Board of Elections FAQ

Candidate, What is a candidate?

A candidate is an individual who seeks to be nominated or elected to public office or a party position. An individual shall be deemed to be a candidate if action was taken to qualify for nomination or election.

Most candidates get on the ballot by filing a petition containing a specified number of signatures. The required amount varies, depending on the office sought and whether the candidate is seeking a party nomination or a spot on the ballot as an independent.

Enrollment, Party Enrollment

Enrollment in a constituted party allows you to help designate candidates by signing petitions and voting in a Primary Election. This party enrollment does not require you to vote for a party candidate in a General Election.

Additionally, if you are currently an enrolled voter and change your party status, your change will not be effective until after the next General Election.

Political Parties

  • Democratic (website)
  • Republican (website)
  • Conservative (website)
  • Working Families (website)
  • Green Party (website)
  • Libertarian (website)
  • Independence (website)
  • SAM Party (website)
  • Other (Write in your choice of an unlisted party)
  • Blank (If you do not want to enroll in any political party and wish to be an independent voter)


Petition Information


Candidates who seek party position or nomination for public office are required to fill out specific paperwork with deadlines set by the state. Please contact your county Board of Elections for details.


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County Courthouse, 48 Court Street • Canton, New York 13617 - 1169
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