Candidate Filing FAQ

2019 Candidate Filing begins Monday, May 13th and ends Friday, May 17th.

Key Dates for Candidate Filing

  • April 29 - First day filing officer may receive candidate declarations by mail
  • May 13 - Official Candidate Filing Week opens
  • May 17 - Final day for all candidates to file for office
  • May 20 - Candidate withdrawal deadline
  • May 21 - Last day for Secretary of State to certify candidates to County Auditors
  • May 24 - Candidate statements & photographs for state Voters' Pamphlet due


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What are the required qualifications to be a candidate?

You must be a registered voter and possess the qualifications specified by law. Most offices require the candidate to be registered within the district.  Exceptions are US Congress and Superior Court.

If a candidate must be selected by voters from a geographic subdivision of a jurisdiction in the primary, the candidate must be properly registered to vote within that subdivision. RCW 29A.24.075

Contact the jurisdiction of the office to learn if there are additional qualifications.

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Where can I file for office?

The Secretary of State accepts candidate filings for federal and statewide executive offices, and for any legislative, court of appeals, and superior court office serving more than one county.

Your county elections department accepts filings for all other offices. Online filing is not available at all county elections departments. Contact your county elections department for directions and hours of operation.

For a list of State offices:

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How and where can I file for office?

Candidate filing week - May 13-17


1. Online – fast and easy!

File online at:


Online filing begins May 13 at 9am and ends May 17 at 4pm. Pay your filing fee online with Visa, MasterCard or American Express.


2. In person

If you file with the Secretary of State, file here:

Washington Secretary of State’s Office

Legislative Building

416 Sid Snyder Ave SW

Olympia, WA 98504

Monday, May 13, 8am through Friday, May 17, 5pm


If you file with your county auditor’s office, you can find the address here:


3. By mail (can only be received up to 10 business days before the start of filing week)

If you file with the Secretary of State, mail your declaration and filing fee to:

Candidate Filing

Office of the Secretary of State

P.O. Box 40229

Olympia, WA 98504-0229


If you file with your county auditor’s office, you can find the mailing address here:

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When can I file for office?

Candidates may submit by mail

Starting April 29

In-person filing begins

May 13, 8am

Online filing begins

May 13, 9am

Online filing ends

May 17, 4pm

All candidate filing ends

May 17, 5pm

Last day to withdraw from ballot

May 20, close of business

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How much does it cost to file for office?

For a list of office filing fees:

Filing fees for offices filed with your County Auditor are available from your county elections department.

Filing fees are nonrefundable.

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What are the accepted forms of payment?

Online filing for state offices requires a Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

If you file in person or by mail with the Office of the Secretary of State, pay via:

  • Check
  • Cash
  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express
  • Money order
  • Valid filing fee petition

For all other offices contact your county elections department ( to determine payment methods available.

Filing fee petitions-

Candidates without sufficient assets or income to pay the filing fee may submit a filing fee petition.

Candidates submitting petition signatures may not file electronically. Filing fees may not be paid by combining petition signatures and currency. Only signatures of registered voters in the same jurisdiction as the office are valid. For more information about filing fee petitions, please review the Candidate Filing Guide.

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How is the order of candidates determined?

Candidate order is determined by lot draw. This will happen after candidate filing ends at 5pm on May 17. A random order will be created and then applied to the candidates that have filed for each office.

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How can I withdraw my candidacy?

If you decide you do not want your name on the ballot, your signed withdrawal form must be received by the office where you filed by the end of business on Monday, May 20.

Candidate withdrawal forms are available at

Filing fees are nonrefundable, even if you filed for the wrong office. (RCW 29A.24.131)

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How do I submit my Voters’ Pamphlet statement and photo?

We recommend you submit your Voters’ Pamphlet information with your declaration and filing fee. All submissions are done online.

If you file online, you will be directed to submit your statement and photo after you’ve completed your office filing.

If you file in person or by mail, you will receive an email with a link included to allow you access to the online submission tool.

The deadline to submit for the Voters’ Pamphlet is 5 pm on May 24.

For submission specifications, please read the Voters’ Pamphlet instructions in the Candidate Filing Guide, starting on page 9.

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Do I have to file my campaign finance information?

Candidates for state or local office should refer to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission for reporting requirements. Forms and information are available at

Candidates for U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives must report campaign finance information to the Federal Election Commission at

Your campaign finance information is public information. A link to your campaign finance information will appear on your page in the online voters’ guide.

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Can I post campaign signs?

Please contact the respective agency or department about sign restrictions, permits, and deposits.

State - Department of Transportation -

County - Public works or transportation department

City - City clerk’s office

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What is public record?

  • All approved candidate declarations
  • Voter pamphlet submissions
  • Campaign contact information
  • Public disclosure commission documents

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