Running for Office

COVID-19 Clerk/Register Operating Plan

The Washtenaw County Clerk/Register’s office is closed to the public until June 15, 2020.

Certain Clerk/Register services continue at reduced capacity ONLINE and BY MAIL - Please see here for more information

Candidates, Generally:

  • Affidavits of Identity may be notarized remotely by any Notary Public commissioned in the State of Michigan using any video conference platform that they’d like so long as the platform can record the transaction. 
  • Notaries Public can be found here.
  • Petitions are available from the County Clerk’s office upon request. 
  • Campaign finance paperwork can be submitted by email to [email protected]
  • Questions? Contact [email protected]

Candidates for Washtenaw Community College & Local School District Boards for whom Washtenaw County serves as filing official:

  • The deadline to file an Affidavit of Identity and either a $100 nonrefundable filing fee or School Nominating petitions at the Washtenaw County Clerk’s office is July 21, 2020 at 4:00 pm.

Candidates for Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti District Library Boards:

  • The deadline to file an Affidavit of Identity and either a $100 nonrefundable filing fee or Nonpartisan Nominating petitions at the Washtenaw County Clerk’s office is July 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm.

Candidates running without party affiliation for County Commissioner & Countywide officer:

  • The deadline to file an Affidavit of Identity and Qualifying Petitions at the Washtenaw County Clerk’s office is July 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm.

Candidates running without party affiliation for Township, Ann Arbor City, and Ypsilanti City offices:

  • The deadline to file an Affidavit of Identity and Qualifying Petitions at the appropriate City or Township Clerk’s office is July 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm.

View a comprehensive list of dates and deadlines to file to run for public office.

Steps to Run for Office

  1. Determine Position and Requirements: Determine the position in which you are interested and its filing requirements; then, obtain the necessary documents from your local or county clerk, or the State Bureau of Elections.
    • All candidates must complete an Affidavit of Identity.
    • Candidates for any office may submit an appropriate petition with the correct number of signatures to appear on the ballot. See How to Obtain a Nominating Signature Petition for specific information. Note that Precinct Delegates are not required to submit petitions.
    • Candidates for certain positions may file a $100 fee in lieu of petitions. See How to Obtain a Nominating Signature Petition for information on which positions qualify for this option.
  2. File With Official: File the Affidavit of Identity along with your petitions or fee with the appropriate filing official by the filing deadline.
    • The Candidate Filing Locations chart outlines the correct filing official for each candidate.
    • Deadlines for each election can be found at the Michigan Secretary of State’s Website or by contacting your local or county clerk. Note that filing in advance of the deadline can be advantageous as it allows time for the filing official to contact you should you not have the minimum number of valid signatures on your petitions. Additional filings may then be made until the filing deadline.
  3. Campaign Finance Filing: File campaign finance materials with the appropriate filing official.
    • For campaign finance purposes, you officially become a candidate if you:
      • File an Affidavit of Identity, fee, or petition
      • Spend or receive any funds to further your nomination or election to office, or give someone else permission to do so on your behalf
      • Are nominated at a party convention or caucus
    • Once you become a candidate, you have 10 calendar days to form a Candidate Committee. An additional 10 calendar days are allowed to file this information with your campaign finance filing official.
    • See the Candidate Filing Locations chart to determine your campaign finance filing official. Note that it may not be the same filing official with whom you filed your Affidavit of Identity.
    • All candidates must file campaign finance materials and create a Candidate Committee except for the following:
      • Precinct Delegate candidates do not file any campaign finance materials
      • School Board candidates in a school district with a pupil enrollment of less than 2,400 do not need to file campaign finance materials unless they spend or receive in excess of $1,000
  4. Write-In Filing: Should you choose to run as a write-in candidate, see Write-In Candidates for more details. The same campaign finance filing requirements apply to write-in candidates as all other candidates.

Additional Information

If you have any questions regarding running for office, please contact the Elections Division at 734-222-6730.