This opinion, requested by Secretary of State Scott Gessler, concerns the effect of congressional redistricting and state legislative reapportionment on candidate petition signature requirements.
QUESTION PRESENTED AND ANSWER
Question: For the 2012 and 2014 primary and general elections, how should the Secretary of State calculate the candidate petition requirements for races affected by the redistricting and reapportionment that followed the 2010 Federal Census?
Answer: The General Assembly requires a candidate seeking placement on a ballot via petition to obtain the lesser of an enumerated number of signatures or a number of signatures equaling a percentage of votes cast in the district’s preceding primary or general election for the office being sought. The signatures must come from electors currently residing in the district, but reapportionment and redistricting have no effect on the number of signatures required by law. Therefore, the Secretary of State should reference a district’s preceding primary or general election for the office being sought to determine how many signatures are required for a candidate’s petition.