How to Run for Office

November 5, 2019 - Special Election

Nomination Period All Candidates July 15, 2019 - August 9, 2019

Important Information

 Qualifications for each Office 

A candidate must meet the specific qualifications for the desired office.

Steps to Become a Candidate:
The following are standard Candidate Filing steps for a candidate to complete.

  1. Review the Candidate Guide: The Candidate Guide was prepared to assist candidates. The guide does not contain all information concerning elections, but rather is a summary of major provisions related to candidates running for office. Please be advised that the statutes cited in the guide are for general reference and may not be exclusive authority for the information provided. The Registrar of Voters staff has attempted to make the guide as informative as possible and will make every effort to answer your questions. However, the law precludes the Registrar of Voters office from answering legal questions. The guide is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. Candidates are strongly encouraged to consult private legal counsel when legal questions arise.
  2. Pick up Signature-in-Lieu of Filing Fee Petitions (Not required): The process of circulating petitions to obtain signatures to offset the Filing Fee. The Filing Fee may be partially or entirely offset by this process. The number of Signatures-in-Lieu required to offset a candidate’s Filing Fee is listed in the Candidate Guide. The petitions are public record.
  3. Candidate Authorization Form: If you are unable to obtain/file papers for yourself, you may authorize a representative to do so on your behalf. Fill out, sign, and have your representative bring in the Candidate Authoriztion Form with them when they pick up your paperwork.
  4. Candidate Filing Appointments: Schedule an appointment to receive filing papers and discuss options with one our candidate services representatives. Walk-ins are welcome, but there may be a long wait. Appointments are highly recommended.
  5. Prepare for Filing: After reviewing the Candidate Guide, some items should be created or carefully thought through. Campaign Email, Ballot Designation, Campaign Finances, and Website.  Having these items taken care of before the initial appointment will expedite the process. Filing Fees must be paid at the time of pulling nomination papers.
  6. Plan your trip to Oakland: The Registrar of Voters' Office is located two blocks from Lake Merritt BART station. There are several parking lots located within a three block radius of our office, as well as plenty of metered street parking. For directions, please click here.
  7. Schedule Follow Up Appointment: The filing process is a fluid process and may require more than one filing appointment.


If at any time you have any questions, please feel free to contact Candidate Services at or call (510) 272-6960.

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