Federal Elections are partisan elections held every even year in Utah, and are run by the Lt. Governor’s Office. Federal offices include President, U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative.

Positions

President

The President is the head of the United States government. The president directly oversees all agencies of the executive branch of government and is considered the commander-in-chief of the United States Army.

U.S. Senate

Two Senators from each state are elected to serve 6 year terms. Within the legislative branch of the government, a senator’s job is to represent the people living in his or her state and write and vote on new bills.

U.S. House of Representatives

Representatives serve two-year terms, representing the people of a specific congressional district. Representatives introduce bills and resolutions, offer amendments and serve on committees in Congress. Utah currently has four congressional representatives.

Eligibility

    1. Candidate must be a citizen of the United States for 9 years (Senate), 7 years (House), or natural born (President).
    2. Must be at least the age of 35 (President), 28 (House), or 30 (Senate).
    3. Must be a resident of the state in which elected (House and Senate), or resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years (President).

Filing Deadlines – President

  • Spring of the year before an election: Candidates announce their intentions to run and file through the FEC.
  • Summer of the year before an election through spring of the election year: Presidential primary debates begin
  • January to June of election year: States and Parties hold Primaries.
  • July to early September: Parties hold nominating conventions
  • August 15 of election year: Independent candidates for presidency must file with the Lt. Governor
  • September and October: Presidential Debates
  • Early November: Election Day
  • December: Electoral College casts votes
  • January 20: Presidential Inauguration 

Filing Deadlines – Congress

  • January-March: Declaration of intent to file as a petition candidate
  • March: Declaration of Candidacy period
  • Two Weeks Prior to Convention: Petition signatures due
  • March: County Conventions (by party – check your party website)
  • April-June: State Nominating Conventions (by party – check your party website)
  • June: Primary Election (Candidates who receive 60% or more of the vote from delegates in the nominating convention skip a Primary Election and move directly to the General Election)
  • 65 Days Before General Election: Last day to qualify as a write-in
  • The Tuesday following the first Monday in November: General Election

These dates estimates. For specific dates and deadlines, which may vary each election, please check the Lieutenant Governor’s website or office.

Presidential Election Procedures

Filing and Reporting

  1. Federal law requires all presidential candidates to file a statement of candidacy to the FEC within 15 days of receiving contributions or making expenditures that exceed $5,000. 
  2. Within 10 days of filing the candidacy statement, the committee must file a statement of organization with the FEC. In addition, federal law establishes contribution limits for presidential candidates.
  3. Presidential candidate committees are required to file regular campaign finance reports disclosing “all of their receipts and disbursements” either quarterly or monthly.

Party Nomination Process

  1. Political Parties determine their own guidelines in the Presidential nominating process, contact your party officials to find out the specifics for your party.
  2. State recognized parties conduct state-wide caucuses or primaries to determine a preferred candidate. 
  3. The formally nominated candidate of a party is determined at the National Nominating Convention where delegates vote to select one nominee.

Independent Candidate Process

  1. Independent candidates must submit a petition with 1,000 signatures to the Lt. Governor in order to get on the general election ballot. 
  2. Independent candidates must also pay a $500 filing fee.
  3. Under Utah state law, an unsuccessful primary candidate cannot run for the same office as an independent candidate in the general election

Write-In Procedures

  1. A write-in candidate must file a declaration of candidacy with the Lieutenant Governor no later than 60 days before the general election.

Congressional Election Procedures

Convention Path

  1. Candidates must file for candidacy with the Lt. Governor’s office and also with the FEC.
  2. Pay a filing fee or provide proof of inability to pay the filing fee due to financial hardship. 
  3. Attend your party’s statewide convention, where your party’s state delegates will vote on party candidates for the primary election (check your party website for dates). The top two candidates will face off in the primary election. If any candidate receives 60% or more of the delegate vote, that candidate will skip directly to a general election and no primary will be held for that seat.
  4. Contact your party to determine any additional processes or paperwork.

Petition Path

  1. Declare intent to gather signatures before gathering any signatures, between January-March, with the Lt. Governor’s office.
  2. You will be given your materials for your petition packets when you declare intent. You are responsible for printing/binding materials. Petition packets must be bound across the top in at least 3 places using either staples or spiral binding. Your packets must include cover, signature, and  verification sheet.
  3. Candidates for U.S. Senate must gather 28,000 valid signatures and candidates for U.S. House must gather 7,000 valid signatures.
  4. Valid signatures require all signers to be registered to vote, live in the district of the office you are seeking, and they must not have signed a petition of another candidate running for the same office.
  5. Circulators gathering signatures must be at least 18 years of age and sign the verification sheet of each packet they use. Gatherers may be paid, volunteers, or you may use a company that offers signature collection services.
  6. All candidates must declare candidacy with the Lt. Governor in March. Declaring Candidacy is not the same as declaring intent to gather signatures.
  7. Pay a filing fee or provide proof of inability to pay the filing fee due to financial hardship. 
  8. Submit signatures no later than 2 weeks prior to your party’s nominating convention.

Resources

 

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