Candidate Guide

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections

Candidate Guide

Presidential Primary Election June 7, 2016

This guide gives you information about candidate forms, fees, requirements, and deadlines for the June 7, 2016, Presidential Primary Election. You can find more election information under the election schedule section on our website.

The nomination process can be complicated and the filing deadlines are rigid. It’s a good idea to file your candidate paperwork early. Otherwise, you may not have enough time to correct any mistakes before the deadline.

If you have questions about your candidacy or the information in this guide, please contact Dan Miller.

Important! The Candidate Guide provides general information about the nomination and election of candidates. It does not have the force and effect of law, regulation, or rule.

The Registrar of Voters does not provide legal advice and this guide is not intended to provide legal advice. Any person, organization or candidate using this guide may not rely on it as a substitute to seeking legal counsel. Statutes and regulations change and are updated on a frequent basis; therefore, the guidelines provided in this booklet may not reflect the most current state of the law.


Index

Common Questions

Common Questions & Answers

Important Dates

Important Dates

Dates that fall on a weekend or holiday move to the next business day.

# of days before
election ↓
Jan 1 thru Feb 10, 2016
Superior Court offices Signature-In-Lieu of Filing Fee Period
158 - 118 This Signature-In-Lieu filing period deadline applies to Superior Court offices only.
EC §§ 8061 & 8106
Jan 1 thru Feb 25, 2016
State & County Offices Signature-In-Lieu of Filing Fee Period
158 - 103 This Signature-In-Lieu deadline applies to all State, Federal, and County candidates required to pay a filing fee.
EC §§ 8061, 8105, & 8106
Feb 1 thru Feb 10, 2016
Superior Court offices Declaration of Intention
127 - 118 All judicial candidates including incumbent judges must file a Declaration of Intention no later than Feb. 10th. Candidates for Superior Court offices must also pay the filing fee when the Declaration of Intention is filed.
EC § 8023
Feb 11 thru Feb 15, 2016
Superior Court offices Declaration of Intention Extension period
117 - 113 Extension period applies only if an incumbent Superior Court Judge does not file the Declaration of Intention by Feb. 10th. Incumbent judges may not file during this period.
EC § 8023(b)
February 15, 2016
Nomination period opens for all candidates
113 Candidates must obtain and file all nomination documents with the Marin County Elections Office.
City and Town Council candidates must pick up and file nomination documents at their City Clerk’s office.(Some cities charge a filing fee.)
March 11, 2016
Nomination period closes
88 Deadline for all candidates and incumbents to file all required and optional documents, or withdraw as a candidate.
Mar 12 thru Mar 21, 2016
Public review of candidate statements
87 - 78 During this period, voters can get copies of any candidate statement, and file a Writ of Mandate in Superior Court.
EC § 13313
Mar 12 thru Mar 16, 2016
Extended nomination period begins
87 - 83 This nomination period will open if an incumbent does not file by the March 11th deadline. Incumbents may not file during this period.
Mar 17 thru Mar 26, 2016
Public review of candidate statements filed in extended nomination period
82 - 73 During this period, voters can get copies of any candidate statement, and file a Writ of Mandate in Superior Court.
EC § 13313
March 17, 2016
Random alphabet drawing
82 The Secretary of State conducts a random drawing to decide the order of candidate names on the ballot. The Registrar of Voters draws the random alphabet for State Assembly and State Senate candidates for the Marin County ballot.
EC § 13313
March 22, 2016
Campaign finance
77 Candidates must file at least 1 campaign finance statement by this date regardless of their level of activity.
April 8, 2016
Overseas & Military Ballots
60 Marin County Elections Office starts mailing ballots to overseas and military voters.
Apr 11 thru May 24, 2016
Write-in candidates
57 - 14 Write-In Candidates pick up and file your papers only for those offices on ballot.
EC § 8601
April 28, 2016
Sample Ballot Mailing
40 Marin County Elections Office starts mailing Voter Information Pamphlets to all registered voters in the county.
May 9, 2016
Vote-by-Mail ballots
29 Vote-by-mail ballot mailing period. Any Marin County voter may receive a ballot by mail. Starting this date voters can obtain a ballot at the Elections Office.
May 23, 2016
Voter Registration deadline
15 This is the last day to register to vote for this election. Voter registration forms received by mail must be postmarked by this date.
May 26, 2016
Campaign finance
12 Candidates who have campaign finance committees must report all financial activity from the date of their last statement through 5/21/16.
June 7, 2016
Election Day
0 Marin County Elections Office and the polls are open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Date to be determined
Manual Tally
TBD At 9 a.m., Marin County Elections Office randomly selects 1% of the precincts to count votes by hand (manual tally).
July 7, 2016
Election certification
+30 The deadline for the Marin County Elections Office to certify the county’s election results.
EC § 15372

