|Election Type||Voter Registration Deadline||Candidate Registration Period||Election Date|
|U.S. Presidential Party Primaries||February 17th, 2016||12/1/15 - 12/29/15||March 15th, 2016|
Local/City Elections & Issues
||March 9th, 2016||12/15/15 - 1/19/16||April 5th, 2016|
State Party Primaries
||July 6th, 2016||2/23/16 - 3/29/16||August 2nd, 2016|
|General Elections||October 12th, 2016||
Deadline for New Parties
August 2nd, 2016
Deadline for Write-Ins:
October 28th, 2016
|November 8th, 2016|
You can run for the state legislature in one of three ways:
First, you may run as an independent. You will need to gather the signatures of registered voters. You can click here to see what that entails (not as much as you'd think!).
Second, you can run as a Volunteer candidate. You can click here to learn more. Also, don't hesitate to contact the Volunteer Party. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be thrilled to welcome you as a nominee, or to answer any questions. The deadline for being a Volunteer candidate is May 30th.
Third, you can run with an established party. We recommend the Constitution Party or the Libertarian Party. You should contact them as soon as possible. The deadline for registering as a candidate for the primaries is March 29th.
Finally, you can declare yourself as a write-in candidate. We don't recommend this, unless the August 2nd deadline for being an independent or Volunteer candidate has already passed.
Before you run for office, we suggest that you review the information below.
Eligibility RequirementsFor the Missouri House
Salary & BenefitsAll state Representatives and Senators get the following for working five months each year from January 1st until May 30th:
If you are uncertain about your state senate or legislative district, click here to find it.
Terry Hampton contributed to this section. She ran for Congress as an independent in 2014. She is running again this year as an independent for State Representative of the 154th distict. You may email comments to her at email@example.com.
You do not have to worry about the primary process when filing as an independent.
The filing deadline for state office is 5:00 PM, August 1st, 2016.
First, you should know that the Volunteer Party wholeheartedly supports independent candidates. If you've got the moxie to run, we will do everything we can to help. If you are frustrated or confused by the process, do not hesitate to ask for our help.
Missouri is a moderately friendly state for running as an independent, including that it doesn't cost anything to get on the ballot. We recommend that you download and read the Secretary of State's brief for independents, which is available by clicking here. Basically, to qualify for "ballot access" - that is, to have your name printed on the ballot at election day - you need to do two things:
Fill out paperwork. You will need to complete a Declaration of Candidacy, and an Affidavit stating that you are not currently avoiding any taxes. Do not sign these forms in private. A public notary (or state official) needs to witness your signature. Go to a notary, sign it, and have it notarized. This will cost a small fee, no more than a couple bucks.
The original tax Affidavit must be filed with the Department of Revenue. A copy of the tax Affidavit, and the Declaration of Candidacy, must be filed in person with the proper election official, along with signed petitions (see the next part about petitions). You will need a form of ID (like a driver's license) to show them.
If you're running for a county office, you'll need to file with the County Clerk in the county seat. If you're running for a state office, you will need to file in Jefferson City with the Secretary of State.
We recommend that you submit your paperwork as early as you can.
Do not wait until the August 1st deadline to file your paperwork, unless you absolutely must. The election authorities can take up to forty days to certify your petitions and forms. You would have only one month of publicity as an official candidate. Also, if the paperwork was invalid for some reason, you would have no chance to re-submit it.
File signed petitions. You'll need to get the signatures of probably no more than several hundred registered voters in your district. For some House Seats, there may be only 100 signatures required, because the number of signatures is 2% of the number of people who voted in your district in the November 2014 election. Sadly, for good governance, voter turnout was low. On a good note, it's helpful for unaffiliated candidates trying to get on the ballot.
You can look up voting records on your county clerk's website, or find them in the election statistics posted on the Secretary of State's website here.
That 2% figure is the minimum needed. Since there's a good chance that at least some of the signatures you will get won't be valid, we recommend that you get 50% above the minimum before you turn them in.
If you need any help figuring out how many signatures you'll need, don't hesitate to contact us. We have several people who are very good at math.
The voters must sign a petition. The form of the petition is laid out by law, although it can be altered in minor ways to suit your needs. Click here to download the form recommended by the Secretary of State.
There's another section on this page that explains how to circulate petitions. Click here to visit it. Once you've got the signatures you need, you must go in person to file it, along with a Declaration of Candidacy form and a copy of the tax Affidavit form 5120 which was filed with the Department of Revenue.
That's it! Once you've filed, the election authority will take some time (by law, up to 40 days) to review all the paperwork and signatures. If it checks out, your name will be certified for the ballot and should pop up on their website. Again, we recommend that you file your candidacy as early as possible.
