With the Signature-in-Lieu gathering period starting on December 30th, the race for 2012 legislative seats in California will have officially begun.
From the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder’s Calendar of Events:
“During this period, petition forms may be obtained to secure signatures in lieu of all or a portion of the filing fee. Signatures submitted on the in lieu petitions may also be applied to the signature requirements for offices on the nominating petition. Candidates will be notified of any deficiency within 10 calendar days of filing the petition. Candidates may then, prior to the close of the nomination period, submit a supplemental petition or pay the pro rata portion of the filing fee to make up the deficiency.”
(E. C. §§ 8061, 8105)
Specifically, this means that candidates for each of the partisan legislative seats up for election, as well as non-partisan county seats, will be working to gather as many signatures as possible between Friday, December 30th and Thursday, February 23rd from those within the respective districts. The more signatures one collects, the lower the filing fee. Those seats requiring the filing fee and/or signatures in lieu are: United States Senator, United States Representative in Congress, State Senator, Member of the State Assembly, County Supervisor, District Attorney, and Judges of the Superior Court
In general, the filing fee for each office is one-percent (1%) of its annual salary. Each office has a specific number of signatures that, if collected, will result in a complete waiver of the filing fee. For example, those running for a seat in the State Assembly would pay a filing fee of $ 952.91, (1% of the $95,291.00 salary), unless one collects 1,500 verified signatures. The number of nominating signatures for this seat is only 40 signatures; however, each signature gathered reduces the filing fee by $ 0.635273.
The primary reason a candidate gather signatures during this period is not necessary to save money; any candidate struggling to raise enough money for the filing fee should really take a hard look at whether running for office is a wise decision. Collecting a high number of signatures, and even collecting the entire amount to have the filing fee waived, is a strong signal to other challengers of the support level for this candidate.
For more information, candidates and voters can both visit http://www.lavote.net