Offices Open

Offices Open for Nomination

  • Offices Open
    • Voter Nominated Offices – Federal
      • U. S. Representative in Congress

          Qualifications: U.S. Citizen for at least seven years, 25 years of age, resident of this state when he/she takes office. (Note: There are no district residency requirements for Members of Congress.) (U.S. Const., Art. I, § 2; 20th Amend., § 1)

        • Term Years – 2
        • Filing Fee - $1,740.00
        • Value/Signature - $.58
        • Sponsor Signatures – 40 to 60
      • United States Senator

          Qualifications: At least 30 years of age, a U.S. citizen for nine years, and a resident of California when sworn in if elected. (U.S. Const., Art. I, § 3; 20th Amend., § 1)

        • Term Years – 6
        • Filing Fee - $3,480.00
        • Value/Signature - $.348
        • Sponsor Signatures – 65 to 100
    • Voter Nominated Offices – State
      • California State Assembly

          Qualifications: U.S. citizen, registered voter and qualified to vote for that office at the time nomination papers are issued; not convicted of a felony involving public monies; have not served three terms in the State Assembly, or two terms in the State Senate since November 6, 1990. (Cal. Const., art. IV, § 2 (a)(4) and § 2 (c))

        • Term Years – 2
        • Filing Fee - $1,001.13
        • Value/Signature - $.66742
        • Sponsor Signatures – 40 to 60
    • Party Nominated Offices
      • President of the United States

          There are two methods by which a person may have his or her name placed on the ballot as a presidential candidate: by determination of the Secretary of State that a person is a generally-recognized candidate or by circulating nomination papers per Elections Code §6000 et, seq.

      • County Central Committees

          Candidates must reside in the district he or she represents.

          A candidate must be registered with the political party he or she seeks continuously for not less than three months prior to applying for candidacy.

          The candidate must not have been registered with another qualified political party within 12 months however a candidate can be registered as “declines to state” the 9 months previous to the 3-month period.

        • Specific to the Republican Party:

            Any Regular Member running for a seat on the committee must be a registered Republican for at least one year prior to the close of filing for that election, to be verified by the registrar of voters prior to the taking out of papers.

            Any Regular Member being considered for an appointment on the committee must be a registered Republican for at least one year prior to the date of the appointment, to be verified by the registrar of voters prior to their nomination.

            The exception to items 1 and 2 would be an individual who has just turned 18 or an individual who has just moved to Marin and registered as a Republican.

        • Specific to the Peace & Freedom Party:

            Candidates must be registered in the Party for a period of 30 days and may not have been registered in any other party for the same period.


        • Parties Total* Dist. 1 Dist. 2 Dist. 3 Dist. 4 Dist. 5
          Democrat 23 5 5 5 4 4
          Republican 22 5 4 5 3 5
          Green 7 at large
          Peace & Freedom 7 at large

          *The number of County Central Committee openings is determined on the basis of Marin County voter registration figures.

          The American Independent Party and the Libertarian Party have opted to not participate in Committee elections held by Marin County Elections Department at the 2016 Primaries.

          All newly elected candidates will be notified of taking office by the Committees before the organizational meeting.

    • Non-Partisan Offices
      • County Board of Supervisors

          Qualifications: Candidate shall have been a registered voter of the district which he/she seeks to represent for at least 30 days immediately preceding the deadline for filing nomination documents for the office of supervisor, and shall reside in the district during his/her incumbency. (Govt. Code §25041)

        • District 2 - Catherine Rice
        • District 3 - Kathrin E. Sears
        • District 4 - Stephen H. Kinsey

        • Term Years – 4
        • Filing Fee - $1,133.60
        • Value/Signature - $.25
        • Sponsor Signatures – 20 to 40
      • Superior Court Judge

          Qualifications: Member of the State Bar or judge of a court of record in California for the preceding 10 years (Art. VI, Sec. 15, Cal. Const.). Candidates shall complete a Declaration of Qualifications form, and shall provide documents to the Marin County Elections Dept. to sufficiently establish qualification.

        • Office No. 1 – Judge Roy O. Chernus
        • Office No. 2 – Judge Faye D’Opal
        • Office No. 3 – Judge Paul Haakenson
        • Office No. 4 – Judge Judge Stephen Freccero
        • Office No. 5 – Judge Geoffrey Howard
        • Office No. 6 – Judge Andrew E. Sweet

        • Term Years – 6
        • Filing Fee - $1,890.41
        • Value/Signature - $.2499846
        • Sponsor Signatures – 20 to 40

        • If the incumbent is the only candidate to file his or her nomination papers for the office of Superior Court Judge:

          • a) his/her name shall not appear on the primary election ballot unless a petition indicating that a write-in campaign will be conducted for the office and signed by at least 0.1 percent of the registered voters eligible to vote for the office, is filed with the Registrar, within 10 days after the close of the nomination period. The petition must contain at least 100 signatures but no more than 600 signatures. (EC § 8203)
          • b) his/her name shall not appear on the general election ballot unless a petition indicating that a write-in campaign will be conducted for the office and signed by at least 0.1 percent of the registered voters eligible to vote for the office, is filed with the Registrar not less than 83 days before the general election. The petition must contain at least 100 signatures but no more than 600 signatures. (EC § 8203)
      • Municipal seats

          All seats currently listed in this section are 4-year terms, also known as full-term. A short-term due to the vacancy of an existing incumbent is not listed on this page but will be made available at a later date.

