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How to get on the Municipal Ballot in 2023

Ballot Access Instructions

Overall Note regarding municipal elections:

  • Always verify that your local municipal election is not impacted by county-specific processes that deviate from the advice given here.

  • Everywhere in this document referring to the “Party Coordinator” is a process only leveraged in even-year elections with state-wide candidates. In odd years candidates are responsible to personally deliver their original documents to their county board of elections office.

  • This is a general summary of candidate requirements and does not account for all local municipal specific requirements that might be encountered in odd-year municipal elections, a summary of county-specific processes is included immediately below for the NE PA region.

Luzerne, Lackawanna, Lehigh and Northampton Counties’ BOE Offices have Confirmed their Municipal Elections Procedures:

Each use the standard Nomination Papers, Minor Political Party Candidate Affidavit, on-line state-managed Statement of Financial Interest process described in this guidance document.

Lackawanna County confirmed their process by phone. Their Board of Elections office is located at 123 Wyoming Ave, Scranton, PA 18503. Phone: 570-963-6737

Luzerne County provided decent attention to minor political parties in the General Information About Running For Public Office publication. Their Board of Elections office is located at 20 N Pennsylvania Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701. Phone: 570-825-1715

Northampton County requires a custom form for their major party candidates, but through e-mail with their BOE staff it was confirmed that the form used for minor party candidates is the very same one issued by the state titled “Nomination Paper” for “Minor Political Party” which is described and referenced in this guidance document. Their Board of Elections office is located at 669 Washington St, Lower Level, Easton, PA 18042. Phone: 610-829-6260

Lehigh County Their Board of Elections office is located in the Lehigh County Government Center at 17 South Seventh Street, Allentown, PA 18101-2401. Phone: 610-782-3194

Process Overview with Links to more detailed instructions:

  1. Get Nominated by your local LPPA affiliate or the LPPA Executive Board

    1. If you’re responding to an LPPA letter soliciting Libertarian candidates for a municipal position, the LPPA Executive Board is poised to conduct special meetings to complete this step on behalf of the affiliates which might not have the bandwidth or availability to meet the short timelines necessary for the August 1st deadline.

  2. Get enough signatures on your Nomination Papers

    • First be certain your county leverages these state-generated minor party nomination papers if running in a municipal election.

    • Proper format of these papers is so important, be sure to follow instructions when printing the documents.

    • EVEN YEARS: Submit your Nomination Papers to the Party Coordinator as you go so you‘ll get feedback on mistakes before you’ve wasted too much effort.

    • ODD YEARS: Submit your nomination papers to your local county Board of Elections.

  1. Other Documents Candidates must submit:

    1. Minor Political Party Candidate Affidavit


      1. Original to: Party Coordinator

      2. Copies to: Your local county board of elections*


i. Original to: Your local county board of elections

    1. Statement of Financial Interest

      1. Original Electronic to: State Ethics Commission (electronic submission w/ printed confirmation sheets)

      2. EVEN YEARS -Copies to: Party Coordinator, and local county board of elections*

      3. ODD YEARS -Copies to your local BOE

    2. Consider how much money you might spend on your campaign

      1. Typically candidates will need to comply with regular state campaign expense reporting requirements, with decreased reporting standards for anyone spending less than $250 on their campaign – separate instructions are available to help you understand and comply with these regulations and processes.

      2. If you are running in a municipal race you may forego the state reporting requirements if you declare up-front that you do not intend to spend more than $250 on your campaign by submitting a Waiver of Expense Account Reporting Affidavit to your local county BOE.

        1. Generic Waiver of Expense Account Report Affidavit

        2. Northampton County Waiver of Expense Account Reporting Affidavit

  1. Filing Fee

    1. Senator & Representatives of General Assembly must submit $100 filing fee with their Nomination Papers

    2. Money Order or Certified/Cashier’s Check payable to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

    3. EVEN YEARS – Send to Party Coordinator

    4. ODD YEARS – Submit to your local Board of Elections Office when applicable

      1. Lower level positions, such as auditor, generally have no filing fee associated

      2. Check with local board of elections (and/or published election codes) if unsure

* For state-level candidates, these copies aren’t actually necessary to submit to your local county election board, but if you do this then your local board can assist if you need to clear up any problems with Harrisburg claiming they didn’t receive in time. (this advice was provided to Autumn Pangia by Penny at the Monroe County Board of Elections in July 2022)


  • Nominating Candidates:

    • County or state affiliate needs to approve candidate

    • Chair & Secretary need to complete and submit Authorization of Candidacy form to the candidate’s county (or state for state-level candidates) BOE.

