Qualifications

Qualifications for office: Legislative, county & Wilmington

Office

Age

State Residency

Jurisdiction Residency

Cite

State Senator

27

3 years

1 year

Art. II, §3 State Constitution

State Representative

24

3 years

1 year

Art. II, §3 State Constitution

County Executive

27

 

5 years

9 Del. C. §1112

President of County Council

24

 

 

9 Del. C. §1142, §1145

County Council

24

 

 

9 Del. C. §1142

Clerk of the Peace

 

 

1 year

Art. III, §11 State Constitution

Recorder of Deeds

 

 

1 year

Art. III, §11 State Constitution

Register of Wills

 

 

1 year

Art. III, §11 State Constitution

Sheriff

 

 

1 year

Art. III, §11 State Constitution

Mayor (Wilmington)

30

 

2 years

Sec. 3-300 Wilmington Charter

City Treasurer (Wilmington)

 

 

2 years

Sec. 2-103 Wilmington Charter

President of City Council (Wilmington)

25

 

1 year

Sec. 2-103 Wilmington Charter

City Council (Wilmington)

25

 

1 year

Sec. 2-103 Wilmington Charter

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How can I get on the ballot?

  • When a deadline is a Saturday, Sunday or Holiday, the deadline is the next business day.
  • Candidates for statewide offices file/submit forms, documents, etc. to the State Election Commissioner.

File as a Democrat or Republican

  • Fill out a Candidate Filing Form.
  • Submit the form and a check for the filing fee to the Department.
  • Make the check payable to the right county or city committee.
  • File on or before 12 Noon on the 2nd Tuesday in July.
  • You can withdraw by 4:30 p.m. the Friday after the deadline and get your filing fee back.
  • If two or more people file for the same office in the same party, there will be a Primary.
  • Get more information from the Delaware Code.
  • Candidate withdrawal form.

Be nominated by the Democratic or Republican Party

  • A party can nominate a candidate for an office if no one filed as a candidate for that party.
  • Nominations must be delivered to the Department on or before 4:30 p.m. on September 1.
  • Get more information about major political party nominations.

Be nominated by a minor political party.

  • A minor political party that qualifies may nominate a candidate for an office.
    • The party must nominate candidates at their nominating convention held on or before August 1,
    • The party must submit nominating resolutions certified by the Party Secretary to the Department on or before August 15, and
    • The party must submit the nomination certified by the Party Chair and Secretary to the Department on or before September 1.
  • Get more information about minor political party nominations.

Run as an unaffiliated candidate.

  • Certify that you haven't been active with a political party for the past three months.
  • Collect signatures on petitions equal to at least 1% of the registered voters in the jurisdiction.
  • Collect signatures between January 1 and July 15 in the year of the election.
  • Submit the certification, petitions and a Candidate Filing Form to the Department on or before September 1.
  • Get more information about running as an unaffiliated candidate.

Run as an declared write-in candidate.

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What are the filing fees?

  • County and city committees set filing fees on or before July 1 in an election year.
  • The fees cannot be more that 1% of the total salary for the term of the office.
  • People cannot file until filing fees have been set.
  • 2014 Filing Fees

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What about campaign finance?

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How do I file as an indigent?

What about the Hatch Act?

  • The Hatch Act restricts the political activity of federal executive branch employees.
  • Local and state workers involved in federally funded programs may also be restricted.
  • The Hatch Act is enforced by the U. S. Office of Special Counsel.
  • Get information about the Hatch Act.

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Where can I get voter information?

  • Order a CD or paper lists from the Department.
  • Most CDs and lists are free to filed candidates.
  • Get Registration Counts on this site.

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What happens on Election Day?

  • Election Officers begin set up at 6 a.m.
  • Anyone wearing or displaying anything about a candidate, party or the election will be told to leave.
  • Election Officers, Challengers, voters and Department staff are the only people who can be in the Polling Place.
  • Members of the media cannot accompany candidates or voters into the polling place.
  • The Election Officers open the polls at 7 a.m.
  • Voters are processed and vote.
  • The polls close at 8 p.m.
  • The Election Officers close the voting machines, send the cartridges to a Zone, and post a copy of the results from each machine.
  • The Election Officers finish their work and go home.
  • Unofficial results on the State Election Commissioner's Web Page.

When are the results official?

  • The Board of Elections certifies the results of a Primary Election at 7 p.m. the Thursday after the election.
  • Candidates may present objections or disputes to the Board at 7 p.m.
  • Superior Court sitting as the Board of Canvass convenes to determine the official results of a General Election at 10 a.m. the Thursday after the election.
  • Candidates may present objections or disputes to the Board at 10 a.m.
  • The Board of Elections certifies the results of City of Wilmington elections at its meeting the week after the election.
  • Candidates may present objections or disputes to the Board at the start of the meeting as posted on the agenda.

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What about challengers?

  • In a Primary, each candidate on the ballot may have one challenger at a Polling Place.
  • In a General Election, each party on the ballot may have one challenger at a Polling Place.
  • Challengers must give the Inspector a written authorization. In a Primary, the candidate signs the authorization. In a General Election, the party chair signs the authorization.
  • Challengers must wear the badge that the Inspector gives to them.
  • A Challenger may be replaced by another authorized challenger.
  • The changeover of Challengers should be quick and not cause disruption.
  • Election Officers should treat Challengers with dignity and respect.
  • Challengers should treat Election Officers with dignity and respect.
  • Challengers can watch the setting up and closing of the machines and Polling Place.
  • Challengers can watch the Election Officer process voters.
  • Challengers can look at the election records, but not delay or disrupt operations.
  • Challengers may challenge voters for identity, address or bribery.
  • Challengers may keep records of what they observe.
  • Challengers may use a computer and/or texting device as long as the devices do not make noise.
  • Challengers can look at the back of the voting machince under the supervision of the Inspector.
  • Challengers can not wear or display anything that mentions a candidate, party or the election.
  • Challengers can not talk on a cell phone nor take pictures of voters or documents.
  • Challengers must leave the Poling Place to make or take calls.
  • Challengers must put their cell phones on vibrate so they do not make noise.
  • Challengers can not interfere with Polling Place activities nor talk to voters.
  • Challengers must pay attention so that they do not miss the names of people who are voting.
  • Challengers can not ask Election Officers to keep track of voters for them.

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Where can I put campaign signs?

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