          Candidates must contact the City or Town Clerk regarding filing fees, and must file nomination papers, declaration papers, and all campaign finance reports with their respective City or Town Clerk. A minimum of 20 sponsor signatures are required for towns/cities. (EC § 10220)

          # of Seats Term
          City of Belvedere - Council Members Three 4 years
          Town of Ross - Council Members Three 4 years
      • Special Districts

          All seats currently listed in this section are 4-year terms, also known as full-term. A short-term due to the vacancy of an existing incumbent is not listed on this page but will be made available at a later date.

          Qualifications: Candidate must be a registered voter in the district. Any additional qualifications are determined by the principal act of the district.

          # of Seats Term
          Almonte Sanitary - Directors Three 4 years
          Sanitary Dist. No. 1 - Directors Two 4 years
  • Insufficient Nominees
    • Special Districts

        If the number of candidates is equal to the number of offices to be filled within a specific district, the Registrar of Voters will request the Board of Supervisors to appoint in lieu of an election the candidates who have filed nomination papers. If the number of candidates is less than the number of offices to be filled, the Board of Supervisors will appoint any qualified person(s) who will then serve exactly as if elected. (Elections Code § 10515)

    • School Districts

        If the number of candidates is equal to the number of offices to be filled within a specific school district, an election will not be held and the qualified person(s) will be seated at the organizational meeting of the school district board.
        If the number of candidates is less than the number of offices to be filled, the governing board of the district will appoint any qualified person(s) who will then serve exactly as if elected.
        (Education Code §§ 5328 & 5328.5)

    • Municipal elections

        If the number of candidates is less than the number of offices to be filled, the governing body of the city may adopt one of the following courses of action:

      • Appoint those persons having filed nomination papers before the deadline,
      • Appoint an eligible person who had not filed before the deadline,
      • Hold the election
      • (Elections Code § 10229)

  • Placement of names on the ballot

      The order in which candidates’ names shall be placed on the ballot is specified in Elections Code Sections 13111 and 13112. Election Code Section 13109 specifies the order of offices on the ballot.

    • Randomized Alphabet Drawing
      • Secretary of State Random Alphabet Drawing

          At 11:00 a.m. on the 82nd day before the election, the Secretary of State’s Office pulls each letter of the alphabet at random according to the procedure specified in Elections Code Section 13112 and compiles a randomized alphabet. Each candidate will be placed on the ballot in the order that each of the letters of his/her surname were drawn. For example, the placement of candidates with the surnames of Campbell and Carlson will depend on the order in which the letters M and R were drawn. This order is also used in determining the placement of names on the ballot for statewide contests.

      • Marin County Registrar of Voters Random Alphabet Drawing

          The Registrar of Voters office conducts their own random alphabet drawing for multi-county offices such as State Senator or State Assembly.

  • Candidate Nomination Papers

    Candidate Nomination Papers

    Our office will provide the following forms:

    • Declaration of Intention – Superior Court Candidates only

        To be a candidate for Superior Court Judge you must first file the Declaration of Intention. The filing period for this form is February 1 through February 10, 2016 unless there is an extension.

      • Nonrefundable filing fees:

          When you file your Declaration of Intention you must pay the nonrefundable filing fee and/or submit the full or prorated amount of signatures in lieu.

      • Office number:

          You must declare the office number on your Declaration of Intention See Offices Open section for the office number.

      • If the incumbent

          fails to file a Declaration of Intention by the Feb. 10th deadline, anyone other than the incumbent may file a Declaration of Intention by Feb. 15th (due to holiday, Feb. 16th).

      • If an incumbent of a judicial office

          has filed a Declaration of Intention but fails to file nomination papers by March 11th, the nomination period will extend to March 16th. Any qualified person, other than the incumbent may file nomination papers for the office during this period even though he or she has not filed a Declaration of Intention. This candidate must pay the filing fee when his or her nomination papers are issued.

    • Signatures in Lieu of Filing Fee Petition (optional)

        If you are a candidate for an office that requires a filing fee, you may gather signatures of registered voters to help lower the cost of the filing fee. The previous pages list filing fees and the value of each signature needed to offset those fees.