    • In Even Years: Obtain your party-coordinated Nomination Papers from the LPPA.org site with stacked candidate info to maximize signature collection efforts.

      • Odd year elections are not centrally managed by the state LPPA and your local county board of elections; be sure to confirm that they are using the standard state-issued Nomination Papers, as that is not always the case.

      • These are also casually referred to as “petitions”



    • Identify how many signatures you need and a prudent amount of “buffer” signatures to protect against technical disqualifications.

      • Signatures may be rejected for the following reasons:

        • Even if the voter lives in your district, if they give an address that doesn’t align to their voter registration their signature will be disqualified.

        • Name must match voter registration (think maiden vs married names)

        • Especially if you’re running for a county or township position, it is best that signatures note the voter’s township name rather than their mailing address city in the section titled “City, Boro, or Twp”

        • Open to others adding their experience here . . .

    • Print the Nomination Papers (ensuring your local municipal election doesn’t actually require a nomination signature form different from this one generated by the state). Make sure you’ve printed them correctly, a mistake here will invalidate all signatures on documents with incorrect formatting:

      • 8.5 X 14 (legal) sized paper

      • 2-sided, head-to-head

        • The term “head-to-head” means that both sides of the page are oriented in the same direction; the tops of both sides are at the same end of the page; if you turn the page over, right to left, both sides would appear in a normal orientation with the “top” at the top.

      • Leave the Page # space at the bottom of the pages blank, this will be completed by the party coordinator submitting the nomination papers; or by yourself when you’re done collecting signatures and ready to turn the documents into the county BOE office.

      • Leave the “Statement of Circulator” blank until the circulator (person collecting signatures) is done collecting signatures with this sheet.

        • Even consider making a point to delay signing the statement for at least one calendar day after the last signature if possible, potential points of challenge include claims that the elector signed after the circulator when the same date appears.

    • Go get signatures!


3A – Minor Political Party Candidate Affidavit:

As of July 2022, this is the only form completed by the candidate requiring notary, though there is this document provided recently if you cannot get the form notarized for some reason, there appears to be an additional form titled CANDIDATE DECLARATION to be attached to CANDIDATE’S AFFIDAVIT where notarized statement is not available. Advise you verify this will be accepted before you plan to use it and forego notary on the affidavit.


You will complete, notarize, and send this to the party coordinator for submission with your nomination papers; keep a copy and also submit to your local county election board.


This instructions appear on this PA DOS site; but DO NOT use the link on this page to obtain the affidavit form as it provides you the wrong form. . . as of July 2023 the link provided for the affidavit (in the 2nd bullet point) is incorrect. If the link brings you to a document titled “Political Body Candidate’s Affidavit” that is the WRONG DOCUMENT; it is the document needed for Major Party candidates.

The LPPA posted the correct form (titled “Minor Political Party Candidate’s Affidavit”) here, it is the same document linked to in the header of this section.


Once you have the correct form, you should reference your personal voter registration details online to ensure you fill in the details correctly.


Tips for filling out the affidavit:

  • At top, “County of” is just for notary purposes, it’s the county in which the notary is being performed (must be in Pennsylvania), you may leave this blank and let the notary complete.

  • All info on the left side of the lower half of page, under “Sworn (or affirmed) and subscribed…” must be left blank for now, all of this is for the notary to complete.

  • Office/District: Match header info on your nomination paper

    • Representative in General Assembly District ___”

    • Senator in General Assembly District ___”

  • Signature – DO NOT SIGN until you are in the presence of the notary

  • Printed name of candidate: again , match your nomination paper

  • Name as it is to appear on the ballot: this is where you can put whatever version of your name you want printed on the ballot

  • Street Address/Post Office/Zip Code: Provide the mailing address associated with your voter registration

  • City/Borough/Township is the “Municipality” on your voter registration

  • County should be the same as your voter registration

  • Election District of Candidate: this aligns to the “Precinct” section of your voter registration

    • Experience has revealed that you may be better off referencing every precinct in which you reside, not just the one precinct relevant to your particular race – more info is generally better than not enough if organized neatly on the form.




