Candidate Requirement Guides
Running for office? The Candidate Requirement Guide, which is updated on an annual basis, contains requirements and guidelines for those who choose to run for elected office. Also included are links to our Candidate Petition Instructions - formulated over the years based upon those items that have been issues for candidates in the past and a "reminder" page of what to check before petitions are filed with the Board of Elections.
NOTE: Once the BOE has taken and time stamped the petitions, they become public record and cannot be altered/corrected in any way. Also, the BOE is prohibited from any kind of "pre-checking" of candidate petitions per Ohio Law.
- 2021 Candiate Requirement Guide
- Candidate Petition Instructions
- Link to Secretary of State Forms Page
- Before you file your Petitions........
**NEW** Local Candidates can now file Campaign Finance Reports online!
Follow link below to the Ohio Secretary of State's website to access the Ohio Campaign Finance Handbook and reporting forms.
- Ohio Campaign Finance
- Adjusted Campaign Contribution Limits Report
- Campaign Contribution Limits Chart (effective February 25, 2021 through February 24, 2023)
Ohio Ballot Questions and Issues Handbook
A Guide for Board of Elections, Taxing Authorities and Political Subdivisions to Placing Questions and Issues on the Ballot. Also useful for individuals considering putting a question or issue on the ballot.
Guide to Local Liquor Options Elections
This book was prepared to comply with section 3501.05(P) of the Revised Code of Ohio, which requires the Secretary of State to publish instructions describing how to petition for any local liquor option election involving the sale of intoxicating liquor or beer.
Ohio Elections Calendar
Summary of important election-related dates.
Frequently Asked Questions by Candidates
How are votes counted and when are they reported?
Votes come from five different categories — In-person absentee voting at the Board of Elections Office on machine; absentee voting by a paper ballot; voting at the precinct on Election Day on a machine; voting at the precinct on Election Day by a paper ballot; and by a provisional ballot. The results posted on Election Night are UNOFFICIAL — meaning they aren’t the final, certified results. Election Night results include all absentee ballots received in our office by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, and all ballots cast at the polls. The OFFICIAL results, which are tabulated beginning 10 days after the UNOFFICIAL results are collected, include all the UNOFFICIAL results, plus any absentee ballots postmarked by the day before the election and received by our office within 10 days after the election. Also included in the OFFICIAL total are valid provisional ballots.
All election results are posted on our website. In addition to a summary of the TOTAL results, we post precinct-by-precinct results that shows the total of all votes cast, broken down by precinct. We also typically post a breakdown of absentee vote totals by precinct, and well as other categories of votes cast. These results are a PORTION of the final total, not in addition to.
What are provisional ballots and when and how are they counted?
A voter is required to vote a provisional ballot when their name either:
- does not appear in the Wayne County voter registration system;
- appears but at a different address than where they currently live;
- or appears but under a different name.
A provisional ballot is a paper ballot in every instance. The minimum threshold that must be met for a provisional ballot to count is for the voter to be an eligible registered voter ANYWHERE in the state of Ohio. If a voter is registered in a different county other than Wayne County, we verify with the other county that they are an eligible registered voter, and that they didn’t vote in that county during the same election. If the voter meets these requirements, and provides a valid form of identification, then the provisional ballot will count. Provisional ballots DO NOT appear in the UNOFFICIAL results, but in the OFFICIAL results that are certified after Election Night.
How are candidates and local questions and issues listed on the ballot?
If there is more than one candidate running for a single office, their names will rotate by precinct. By default, all candidates are initially listed in alphabetical order by last name. Their order is then rotated every precinct. For example, in Precinct #1 Candidate A is listed first and Candidate B is listed second. In Precinct #2 Candidate B is listed first and Candidate A is listed second. In Precinct #3 Candidate A is listed first again, etc.
With local questions and issues, the Yes or For vote option is always listed first, with the No or Against vote option being second. Questions and issues are listed in an order determined by ORC 3505.06. State issues are always listed first. There is a four year rotation as follows:
- 2021: State-County-Municipal-Township-School & Other
- 2022: State-School & Other-County-Municipal-Township
- 2023: State-Township-School & Other-County-Municipal
- 2024: State-Municipal-Township-School & Other-County