      • Filing period:
        • Judicial candidates January 1 (due to holiday, Jan. 4th) – February 10, 2016;
        • State and Federal candidates January 1 (due to holiday, Jan. 4th) – February 25, 2016.
        • Before you can pick up nomination papers you must either file the required amount of signatures in lieu or pay the filing fee. If you don’t have enough signatures you can:

        • Submit supplemental petitions; and/or
        • Pay a pro-rata fee.
      • Filing fees:
        • Filing fees are nonrefundable, and must be paid before receiving the rest of your candidate documents.
        • Filing fees for Non-Partisan offices may be paid by cash, money order, certified, travelers or personal check made payable to Registrar of Voters.
        • Filing fees for Partisan and Voter Nominated offices must be paid by check made payable to the Secretary of State.
      • Circulating Signature Petitions:
        • A candidate may serve as the circulator to collect signatures.
        • Any registered voter who is a resident of the jurisdiction can sign a petition for any candidate for whom he/she is eligible to vote.
        • Signatures gathered from other counties for a multi-county district office must be delivered and processed at the Elections Office in those counties.
        • Anyone 18 years or older, regardless of their state of residence, can circulate nominating papers for signatures.
    • Nomination Petition/Sponsor signatures

        Candidates must file nomination petitions with the required minimum number of valid sponsor signatures.

      • Federal, State, Judicial offices

          If you are a candidate for federal, state, judicial office you must file nomination petitions with the minimum number of valid sponsor signatures. Those signing your nomination papers must be a registered voter regardless of their political party, and eligible to vote in your contest.

          Each signer will:

        • provide his/her printed name, signature, residence address, city, on the petition, and
        • sign in the presence of the candidate or circulator.
      • Central Committee/County Council Offices

          Those signing your nomination papers must be a registered voter and eligible to vote in your contest.

          Each signer will:

        • provide his/her printed name, signature, residence address, city, on the petition, and
        • sign in the presence of the candidate or circulator.
      • Other important things to know
        • The petition will not be accepted if any information including the circulator’s affidavit is not completed in full.
        • The Elections office must receive all nomination petitions by the close of the filing period.
        • You can use any of the qualified signatures from your ‘signature in lieu’ petition for your sponsor signatures.
        • A candidate may sign his/her own petition.
    • Declaration of Candidacy Form
      • When and where to pick up your form

          The Declaration of Candidacy form is available starting February 16, 2016 (Actual period begins Feb. 15th which is a holiday). Our office will be closed until the next business day.from the Marin County Elections Office. If you cannot pick up or file this form in person, you may not file by fax, but you may:

        • Use certified mail or a delivery service: Your signature on the Declaration of Candidacy form must be notarized, or
        • Send an authorized person to pick up and file your form. Give the authorized person a written, dated, and signed authorization that says:
          • The name of the person you authorized to pick up / file your form, and
          • You know that your form must be properly filled out and filed by the deadline.

          Note: The authorized person may not change or correct anything on your nomination papers.

      • Voter Nominated Offices
        • state legislative offices, and
        • U.S. federal offices

        • If you’re a candidate for a voter nominated office you must indicate on your Declaration of Candidacy whether or not you want your party preference to be printed next to your name on the ballot. If you LIST a party preference, that party will be printed after your name on the ballot. If you do not list a party preference, the words "Party Preference: None" will be printed after your name on the ballot.

        • If you choose to put your party preference on the Declaration of Candidacy, you must be registered to vote in that party.
        • You must also provide a 10-year history of your party registration which will be posted on the Secretary of State’s website.
        • The party preference or no preference from the Primary Election ballot will be the same for the General Election ballot.
      • Deadline to file your form

          The deadline to file all of your papers is: March 11, 2016, no later than 5 p.m. If you are running for an office with an extended nomination period the deadline to file will be March 16, 2016.

          Note: Candidates may not file nomination forms for more than one term of office for the same district, or for more than one district or municipal office at the same election. (E.C. §§ 8003(b), 10510(b), 10220.5)

      • Name on Ballot
        • You can write your nickname, along with your legal name on your form. If you do not write your nickname on the Declaration of Candidacy form, you cannot use it later on other candidate papers. (A.G. Ops 50-87, 5/27/80)
        • Titles and degrees cannot be listed with the candidate’s name on the ballot.
    • Ballot Designation Requirements (if requesting a designation)
      • General Rules

          The Ballot Designation goes under your name on the ballot, and refers to your current occupation or incumbency status. You are allowed up to 3 words. If you want a ballot designation, you must fill out a Ballot Designation Worksheet (E.C. §§ 13107.3; CA Admin. Code – §§ 20710-20719) and file it with the rest of your candidate papers by the deadline.

          If you do not want a designation, write “NONE” on your Declaration of Candidacy form where it asks for your designation. Also put your initials after the word “NONE.”