  • This must be submitted to:

    • The State Ethics Board no later than the deadline for filing nomination papers (completing the electronic form is submission to the state ethics board).

    • A copy submitted with Candidate Paperwork (sent to the Party Coordinator in even years)

    • Advised that you should also give a copy to your local county election board; it isn’t actually necessary, but they can also assist if you need to clear up any problems with Harrisburg claiming they didn’t receive in time. (this advice was provided to Autumn Pangia by Penny at the Monroe County Board of Elections)


  • Prepare to complete the form by reviewing what’s asked of you:

    • Go to the State Ethics Board site at: https://www.ethics.pa.gov/How-To/Pages/How-To-File-a-Statement-of-Financial-Interests.aspx

    • The site gives you an option for “Online Filing” or printing the PDF form to submit.

    • Review the Statement of Financial Interest linked at the website mentioned above (not linking here in case they post a revision of the form), the information requested is fairly basic and the file includes a page of guidance for every area of information requested.


  • Complete the form:

    • Print clearly or use Adobe to fill in electronically

    • It doesn’t tell you what to do if you have more creditors than will fit in the small space provided; if you choose to submit this form on paper, you may attach an 8.5”x11” page detailing other creditors in a similar format.

    • Mail the statement to the Board of Ethics address referenced on the document (filing electronically is a safer way to meet all deadlines).


  • OR, File Electronically:

    • Consider following the link on the State Ethics Board site for on-line submission.

    • Be sure to provide your e-mail address at the end so a copy of your statement is e-mailed to you; save the file and print it out to submit with your nomination papers and bring to your local election board.


  • In even years submit copies of the form to the Party Coordinator with your nomination papers.


  • Bring a copy to your local county board of elections by the deadline

    • In even years this isn’t absolutely necessary but your local board will be able to assist if there is any claim made by Harrisburg or the Ethics Board that you didn’t submit timely.


Party Coordinator (To be Updated for 2024 election cycle)

*Note – in odd years (during municipal elections) the paperwork is not centrally managed at the state level and candidates are responsible to work within their local networks and typically manage submission of their documents directly to their local county board of elections office.

Advice for Signature Gathering:

    • The basics:

      • Be absolutely certain you’ve printed the nomination papers in the proper format, go back to Nomination Papers and be sure you’ve printed on 8.5” X 14” paper

      • Use a high-quality pen that won’t smear, blue or black ink only

      • Consider these supplies:

        • Keep your signature sheets protected with cheap polly-mailers you can slip the clipboards into, check the mailing supplies section in Staples, you can get a pack of 5 for about $3

        • Get clip-boards that are big enough for legal sized paper (here’s an option from Amazon)

    • Remember these rules to ensure valid signatures:

      • Electors” must be registered voters who’s registration reflects that they reside in your district.

      • Residence info must align to their voter registration at the time of signing

      • Never use ditto marks (‘ ‘) to indicate same as above, these signatures will be disqualified

      • If someone makes a mistake it is advisable to cross of the whole line and have them complete with correct info on a fresh line. 

    • Know your district and be ready to clarify for potential signers:

      • If you’re not door-knocking at homes of known-eligible voters, make sure you can explain the boundaries of your eligible district beyond just the ‘district number’ (most voters don’t know their district numbers).

        • If you’re working with a team, print up a quick-reference of your district boundaries for them

    • Door-Knocking?

      • Make sure you’re referencing voter registration data so you avoid wasting time knocking on the door of someone who isn’t eligible to sign your petition in the first place.

      • Chair of Elections Committee, regional representatives, and other county board members have access to voter data in the LPPA’s VIDAS system and can share tabular data for all candidate districts.

      • There is great info to leverage from the voter registration data – Candidate Support can lend some advice and templates on turning the bulk voter data into a quick-reference of the details that make it easier to connect with voters, including an aggregate of their voting history which reveals more than just their registered party.

      • Start with your neighbors “Hi I’m _____, I’m your neighbor and I’m running for office” generally yields a very warm reception.

    • Public Places:

      • Lots of info to add here about the rules of public space signature gathering that I don’t have direct knowledge of or time to do now,

    • Rural area?

      • If you live in a place with not many social events and houses spaced farther apart, some have seen greater return for their investment by working grocery store parking lots.

        • You can try asking for permission, but alternatively there’s generally no hard feelings as long as you don’t give them a hard time if they ask you to leave (which usually takes a couple of hours for them to even notice you’re there).

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