Election filing deadline for CC independent candidates earlier than expected

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Wayne County Clerk Debra Berry and the county’s Voter Registration staff are alerting Cambridge City residents that the deadline to file paperwork for a town council seat could be earlier than they expect.

An error on a state form means the deadline is one day earlier for independent candidates than stated, but the state will not allow an extension.

Berry announced Tuesday, June 29, that anyone seeking one of the two town council seats up for election this fall as an independent candidate needs to file a petition of nomination, called a CAN-44 form, by noon Wednesday, June 30.

The form is called a Petition of Nomination for City or Town Office in 2021. 

As part of that CAN-44 form, the candidate needs to collect at least 17 signatures from registered voters saying that person should be on the ballot. Berry recommends getting extra signatures in case any can’t be verified.  None of the signatures can be from anyone who plans to also run for council.

The CAN-44 form is available online through the Indiana Secretary of State’s website, or it may be picked up at the voter registration office on the second floor of Wayne County Courthouse, 301 E. Main St., Richmond.  The office is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, and those with questions can call voter registration at  765-973-9304  or Berry at 765-973-9224.

Berry received an email on June 28 from Matthew R. Kochevar, co-general counsel for the Indiana Election Division, notifying her of the earlier deadline for candidates to file their petition of nomination with the county voter registration office. He acknowledged his office has been made aware of an error on the state’s form.

“After reviewing the form, we can confirm that the date of noon, July 1, 2021 is incorrect and the deadline date is, in fact, noon (local prevailing time), June 30, 2021 per the election code. Although the incorrect deadline was printed on the form, the deadline to file the CAN-44 as prescribed by Indiana state law prevails (noon, June 30, 2021) and the error on the form does not otherwise change the deadline date to file this form.”

He noted:

  • Per IC 3-8-6-10(b), the deadline to file the CAN-44 petition of nomination form with the county voter registration office is noon (local prevailing time), June 30, 2021.
  • Per IC 3-8-9-5(1)(c), the deadline to file the STATEMENT OF ECONOMIC INTERESTS FOR LOCAL AND SCHOOL BOARD OFFICES form (CAN-12) must be filed with the CAN-44 form, so it has the same deadline as the CAN-44; noon, June 30, 2021. According to IC 3-8-9-6, if the CAN-12 is not filed with the CAN-44 petition of nomination form then the CAN-44 must be rejected for filing and you may not review or certify the signatures on the form.
  • Per IC 3-8-6-10(c) and (e), the deadline to file the CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT OR MINOR POLITICAL PARTY CANDIDATE NOMINATED BY PETITION FOR CITY OR TOWN OFFICE IN 2021 form (CAN-45) must be filed with the circuit court clerk not later than noon, July 15, 2021 in order to complete the filing and place the candidate’s name on the municipal election ballot. The CAN-45 also can be filed at the same time the candidate files their CAN-44 petition forms for review and certification since all forms get filed at the clerk’s office in your county.

Berry said her office asked if Wayne County could extend the filing deadline to the date mistakenly printed on the form, which was noon July 1. That request was denied.

“Lastly, though there was an incorrect deadline date printed on the CAN-44 form, the county election board does not have the power under the election code to extend the deadline to noon  (local prevailing time), July 1, 2021, the date mistakenly printed on the CAN-44,” he wrote. “Again, the deadline date for the CAN-44 remains noon, June 30, 2021. Any CAN-44 petition offered for filing after that deadline must be rejected per IC 3-5-4-1.9.”

In addition to that form, independent candidates need to file a CAN-45 form by noon July 15. That form is called “Consent of Independent or Minor Political Party Candidate Nominated by Petition for City or Town Office in 2021.”

Other party affiliations, write-in candidates

The dates announced earlier for those who want to be write-in candidates or seek the nomination of their party have not changed.

*Anyone interested in being a write-in candidate for Cambridge City town council needs to complete a CAN-3 form by noon July 6. Their name will not be included on the ballot.

*Cambridge City residents who want to run as a Republican, Libertarian or Democrat candidate need to file their declaration to run by noon Aug. 2.

Towns do not have a primary election, so Wayne County’s political parties might have to conduct a town convention to pick the two candidates they would want on the ballot in the fall.

A convention only is needed if the parties have more than two candidates running from their party.

Then, all candidates representing their local political party would be lumped together on the ballot, and the top two would be elected.

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