          California state law says that your designation must describe your current profession, vocation, or what you do – or did – for a living during the 12 months before the filing deadline. The words you choose must be generic and neutral. And the words must be accurate, and not misleading. (E.C. §§ 13107)

          Here are some examples: High School Teacher, Scientist, Emergency Department Neurologist.

          You may list more than one occupation or vocation, but you are limited to 3 words and you must separate them with a slash. Example: Professor/Mother/Doctor

          Note: If you choose words that are very long, they may be printed in a smaller font size.

      • Other ballot designation rules

          You may use the words community volunteer (CA Admin. Code – §§ 20714.5) if:

        • You’re substantially involved as a community volunteer with bona fide organizations,
        • You do not have another principal occupation or vocation, and
        • You do not add any other words to describe another occupation or vocation.

        • You may use the word retired (CA Admin. Code – §§ 20716(h)(1)) if:

        • You are 55 or older, and worked at your last job or vocation for more than 5 years and left voluntarily;
        • A principal source of your income is from a retirement plan or retirement benefits (or you are eligible to receive retirement benefits).
        • You cannot use retired if you’ve had more recent professions, occupations, or vocations.
        • Note: You must not abbreviate retired or place it after the word(s) it modifies.
      • Special rules for incumbents and appointed incumbents:

          If you are an incumbent, you may use:

        • Your elected title, even if the title has more than 3 words
          Example: Board Member, ABC School District
        • Your elected position and your other occupation or vocation, if you use 3 words or less
          Example: Board Member/Teacher
        • The word Incumbent (without adding any other words) if you are running for the same office you hold now.

        • If you are an appointed incumbent you may use:

        • The words Appointed Incumbent (without adding any other words) if you are running for the same office you hold now.
        • The word Appointed along with your current office title.
          Example: Appointed Board Member, ABC School District
        • Judicial candidates that were appointed to a judicial seat are not required to use Appointed, and can use Incumbent instead.
      • Some words are not allowed

          If you choose words that the law does not allow, the Elections Office will notify you. If you do not provide an acceptable alternative designation by the deadline, no ballot designation will be listed after your name.

          Do not use words that Examples
          Evaluate Outstanding, leading, expert, virtuous, eminent, best, exalted, prominent, advocate, activist, reformer, pro, anti
          Suggest status and do not say your occupation Taxpayer, patriot, citizen, renter, presidential appointee, husband, wife, scholar, veteran, concerned citizen, activist
          Suggest a racial, religious or ethnic group Asian, Christian, Irish
          Suggest a political party Libertarian, Democrat
          Refer to illegal activity Outlaw, gambler
          Suggest previous occupations Former, ex (You may use retired. See Other ballot designation rules)
          Name a company, agency or person Instead of: IBM President, use: Computer Corporation President
          Instead of: Director, DMV, use: State Agency Director
          Mislead An occasional activity, hobby, or position that takes up little of your time. You may have to give proof to support the accuracy of your designation.
      • Request for supporting documents:

          Candidates are responsible for establishing accuracy and compliance within all provisions of the Elections Code. The Elections Department or Secretary of State may request supporting documentation or evidence supporting a candidate’s proposed ballot designation. (CA Admin. Code – §§ 20717)

      • Rejection of ballot designations:

          The elections official may reject a candidate’s ballot designation due to any violation of the parameters stated in the Elections Code. The Secretary of State’s office administers rules and procedures for State and Federal candidates. Candidates are given an opportunity to make a correction. (E.C. §§ 13107(c))

    • Candidate Statements (optional to file)
      • General Information

          You have the option to file a 200 word candidate statement to be printed in the Marin County Voter Information Pamphlet. Congressional, State Senate & Assembly candidates are allowed 250 words.

        • Type your statement on a separate piece of paper and attach it to the Candidate Statement form provided with your other candidate papers. You must sign your statement.
        • File your statement along with your other candidate papers by 5 p.m. on March 11th. If you are running for an office with an extended nomination period, the deadline is 5 p.m. on March 16th.
        • If the office you are running for covers more than one county, you have the option to print your statement in both counties. To do that, you must file and pay for your statement in each county separately, and follow both counties’ procedures.
        • Review your statement carefully because you’re not allowed to correct typos or mistakes after filing it. It’s a good idea to have another person proofread your statement with you.
        • If you want to change your statement after you file, your only option is to withdraw as a candidate, and completely re-file as a candidate.
        • The deadline to withdraw your statement is by the close of business of the next working day after the close of the nomination period. You’ll be refunded the cost of the statement.
      • Content requirements

          Your candidate statement can include information about your education, experience and other qualifications. It may not include information or reference about any other candidate, party affiliations, or memberships and activities in any political party organizations. (EC §13307(a), §13308)

      • Formatting requirements

          All candidate statements must be uniform in type and size, in block paragraphs and single spaced.