Of course, you also need to campaign. Set up a Facebook page. Go door to door to meet people. Be creative. It doesn't have to consume your life, and it doesn't have to cost much, but take the time to do it every week. You can start campaigning at any time. If you plan to raise money, however, you should visit the Missouri Ethics Commission's website. The rules there are a little stickier, but not too difficult.
To be a Volunteer candidate, all you need to do is contact us. You'll be listed as one of the nominees for our party, which we will be formally creating at the start of May. You won't be required to do anything until then.
Once May starts, you'll need to contribute at least two hours each week, until the campaign season ends in November. You should also click here to view our campaign strategy, and what you'll need to do to make it work.
Also, it will help if you review our party ideals listed below. If they don't appeal to you, but you still have an interest in fighting for a non-partisan government, we suggest that you run as an independent. Check out the section above for more information on being an independent candidate. Alternatively, you can contact the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party before the March 29th deadline for the primary elections.
The main qualities you will need to be a Volunteer candidate are honesty and a trust in people. A leader who doesn't trust his constituents, or lies to them, is somebody who thinks he is better than they are. We already have plenty of those kinds of people in office.
Check out the page on who we are for a more detailed description of what we're looking for in a candidate.
Beyond that, it would help if you were in agreement with at least two of the goals below:
Anyone may circulate a petition - that is, pass it around - as long as they are a resident of Missouri. Petitioners may be paid for their efforts.
The petition form itself is generally laid out in the law. You can modify the form to give more room for signatures, or less, but it must have the same information, and it has to be on every peitition page. The following downloads are available:
Petition Form for Independent Candidates (from SOS
Download PDF (12 KB)
A petition must be signed by registered voters. Also, a voter's registered mailing address has to be within the area where the petition is valid. If you are petitioning for a statewide office or initiative, this can be anywhere in the state of Missouri.
However, if the petition is for a legislative office, then the signer has to be registered to vote in that particular district. Likewise, if a petition is for a county office, then only residents of that county can sign the petition.
Petitions must be organized on a county-by-county basis. Only residents of the same county may sign on the same page. If you have people signing who are from different counties, they need to sign on different pages.
Also, petition sheets should be numbered in sequence (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) for each county. There's a line for the page number at the top of the form provided by the Secretary of State.
In summary, here are the steps that we recommend:
Print and fill out all of your petition forms in advance. If the area that you are petitioning covers more than one county, print and fill out extra forms for different counties, just in case.
Have your petition pages organized. Number your pages for each county in advance, and have them attached to a clipboard, for easy signing. Have different clipboards for different counties - don't make people wait while you shuffle papers.
Make sure that you are present for all signings. Sometimes, lazy circulators will leave a petition at a place of business for people to sign. This is actually illegal. As a circulator, you are swearing an oath in a part of the petition that you have personally witnessed every signature as it happened.
Before a person signs anything, ask them where they live. Don't assume anything, even if you're at someone's house. They could be visitors from another county, after all. Always ask them if they are a registered voter, and which county they call home.
Be mindful of other people's time. Be quick, cheerful, and polite. Tell them right away what you want, and why, in less than 30 seconds. Rehearse what you might say ahead of time, so you won't ramble. Just because people are willing to sign, it doesn't mean that they're willing to listen to a speech. Unless they ask you questions, keep the conversation light. Thank them for their time, leave a card if you have one, and move on to the next door. Remember, gathering these signatures, in many ways, is the beginning of your campaign. Make a good impression.
Don't let signers worry about filling in their Congressional district. Most people don't know their Congressional district. That's okay. As long as they write down their address, you can look it up later and fill it in yourself. Things will go more smoothly, however, if you memorize the congressional areas in advance (there are only eight), or brought a congressional map. If you were able to tell a person their Congressional district number as they signed, it will likely leave a positive impression.
The biggest thing to remember is, Don't get discouraged. You will get more "No"s than "Yes"s. That's okay. You have time. If you keep at it, even just one day a week, you'll get there.
As always, if you have any questions, especially about how to fill out the petition form, feel free to contact us (or the state or county). We'll be glad to help.
There are currently over 100 initiatives authorized for circulation in Missouri. Many are nearly identical, but a wide variety of topics are still covered, including political campaign limits, parents' vs. the state's rights, local school vs. state rights, felony voting rights, marijuana legalization, and minimum wage increases, among many others.
Click here to see the full list of initiatives in circulation.
You can view the current list of initiatives and referendums that have acheived ballot status at the Secretary of State's website here.
NOTE: Make sure to check your county clerk's website or contact them to find out what will be on your April 5th ballot.
You can download a county-by-county list of contact information for your local election authority, who can provide a sample of what will be on your ballot April 5th: