Elections > Election Info & Resources > Candidates

General Election Candidates


This page contains information for candidates for Statewide Office, the State Legislature, County Office, and Justice of the Peace

Primary Election - Tuesday, August 11, 2020 | General Election - Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The offices to be elected in 2020 include: U.S. President and Vice-President, U.S. Representative, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Auditor of Accounts, Attorney General, all (30) State Senate seats, all (150) State Representative seats, High Bailiff and Justices of the Peace.

 

How to Become a Candidate

Download our Guide to Becoming a Candidate or read on for more information including information and forms for major party, minor party, and independent candidates for all offices.

All Candidates

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Consent of Candidate Required

You must file your Consent of Candidate form at the same time as your nomination paperwork (petitions). This applies to major party candidates in the primary election, independent candidates in the general election, and candidates nominated by party committee (except candidates for justice of the peace).

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Financial Disclosure Forms Required

Each candidate for non-federal statewide office, state senate, or state representative must also file a Financial Disclosure form prepared by the State Ethics Commission along with their petition and Consent of Candidate. County office candidates are not required to file a Financial Disclosure.

Each candidate for non-federal statewide office (Governor, Lt. Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Auditor, and Attorney General) are also required to file his or her most recent IRS Form 1040.  The law allows for certain information to be redacted.

Major Party Candidates

Major party candidates file a petition along with a consent of candidate form and financial disclosure in order to be placed on the ballot in the Primary Election (August 11, 2020). In order for a candidate to appear on the primary ballot, petitions and consent of candidate forms must be filed with the appropriate filing officer no sooner than Monday, April 27, 2020 and no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2020.

Major Party Petition, Consent of Candidate, and instructions

Major party candidates may also be nominated by party committee in order to be placed on the General Election ballot in November, in the event their party does not nominate a candidate through the Primary.  The statements of nomination, financial disclosure and consent of candidate forms must be filed by the designated political party committee no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, August 17, 2020 (six days after the Primary).

Major Party Committee Statement of Nomination and Consent of Candidate

Minor Party Candidates 

Minor party candidates are nominated by party committee in order to be placed on the ballot in the General Election (November 3, 2020). The statements of nomination, financial disclosure and consent of candidate forms must be filed by the designated political party committee no sooner than Monday, April 27, 2020 and no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2020. All statements of nomination and consent of candidate forms, except those for justice of the peace, are filed with the Secretary of State. (Justice of the peace forms are filed with the town clerk, see below.) For more information on the minor party nomination process, see the bottom of this page.

Minor Party Committee Statement of Nomination and Consent of Candidate

Independent Candidates (except Justice of the Peace, see below for Justice of the Peace forms)

Independent candidates file a statement of nomination (petition), financial disclosure and consent of candidate form with the Secretary of State in order to be placed on the ballot in the General Election (November 3, 2020). Independent candidates for justice of the peace file with the town clerk. Independent candidate’s statement of nomination and consent forms must be filed no sooner than Monday, April 27, 2020 and no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2020.

Independent Candidate Petition, Consent of Candidate, and instructions

Justices of the Peace (Major & Minor Party)

Major and minor party justice of the peace candidates are nominated by town caucus or town party committee in order to be placed on the ballot in the General Election (November 3, 2020). The caucus must be held on or before the Primary Election. If a town fails to hold a caucus, nominations may be made thereafter by party committee. In either case, the committee chair or secretary must file the statement of nomination with the town clerk no later than 5 p.m. Friday, August 14, 2020 (three days after the primary). No financial disclosure or consent of candidate form is required for justice of the peace nominations.

Justice of the peace Statement of Nomination by Party Committee

Justices of the Peace (Independent)

Independent justice of the peace candidates file a statement of nomination (petition) and consent of candidate form with the town clerk in order to be placed on the ballot in the general election (November 3, 2020). These statements of nomination and consent forms must be filed no sooner than Monday, April 27, 2020 and no later than 5 p.m. Friday, August 14, 2020 (3 days after the primary).

Independent justice of the peace candidate Statement of Nomination, Consent of Candidate, and instructions

 

Number of Signatures Required

Major Party Candidates

Office Sought

Number of Signatures Required

Place to File

State/Congressional Officers

500 signatures

Office of the Secretary of State

State Senate

100 signatures

Senatorial District Clerks

State Representative

50 signatures

Representative District Clerks

County Office (Probate & Asst./Side Judges, State’s Attorney, Sheriff, High Bailiff)

100 signatures

County Clerk

 

Independent Candidates

Office Sought

Number of Signatures Required

Place to File

State/Congressional Officers

500 signatures

Office of the Secretary of State

State Senate

100 signatures

Office of the Secretary of State

State Representative

50 signatures

Office of the Secretary of State

County Office (Probate & Asst./Side Judges, State’s Attorney, Sheriff, High Bailiff)

100 signatures

Office of the Secretary of State

Justice of the Peace

30 sig. or 1% of voters in
town whichever is less

Town Clerk

 

You must fill out the petition heading before seeking signatures. When obtaining signatures on a petition, you must fill in the name of the office (i.e. governor, state representative, etc.) you are seeking before having voters sign. For state senate and state representative, you must fill in the district name, for example Washington 3–2 or Caledonia senate district. You can add the names of the towns in the district if you choose, but if you do not also include the district name your petition will not be accepted.

Don’t start too early. Although Vermont statute is silent on when to start collecting signatures on a petition, if you obtain signatures too far in advance, some of those signors may move from the town they lived in when they originally signed the petition, invalidating the signature.

Get extra signatures. It’s always a good idea to obtain more than the minimum number of signatures, as some signatures may not be valid.

 

Minor Party Nomination

For the 2020 election cycle, all minor parties organized in Vermont will be posted on the Office of the Secretary of State’s website after January 1, 2020. This listing will include contact information for the party’s chair and/or executive director.

Minor party candidates do not participate in the primary elections. Instead, minor party committees meet to nominate candidates. The chair of the committee sets a date, time and place for the meeting and gives five days notice to all members of the committee. If the chair of the committee has not called a meeting then any three members of the committee may set the date, time and place of meeting.

Nominations of party candidates are made by the following political committee of the party:

  1. State committee (in the case of state or congressional officers)
  2. County committee (in the case of county officers)
  3. Senatorial district committee (in the case of the office of state senator)
  4. Representative district committee (in the case of the office of representative to the general assembly)

The committee then files a statement of nomination with the Secretary of State. An original signed copy of the consent of candidate form and financial disclosure for each candidate nominated by a minor party must be filed at the same time as the statement of nomination or the nomination will not be accepted. In order to ensure that your candidate(s) will appear on the ballot, you should have the candidate(s) sign the consent of candidate form(s) at the meeting to nominate.

 

Eligibility for Office

The information below is for reference only.  The Secretary of State's Office does not have the authority to determine the eligibility of candidates for office.  The Vermont Senate and the Vermont House have the constitutional authority to judge the qualifications of their members.  The procedure for them to do so is found in 17 V.S.A. §§ 2605 and 2606.

United States Senate

Must be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen for at least 9 years, and an inhabitant of the state from which elected. U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 3.

United States Representative

Must be at least 25 years old, a U.S. citizen for at least 7 years, and an inhabitant of the state from which elected. U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 2.

Vermont Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Must have resided in the state for four years “next preceding the day of the election.”  VT Constitution, Chapter II, Section 23.

Vermont Treasurer

Resident of State for at least two years.  VT Constitution, Chapter II, Section 66.

Vermont State Representative and Vermont State Senator

Must have resided in the state for two years, the last year of which must be in the district elected.  VT Constitution, Chapter II, Section 15.



Contact Information

Elections Division

William Senning, Director

128 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05633-1101

802-828-2363

will.senning@vermont.gov

Admin./General Inquiries

Lori Bjornlund

802-828-2464

lori.bjornlund@vermont.gov

Camp. Finance/Legal/General Inquiries

JP Isabelle

802-828-2304

jp.isabelle@vermont.gov

Lobbying

Elizabeth "Liz" Harrington

802-828-0771

liz.harrington@vermont.gov

Town Clerks/Voter Registration

Lelonie Oatway

802-828-1931

lelonie.oatway@vermont.gov

Mailing Address

Office of the Secretary of State

Elections Division

128 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05633-1101


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