        • No ALL CAPS (use upper and lower case)
        • No italics, no bold, no underlining, no highlights
        • No clusters of exclamation points
        • No bullets or numbered lists (we will replace with semicolons and wrap text)
        • Indents are not allowed
        • 200 words maximum for non-partisan offices, 250 words maximum for assembly, senate, and congressional offices (refer to the How to Count Words section)

        • Your candidate statement can include information about your education, experience and other qualifications. It may not include information or reference about any other candidate, party affiliations, or memberships and activities in any political party organizations.

          SAMPLE FORMAT
          STATEMENT OF CANDIDATE FOR
          MEMBER, CITY COUNCIL
          Greatest City
          JANE DOE AGE: 21
          Occupation: Manager
          Education and Qualifications:

          I can bring to the office a diversity of viewpoints and experience. Born and raised in the San Francisco area, with my family still farming, I can appreciate the concerns of the environmentalists. On the other hand, having been in business since my undergraduate days at college, and with my experience in the rental and real estate field, I appreciate the practical housing choices and frustrations with high rental cost.

          As a Member of the City Council, I would balance the narrow spectrum of views that have dominated the Council the past four years. I advocate a program to protect our neighborhoods from increasing overcrowding and visual blight.
      • Candidate Statement Fees

          The costs of candidate statements printed in the County Voter Information Pamphlet are listed below. If you want your statement translated into Spanish, your fee is doubled and a translation fee is added. The fees are based on typesetting, printing, mailing expenses, and the number of registered voters in specific districts based on the last report to the Secretary of State before printing this manual.

        • County Board of Supervisors
            Estimated # of Jurisdiction Voters English printing only English & Spanish
            District 2 32,417 $391 $882
            District 3 31,979 $388 $876
            District 4 22,976 $320 $740
        • County-wide contests
            Estimated # of Jurisdiction Voters English printing only English & Spanish
            All offices with 200 word count 144,647 $1,270 $2,640
            All offices with 250 word count 144,647 $1,587 $3,274
        • City/Town Councils
            Estimated # of Jurisdiction Voters English printing only English & Spanish
            City of Belvedere 1,437 $159 $418
            Town of Ross 1,566 $160 $420
        • Special Districts
            Estimated # of Jurisdiction Voters English printing only English & Spanish
            Almonte Sanitary District 1,082 $156 $412
            Ross Valley Sanitary Dist. #1 28,995 $365 $830
      • State Offices and Voluntary Expenditure Ceilings

          State Senate and Assembly candidates who want to purchase space for a 250 word statement in the County Voter Information Pamphlet must accept the voluntary expenditure limits listed in the chart below by filing the Form 501 (Candidate Statement of Intention) with the Secretary of State.(Government Code § 85601)

        • Expenditure Limits for State Assembly and State Senate Candidates
            Office Primary/Special Election General/Special Runoff Election
            State Assembly $564,000 $987,000
            State Senate $846,000 $1,269,000

            U S House of Representatives: candidates may purchase space for a 250-word statement in the voter information portion of the county pamphlet. This office is not affected by the State’s expenditure ceiling however you must contact the FEC for all campaign finance rules, regulations, and reporting.

    • Statement of Economic Interests, Form 700

        This form is a public document requiring candidates to list their personal assets and income. You must file the Form 700 along with your other candidate papers

        If you are elected or appointed to office, you must file this form with the appropriate filing officer for your jurisdiction within 30 days of taking office, and then annually. The form and instructions are on our website, and the Fair Political Practices website

    • Campaign Finance Statements
      • Basic Rules for All Candidate Committees
        • All campaign finance reports are considered public and may be posted online.
        • Deposit all campaign funds in a separate bank account that is only for the campaign. You cannot add contributed funds to personal accounts.
        • Do not use the same bank account, committee, or committee name that you used in a previous election if you are running for a different office.
        • Open a campaign finance committee at any time using a Form 410. You must open a committee once you raise or spend $2000 for your campaign.
        • Record all contributions and expenses of $25 or more. (Your FPPC Manual offers guidelines for recordkeeping.)
        • Document any donation worth $100 or more, including cash, loans, and in-kind contributions, including the contributor’s name, address, occupation, and employer.
        • Do not use your campaign funds for non-campaign expenses or to make independent expenditures to support or oppose other candidates.
        • If you receive $1000 or more from a single source in the last 90 days before the election, you must disclose it within 24 hours, even if the contributions are from your personal funds. This includes separate contributions from the same source that add up to $1000 or more.
        • Not all Marin County cities and districts have the same campaign contribution limits. To know the limits for your office, contact the local official.

        • Important! Your campaign finance reporting requirements do not end with the election. Be prepared to continuously file reports until you close your committee.

      • Federal Offices

          If you’re running for a federal office (U.S. House of Representatives) you’re required to register and file financial activity reports with the Federal Election Commission . Federal campaign committees do not file reports with the California Secretary of State or the County of Marin.

