Secretary of State
Background of the Office:
- Candidates for this office are nominated in Primary Elections and elected in General Elections of even years.
- Independent candidates will only appear on the ballot in the General Election.
- This office will be on the ballot in 2026.
- Each term is 4 years. (OH Const. Art. III, §2)
- Each term begins on the second Monday in January following the election. (OH Const. Art. III, §2)
- There is only one Secretary of State of the State of Ohio.
What are the requirements to run for Secretary of State?
Candidates for this position must:
- Live within the State of Ohio.
- Be a registered elector of the State of Ohio.
- Be at least 18 years of age. (OH Const. Art. V, §1, Art. XV §4)
- Complete petition form 2-B for party-affiliated candidates or form 3-C for independent candidates. (Note: Petition forms should be printed on legal sized, 8 1/2" x 14" paper)
- Use the Candidate Petition Guide for Partisan Primary Petitions before circulating your petition to prevent any errors that might disqualify you from the ballot.
- Independent and nonpartisan candidates should use the Candidate Petition Guide for nonpartisan petitions.
- Required signatures: (R.C. 3513.05, 3513.257)
- Collect between 1,000 and 3,000 signatures for major party candidates
- Collect between 500 and 1,500 signatures for minor party candidates
- Collect between 5,000 and 15,000 signatures for independent candidates
- Candidates filing for this office as independents must file their petitions no later than the day before the Primary Election.
What are the Campaign Finance Requirements?
All candidates running for State-level offices must file within seven days after the filing deadline either a Declaration of Filing Day Finances (Form 31-W) or the Waiver of Declaration of Filing Day Finances (Form 31-AA), whichever is applicable. Failure to do so may result in your removal as a candidate on the ballot, even after the Board has otherwise certified your candidacy. (See R.C. 3517.109(D)).
What are the Candidate Financial Disclosure Requirements?
All candidates must file with the Ohio Ethics Commission no later than thirty days before the primary election if they are running in a party's primary. Candidates running as an independent must file no later than thirty days before the general election, unless they already hold an office requiring annual disclosures and must disclose by May 15th for that office instead.
Contact Candidate and Ballot Services at 513-887-3700, ext. 3 with any questions or for more information.