What is Qualifying?

■ Qualifying is the official process of having one’s name on the ballot. No candidate can official have their name on the ballot unless he or she fills out the necessary paperwork to qualify for a particular race.

How can one Qualify?​
​■ Ways in which a candidate can qualify:
​​– Notice of Candidacy and Affidavit
​​​​– Declaration of Candidacy and Affidavit​​
​​– Paupers Petition and Affidavit ​ ​​
​– Nomination Petition ​

​​​■ According to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-153, the two ways someone qualifying for a party nomination in a state or county primary are: ​
​​– Declaration of Candidacy and Affidavit with Fee ​​
​– Paupers Petition and Affidavit​ ​ ​

​■ According to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-132(c), the two ways to qualify for a nonpartisan office are: ​​
​–Notice of Candidacy and Affidavit with Fee ​​
​–Paupers Petition and Affidavit​​ ​​

​What is a Non Partisan Office?​ ​
​■ – O.C.G.A. § 21-2-138 nonpartisan judicial offices
​ – O.C.G.A. § 21-2-139 nonpartisan county judicial offices and consolidated governments ​
​■ These offices are usually judges, school board members, and offices of consolidated governments ​​ ​​​​

​Who Qualifies Candidates?​ ​
​■ O.C.G.A. § 21-2-132(c) – Any candidate wanting to file their notice of candidacy and affidavit to have their names placed on the nonpartisan election ballot, shall file with either the Secretary of State or Election Superintendent ​
​​■ The election superintendent is responsible for qualifying candidates for nonpartisan elections. ​
​​■ For partisan elections qualifying is either conducted by the county executive partie the Election Superintendent ​​​​

​When is Qualifying?​
​ ​■ O.C.G.A. § 21-2-132(d) – Due to a code change during the 2017 session, there is ONLY one qualifying period for independent and political body candidates.​ ​
​■ Independent and political body candidates qualifying the SAME time as everyone else, March 5th – March 9th. Those candidates are still required to follow O.C.G.A. § 21-2- 132(e), turn in the nomination petition “… no earlier than 9:00am on the fourth Monday in June immediately prior to the election and no later than 12:00 noon on the second Tuesday in July immediately prior to the election…” ​​

​ How much is Qualifying? ​
​■  O.C.G.A. § 21-2-131(a)(1)(A) – All qualifying fees should be fixed and published by February 1st by the Governing Authority.  (Fees for the May 22, 2018 General Primary) ​
​■  O.C.G.A. § 21-2-131(a)(1)(B) –  code section outlines where you can find the fees for: ■ Clerk of Superior Court ■ Judge of Probate Court ■ Sheriff ■ Tax Commissioner ■ Magistrate Judge
​ ■ The qualifying fees for ALL STATE LEVEL offices is on the Secretary of State’s Website:


​What are the Forms for Qualifying?
​​ ■ ALL of the forms for qualifying are located on the Secretary of State’s website AND here.​