      • State Offices

          If you’re a candidate for a State office (such as Governor or State Assembly) you are required to register with the California Secretary of State and file financial activity reports. Candidates and committees who raise or spend more than $25,000 must electronically file their reports; those who spend or raise less than $25,000 may file paper reports.

        • Contribution Limits to State Candidates Per Election from Individuals, Business Entities, PAC’s
        • $4,200 for Senate and Assembly
        • $28,200 for Governor
        • $7,000 for all other State offices

        • Voluntary Expenditure Ceilings for State Candidates during the Primary election.
        • The amounts vary by office, and may differ for the June and November elections. Visit the FPPC website to find out what the limits are.
        • You must file the Candidate Intention Statement (Form 501) to accept the voluntary expenditure ceiling established for each election.
      • Reporting Deadlines for State & Local Candidates
          Period Reported Use this form Deadline
          thru – December 31 460 Semi-Annual February 1, 2016
          Jan. 1 – April 23 460 Pre-election April 28, 2016
          March 18 – May 21 460 Pre-election May 26, 2016
          March 9 – June 6 497 Late Contribution Report (for $1000 or more from a single source) Within 24 hours
          May 22 – June 30 460 Semi-Annual August 1, 2016

          E-filing! Local Candidate finance statements can be e-filed. It’s free, saves time, and you won’t have to provide signatures or hard copies. For more information contact the Elections Department at 415-473-6437.

      • Fines and Penalties

          The public has the right to see candidates’ current financial reports. Candidates who file late deny the public that right. State law gives counties the authority to fine candidates and committees that file late (Government Code § 91013). If you file late, you may be fined. You may also face penalties from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.

          The fines levied by the Marin County Elections Department are $10 per day for each day past the deadline until the required report is filed. If the fines are not paid, the Elections office may file a civil action against the candidate/committee for the amount owed. If the reports are not filed, the Elections office will report the candidate/committee to the Enforcement Division of the Fair Political Practices Commission.

          The filing officer for Marin County Elections Department is allowed to waive a fine if he finds that the late filing was not intentional or the report was filed before the waiver of liability period ends.

      • Reporting Violations

          If a committee or candidate has violated any campaign disclosure requirement, any person in the affected jurisdiction may file an action or ask for an injunction (Government Code § 91003). Marin County Elections Office will not investigate or prosecute violations, except for civil actions to collect fines owed.

      • Candidate Campaign Finance Forms

          The following is a list of forms used by most local candidates. Other reports may be required depending on the committee’s activity. Please refer to FPPC Manual 2 for more information.

        • Form 501 – Statement of Intent

            Candidates for state or local office must file this form prior to solicitation or receipt of any contribution, or expenditure of personal funds used for the election. Exception: This form is not required if you will not solicit or receive contributions from other persons, and the only expenditures will be from your personal funds used for the filing fee and statement of qualification in the sample ballot. Candidates who file a Form 501 must establish a separate bank account with a financial institution in California, if they accept contributions. Refer to FPPC Manual 2 for more information.

        • Form 470 – Campaign Statement

            All candidates who have filed a Form 501 must file at least one campaign statement before the election. Candidates may file the Form 470 if they do not have a controlled committee, do not anticipate receiving contributions totaling $2000 or more during the calendar year, and do not anticipate spending $2000 or more during the calendar year. The Form 470 is filed once, by the first pre-election due date. If the $2000 threshold is achieved, candidates must file the Form 470 Supplement, and establish a campaign committee. Please refer to FPPC Manual 2 for more information.

        • Form 410 – Statement of Organization

            Candidates must use Form 410 to establish a campaign committee, no later than within 10 days after the committee has spent or received $2000 or more. Form 410 is also used to amend changes to the committee, and termination of the committee. By establishing a committee, candidates are required to file periodic campaign statements until the committee is closed. All committees must file the Form 410 with the Secretary of State and their local filing agency. Please refer to FPPC Manual 2 for more information.

        • Form 460 – Recipient Committee Campaign Statement

            Candidate controlled committees are required to use Form 460 to report all campaign activity during scheduled semi-annual and pre-election periods. Statements must be completed fully and accurately, and filed on time per the filing schedule. Please refer to FPPC Manual 2 for more information.

        • Form 497 – Late Contribution Report

            A Form 497 Late Contribution Report must be filed if a committee controlled by the candidate receives a contribution (including aggregated amounts) from a single source, or makes contributions, totaling $1,000 or more to a candidate or primarily formed committee during the 90 days prior to the candidate’s election.

      • Questions?

          Campaign finance reporting and fund-raising laws change frequently, so make sure you understand your requirements.

