept as true the claim of political party membership that is included in the circulators statement, unless the board has knowledge to the contrary

Ohio Elector: An Ohio elector who circulates another persons declaration of candidacy and petition for the nomination or election at a partisan primary must not have voted in any other party's primary election in the preceding two calendar years.

Petition Pre-Check:

Who can pre-check:

A public terminal is available for candidates and/ or their representatives to check petition signatures on the voter registration database at the Geauga County Board of Elections Office.

Who cannot pre-check:

Pre-checking of candidate's petitions before filing by the Geauga County Board of Election Staff is prohibited per the Ohio Secretary of State


Fill in candidate and nominating clauses completely prior to circulating the petition.

Verify the elector signed (not printed) their name.  If signature is illegible, it might be helpful to print their last name above.

Check for completed address and proper dates.

Make sure the circulator clause is completely filled out and signed by the circulator.

Be mindful of the filing deadline and fee.

It is not suggested that you file only the amount of required signatures. Obtain more than the required amount. BUT you cannot file more than 3 times the number of required signatures.

A candidate may circulate more than one type of petition, BUT may only file for one office. R.C. 3513.052, R.C. 3599.09

Once petitions are filed, they cannot be changed, supplemented or returned.

If you realize there is an error, you can withdraw your petitions any time BEFORE board action/ filing deadline and file a new set of petitions.


Candidate Petition Documents
Calendar of Events
Date Event
Every third Thursday of each month unless otherwise noted Geauga County Board of Elections meeting, 9:00 a.m., 470 Center Street, Building 6-A, Chardon, Ohio 44024
March 15, 2018
at 9:00 a.m.
Regular Board Meeting
April 9, 2018
Voter registration deadline for the May 8, 2018 Primary Election
April 10th –
April 13th
(Tues. – Fri.)
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
In-person absentee voting for the May 8, 2018 Primary Election, Board of Elections' offices, 470 Center St., Bldg. 6-A, Chardon
April 16th –
April 27th
(Mon. – Fri.)
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
April 30th –
May 4th
(Mon. – Fri.)
8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
May 5th
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
May 6th
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
May 7th
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
May 8, 2018
Primary Election Day.  Polls open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Directors and Board Members
 Deborah M. Reiter
Deputy Director:
Dorothy M. Stange
Board Members:
Edward M. Ryder, Chairman
Janet M. Carson
Dennis M. Pavella
Joan A. Windnagel
Board Office Information
470 Center St., Bldg.  #6-A
Chardon, Ohio 44024
Direct: (440)279-2030
(440) 285-2222
(440) 564-7131
(440) 834-1856 Extension 2030
Fax #:
(440) 285-0959
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m