Filing Period for State Offices Coming Up!

If you’ve ever considered running for state office, now is the time!

Attention New Hampshire citizens- The filing period for state offices is June 3rd – 12th.

It’s important to know where to file. If it is with the town, contact your town office to see how they are operating and what options you have to file your paperwork. Depending on your town’s COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, you may need to file by mail and allow for mail time.
In this Cornerstone update:

  • Considering running for state representative or another office? Good candidates are needed now more than ever. Here’s what you need to know about filing for office.
  • We need qualified GOP delegates! Are you eligible to run? Here’s information about that important position.
  • Tuesday, June 2nd is the deadline for changing your party affiliation. Make sure your registration is up to date.

The filing period for state offices starts next week and is only open for the narrow window of June 3 through June 12. Anyone intending to be on a party’s primary ballot in September and general election ballot in November must file within those dates. Where you file depends on the position you are running for (see descriptions below; full information is available from the Secretary of State). If filing must be done by mail, declarations of candidacy need to be sent with sufficient time to arrive at your town hall or the Secretary of State’s office by June 12th (see below). More information, along with links to all relevant forms, are available from the New Hampshire Secretary of State

Every candidate required to file with the town should contact their town office for filing options. Depending on how your town is operating, declarations of candidacy may need to be filed by mail and not in person (or by appointment) at your town hall. Find your town/city clerk’s contact information here under “clerk information search.” If you are required to mail in your candidacy, be sure to allow for mail time, so your paperwork is received before the June 12th deadline.

For positions that require filing with the Secretary of State, if you are unable to meet the filing deadline by mail, you may call them at (603) 271-3242. They are open and staffed during this time, but are limiting in-person appointments to urgent needs. 

Links to the appropriate filing and petition forms are on the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s web page.

What are the qualifications you need to run?

For state representative (file with town):
must be 18 years of age, a registered voter and domiciled in New Hampshire for at least two years immediately preceding the election for which one is a candidate. Must live in ward or town for which one is a candidate. File declaration of candidacy with town or city clerk no earlier than June 3, along with $2 filing fee or 5 voter petitions.

For state senator (file with Secretary of State): must be 30 years of age, a registered voter and domiciled in New Hampshire for at least 7 years. Must live in the district for which one is a candidate. File declaration of candidacy with Secretary of State, along with $10 filing fee or 20 voter petitions.

For Republican delegate (file with town): The New Hampshire Republican Party members elect party delegates during the September election every two years. (The Democratic Party does not choose delegates in this manner.) The duties of a delegate are to elect Republican Party county committee members in December 2020, and vote on the party platform in April 2022. Candidates must be registered Republicans. File declaration of candidacy with town/city clerk. There is no filing fee.

Information on running for other state and county offices is on the Secretary of State’s website.

(Candidates should take note of laws regarding political advertising and campaign finance.)

The deadline to change party registration is Tuesday, JUNE 2. 

Note that the June 2 deadline is for voters who are currently registered as Republican or Democrat and wish to change to a different party or register as Undeclared. Voters currently registered as Undeclared do not need to change party affiliation, since they may choose to join (pick up a ballot for) either party during the primary election. Because of the short window, we recommend you call your town or city clerk to see if there is a drop box or another way completed forms can be submitted. 

If you wish to change registration from Democrat to Republican or vice versa for the 2020 primary election, fill out an Application to Change Party Affiliation – this form may be completed on line; however, it must be printed and signed by both the voter and the witness before sending to the town/city clerk, to be received at that office no later than Tuesday, June 2.  If you do not have internet access, call your town or city clerk for a form.