          If you are a local candidate, see the FPPC Manual 2 or contact:

        • Email - Dan Miller
          Tel. 415-473-6437 – Fax: 415-473-6447

        • Candidates for state offices may consult the FPPC Manual 1 or contact:

        • Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC)
          428 J Street, Suite 620, Sacramento, CA 95814
          Tel. 866-275-3772, or www.fppc.ca.gov

        • Secretary of State, Political Reform Division
          1500 11TH Street, Room 495, Sacramento, CA 95814
          Tel. 916-653-6224, or www.ss.ca.gov/elections

        • Candidates for federal offices must contact:

        • Federal Election Commission:
          800-424-9530, or www.fec.gov

        • You can find more information and manuals at the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) website

    What All Campaigns Need to Know

    What All Campaigns Need to Know

      Candidates and committees must follow the rules for Advertisements, Signs, & Electioneering.

      • Advertising & Mailers– disclaimers required

          New state regulations require candidate committees to add disclaimers to most advertisements and communications including electronic media. “Paid for by committee name” is the basic disclaimer required by law on most campaign communications sent by a committee (Government Code §§ 84305 et seq; § 84501 thru § 84511). Information about political advertising, communications and mass mailings can be found on the FPPC website and manuals.

      • Political Signs

          Before placing any political sign, make sure you understand State, County, and Municipal rules.

        • County Rules

            County rules about posting signs in unincorporated areas of the County:

            County Code 22.60.030: “One sign not exceeding 12 square feet located by an individual on their own residence or place of business or on some part of the property provided the sign is displayed not more than 45 days prior to, or more than ten days after, the conclusion of the political campaign to which it relates.”

            For violations of this ordinance, contact the County Planning Department at 415-473-6269 for information about how to file a complaint.

        • Municipal Rules

            Municipal rules about posting signs within city limits. Contact the people listed below. (Each city may have different rules.)

            Belvedere City Clerk 435-8908
            Corte Madera Planning Director 927-5064
            Fairfax Senior Planner 453-1584
            Larkspur City Clerk 927-5110
            Mill Valley Deputy City Clerk 388-4033, ext. 102
            Novato City Clerk 899-8900
            Ross Town Clerk 453-1453
            San Anselmo Administrative Services 258-4652
            San Rafael Public Works 485-3355
            Sausalito City Clerk 289-4100
            Tiburon Planning Department 435-7390
        • State Rules
      • Electioneering

          It is a misdemeanor to do any of these things within 100 feet, of the poll entrance (E.C. § 18370):

        • Pass around petitions.
        • Try to influence how a voter votes.
        • Put up signs about voter qualifications.
        • Talk to voters about their qualifications to vote.
        • Photograph, film, or record a voter as s/he goes into or leaves a polling place.

    Information about Taking Office

    Information about taking office

    When does an elected candidate take office?

    Before taking office, all elected candidates must take the oath of office after the election results are certified.

  • Federal Office: U.S. Congress

      Take office on January 3, 2017. (U.S. Const., Art. I, § 2; 20th Amend., § 1)

  • State Senate & State Assembly

      Take office on December 5, 2016. (Cal. Const., art. IV, § 2 (a)(4) and § 2 (c))

  • Superior Court Judges

      Take office on January 2, 2017. (CA Constitution, Article VI, § 16c)

  • All County elected officials

      Take office on January 2, 2017. (Gov. Code § 24200)

  • Sanitary District

      Nominees take office at the first meeting of the board following the entry of the statement of the result on the records of the board of supervisors. (Health & Safety Code § 6580.1)

  • How to Count Words

    How to Count Words

    Candidate statements and ballot measure-related text are limited to a certain number of words. The rules below explain how we count words. These rules are based on California law, and cannot be changed.

    Before you file your material, count the words carefully. If you have too many words, we will ask you to revise your text.

    Items counted as 1 word: Examples
    Symbols & # %
    Abbreviations & acronyms Dist., UCLA, U.S.M.C., FYI
    All dates in any form 7/21/89, or July 4, 1776
    Numbers written in numerals only, including telephone numbers 0, 12, 1,000,000, 415-473-6456
    Numerals and letters or symbols that form a single word 100s $1000 10¢ 12th
    Website & e-mail addresses www.marinvotes.org, elections@marincounty.org
    Proper nouns usually beginning with capital letters: includes the names of people, places, and certain things New Jersey, County of Marin, Marin General Hospital, Bob Hope, U.S. Congress, Internet Explorer
    Hyphenated words listed in a standard U.S. dictionary Attorney-at-law, ex-president
    Items NOT counted as 1 word: Examples
    Numbres written as words one hundred
    Hyphenated words that are not listed in a standard U.S. dictionary published within the 10 years before the date of the election
    Groups of common nouns denoting any or all of a class of entities and not an individual
    Items NOT counted: Examples
    Punctuation marks ? “ ” ! .
    We do not count the words “Education and Qualifications” on a Candidate Statement.
    We do not count the words that appear before “Education and Qualifications.”