There is some confusion concerning the candidate signature gathering (petition) process for running for public office. Let me see if I can answer some of the questions that I often hear:
Question: What is the signature gathering?
Answer: Candidates can gather signatures to get on the primary election ballot for their party in general election years. They can go the signature route, the caucus/convention route, or both.
Question: How many signatures does a candidate need to gather?
Answer: That depends on which party the candidate wants to run for. As an example, a candidate running on the county Republican ballot will be required to gather 391 signatures. The signers must all be registered Republicans. A candidate running on the county Democratic ballot will be required to gather 935 signatures. The signers on a Democratic candidate petition can be registered with any party. State candidate numbers are higher.
Question: Why does a Democratic candidate have to gather more signatures than a Republican candidate?
Answer: The Republican Party primary is always a closed primary, which means only those affiliated with the Republican Party can vote in the Primary Election. Thus, the required 3 percent of required signatures comes from all voters eligible to vote in the Republican party’s primary election. The Democratic Party has an open primary election, which allows anyone from any party to vote, thus their 3 percent of all voters eligible to vote in the Democratic party’s primary election is higher.
Question: What are the dates that candidates can sign up to gather signatures? It began Jan. 2.
Answer: All signatures must be submitted to the County Clerk’s office two weeks before the party convention.
Question: When is the filing date for offices?
Answer: The date when candidates must file a Declaration of Candidacy and pay the filing fee is March 9, 2018, and ends at 5 p.m. on March 15, 2018.
Question: Who has signed up to gather signatures?
Answer: If you follow this link it will take you to the elections page that has all of the information for the 2018 election, including those who have filed to gather signatures: www.co.tooele.ut.us/clerk/Elections.htm.
In other business, applications for property tax abatements will be mailed by April 1 (they aren’t due until Sept. 1). We have to wait until the 2018 Legislative Session is completed to see where the Legislature sets the rates for each abatement.
The County Treasurer’s Office sent out delinquent tax notices recently. Some of the property owners whose property is classified as tax exempt received a delinquent tax notice. We recently rolled our tax over into a new tax system. Some of the properties lost their tax exempt status in the roll over, so taxes and penalties were put on their property in error. The county is in the process of correcting these errors.
If you have any questions, please contact me at email@example.com or 435-843-3148.
Marilyn Gillette is the Tooele County Clerk/Recorder.