Maryland Ballot Access

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Maryland FEC Information
151 West Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 6486
Annapolis, MD 21401-0486
Phone: 410-269-2840
Toll Free: 800-222-8683
Fax: 410-974-2019

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Getting on the Ballot for 2012:

Signatures Needed:10,000 signatures
Information Page for A New Political Party Petition (PDF)
Start collecting: IMMEDIATELY
Deadline: first Monday in August before the election
Other Information:Gain the Attorney General’s approval of Constitution and bylaws [§4-102 (2)(i)]


General ballot access for Independent candidates:

Petition: 1% of registered voters (in 2004 this will be approximately 27,246) Deadline: first Monday in August [4-102 (f)]

Principal party requirements:

Majority party—principal party whose candidate for governor received the highest number of votes at the last preceding election Principal minority party—candidate for governor received the second highest number of votes of any party at the last general election

Primary ballot access:

1. Secretary of State Selects candidate through media recognition [8-502 (2)] Announcement of the Democratic candidate: first business day of the election year Announcement of the Republican (or any other party) candidate: at least 70 days preceding the date set for the primary election [8-502]

2. Petition (for those not selected) 400 signatures from each of the eight congressional districts to the State Board of Elections [8-502 (b)(2) and (d)(1)]

Deadline— Democrats: no later than 9 p.m. one week after the first business day of the election year [8-502 (i)]

Deadline — Republicans (or any other party): at least 70 days preceding the date set for the primary election [8-502 (ii)]

No filing fees

Last day to withdraw from the ballot:

5 days before the election

Primary date:

first Tuesday in March [8-201]


Closed primary, but the parties have the option of changing it

Voter registration:

21 days before the election

Source: The Reform Institute (December 2003). Presidential Ballot Access: State by State Scorecard. Retrieved November 10, 2008, from

Write-In Information

Candidates must file a “Certificate of Candidacy – Write-In Candidate General Election” with: MARYLAND STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS P.O. Box 6486 Annapolis, MD 21401-0486 410-269-2840 Toll Free 800-222-8683 A filing fee is NOT required for a write-in candidate. The candidate may file the Certificate of Candidacy by mail. All required documents should be mailed together. It is important to note, the Certificate of Candidacy must be notarized. Deadline is the Wednesday before the General Election, October 29, 2008. If mailed, the appropriate election office must receive the Certificate of Candidacy by the deadline. Timely postmarked or faxed copies will not be accepted. Original signatures are required. In no case will a filing be accepted later than 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday before the General Election. Recommendation: It is recommended that a write-in candidate file as early as possible in order to appear on various candidate lists including the write-in candidate list on the sample ballots. Additionally, early filing enables the candidate the option to designate challengers and watcher at the polling place.

Source: Frank Moore (May 8, 2008). US Presidential Write-In Candidate Requirements For Each State. Retrieved November 10, 2008, from