Ask an Official: County clerk discusses process of running for local office
This week’s featured question was submitted for Lincoln County Clerk Chris Marlowe.
The question reads:
“How does someone go about running for city council? Do I have to let the current council person know with written notice or the city clerk? Or is there another process to follow? Thanks.”
Answer as given by Marlowe:
“Each of the following steps must be completed on time by candidates for municipal office in order for the candidate’s name to be placed on the ballot at the February 20, 2018 Spring Primary and the April 3, 2018 Spring Election.
“Complete and submit a Campaign Registration Statement to the filing officer no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, or the candidate’s name will not be placed on the ballot. If the form is faxed or emailed, the original document must follow postmarked no later than January 2, 2018.
“Complete and submit a Declaration of Candidacy to the filing officer no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 or the candidate’s name will not be placed on the ballot. If the form is faxed or emailed, the original document must follow, postmarked no later than January 2, 2018.
“Circulate and submit Nomination Paper for Nonpartisan Office to the filing officer no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 or the candidate’s name will not be placed on the ballot. Only original nomination papers (no photocopies, faxes, or emailed documents) will be accepted. Nomination papers may not be circulated before December 1, 2017. Both Lincoln County cities are considered class 4 cities because their populations are less than 10,000. A Class 4 Cities Alderperson must collect 20-40 nomination signatures.
“For municipalities the filing officer is the municipal clerk. Candidates should contact their filing officer for further information or to obtain any of the necessary forms. The necessary forms can also be found on The Wisconsin Elections Commission Website at: http://elections.wi.gov/candidates/local/non-partisan. The completed forms must always be turned in to the filing office. Candidates must sign their declaration of Candidacy in the presence of a Notary Public.
“Becoming a County Board Supervisor is very similar to becoming a City Council Alderperson. For county offices the filing officer is the County Clerk. The forms are identical. If a candidate misses the deadline or decides to become a candidate after the deadline it is not too late to win an election. There are instances when there are no candidates on a ballot for a given office. One can always become a registered write-in candidate by filing the Campaign Registration form with the filing officer no later than 12 p.m. the Friday before the election. If there are no candidates on a ballot, all write-in votes are counted. If a name appears on the ballot then only registered write-in votes will be counted. So, if there are no candidates on the ballot, it is possible to win an election without ever filing any registration forms. The other advantage to being a registered write-in as opposed to non-registered is that your name will appear on a list of registered write-ins, available only to voters who ask, at the polls on election day.”
“If candidates have questions or need help filling out there registration forms they are welcome to stop by or call the County Clerk’s Office. Our hours are 8:00-4:30 M-F / 715-539-1019. Our city and municipal clerks are also very knowledgeable and great resources on these matters.”
Have a question or concern you would like to address? Simply send your question or concern to firstname.lastname@example.org along with an indication of which entity your question or concern pertains to. Current participants are the Merrill Police Department, Merrill Fire Department, Tomahawk Police Department, Lincoln County Administrative Coordinator Randy Scholz, Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson, Merrill Area Housing Authority Director Paul Russell, Lincoln County Clerk Chris Marlowe and Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) superintendent Dr. John Sample. Please note: Those who submit to the ‘Ask an Official’ feature remain anonymous.