Candidates/Running for Office
Running for City Office
Qualifications and Terms of Office
All City Officers: A person shall be eligible to hold an elective city office if that person is a qualified voter of the city and has been a resident of the city for at least 9 months preceding the election. A person shall be eligible to hold an appointive city office if he or she is a citizen of the United States. (NDCC § 40- 13-01).
Commissioners: The 4-year term of office for a commissioner lasts until a successor is duly elected and qualified.
Running in the Regularly Scheduled City Election
Candidates for city offices may file Petitions/Certificates of Nomination with the City Auditor containing the signatures of qualified electors equal to not less than 10% of the number of qualified voters who voted for that office in the last city election. However, not more than 300 signatures are required. If multiple candidates were elected to the office at the preceding city election at which the office was voted upon, the number of signatures must equal at least 10% of the total votes cast for all candidates divided by the number of candidates that were to be elected to that office at that election.
2020 Primary Election Signature Requirements:
- Commissioner: 282
- Park Board: 210
Nominating petitions may be signed by qualified voters who reside within a ward if elected by wards. Nominating petitions may be signed by qualified voters who reside within the corporate city limits if elected at large. In cities operating under the commission system of government the required petition may be signed by the qualified voters at large residing within the city (NDCC § 40-21-07).
A Complete Filing Must Include:
1. A Petition/Certificate of Nomination (SFN 2704) containing the required number of signatures of qualified electors; and
Circulating and Signing a Petition/Certificate of Nomination
A Petition/Certificate of Nomination may not be circulated or signed prior to January 1, 2020.
When and Where to File
Candidates may not file earlier than January 2, 2020, nor later than 4:00 p.m. on the 64th day before the June 9, 2020 regularly scheduled city election.
The filing deadline with the city auditor is 4:00 p.m. on April 6, 2020. Filings must be in the physical possession of the city auditor’s office by the filing deadline.
If a city election is not held in conjunction with a county election, the filing deadline with the city auditor is 4:00 p.m. on the 64th day before the scheduled city election.
Running as a Write-In Candidate in the Regularly Scheduled City Election
A write-in candidate for city office at the June 9, 2020 regularly scheduled city election is not required to file a certificate of write-in candidacy (NDCC Ch. 16.1-12-02.2).
Campaign Finance and Disclosure
Candidates for city office in cities with a population greater than 5,000 must file financial disclosure statements pursuant to subsections 5 and 6 of NDCC §16.1-08.1-.02.3.
Candidates for city office in cities with a population equal to or less than 5,000 are not subject financial disclosure requirements.
The state forms (SFNs) listed above are available from the Secretary of State’s and city auditors’ offices and may also be accessed from the Secretary of State’s web site.