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    Candidate Statement Requirements for Nonpartisan Offices

Candidate Statement Requirements for Local Nonpartisan Offices*

*If the elections official who is conducting the election permits electronic distribution of a candidate’s statement, the governing body of a local agency may permit each candidate to prepare a candidate’s statement for the purpose of electronic distribution pursuant to this subdivision.  Sonoma County does not offer this service at this time. (Elections Code 13307 (c)1)

Candidate Statement

  • Any candidate for local nonpartisan office may submit a Statement of Qualifications to be printed in the County Voter Information Guide.  Statements of Qualifications are optional and, unless otherwise determined by the governing body, are printed at the expense of the candidate.*  Candidates who are required to prepay the estimated costs will either be billed for the additional costs or refunded any overpayment following the election.  Estimated costs for Statements of Qualifications are based on the printer's price list, set-up fees and the number of registered voters within the jurisdiction.  Estimates are for statements not exceeding 200 words.  Final costs will be determined by the number of candidate statements, including English and Spanish, that are submitted for a particular office.  If the number of candidate statements submitted is not evenly divisible by four, and the statement cannot be printed with any others, the run charges and set up fees are increased.  These charges are prorated among the candidates for a particular contest.  Candidates are required to submit a check with “not to exceed” the highest possible cost for 1 (or 2 Statements of Qualifications if filing Spanish), written under the amount line, (Elections Code §13307(d)).  All checks will be held until after the final deadline to withdraw a candidate statement.
  • A candidate may opt to have his or her statement translated into, and printed in, Spanish, in addition to having his or her statement printed in English.  The cost of having a statement printed in both English and Spanish is approximately $100 more than twice the cost of a statement printed in English only.
  • The body of the statement (not including name, age and occupation) shall not exceed 200 words (unless increased to not exceed 400 words by the governing body).  Words shall be counted pursuant to Elections Code §9.
  • Statements must be submitted on, or attached to, the form provided.  Statements must be typewritten and single-spaced in a block paragraph style.  Words in all capitals, indentions, italics, underlines, stars, dots, etc., are prohibited.  Lists and enumerations will be wrapped as a single paragraph.  Multiple single sentence paragraphs that do not fit in the space will be wrapped.  Indented text, if submitted, will be run together as a sentence.  The elections official is not responsible for the correct typesetting of statements that must be reconfigured to comply with these guidelines.
  • Statements for candidates shall be limited to a recitation of the candidate's own personal background and qualifications, and shall not in any way make reference to other candidates for that office or to another candidate's qualifications, character, or activities.
  • Statements shall be written in the first person (e.g., "I am running..." not "She is running..." or "Jane Doe is running...") and shall be limited to a recitation of the candidate's personal background and qualifications.  Each statement shall be accompanied by a declaration executed under penalty of perjury, declaring that the information contained therein is true and correct.
  • Statements will be printed in random alphabet order unless repositioned due to space considerations.  Statements do not rotate.


Filing Information

  • Statements shall be filed with the county elections official when nomination papers are returned for filing, or in the case of an election for which nomination papers are not required (i.e., run-off election) no later than the 88th day prior to the election.
  • Statements shall remain confidential until the expiration of the filing deadline for nomination papers for the office. Statements may be withdrawn, but shall not be changed (except as specifically required by the elections official), until 5 p.m. the next regular business day following the close of nominations for such office.
  • Statements are subject to examination and challenge by any voter of the jurisdiction (Elections Code §13313) for a period of 10 calendar days following the close of filing for each such office.


Preparation of the Candidates' Statement

Shown below is a reduced facsimile of a Candidate's Statement of Qualifications form.  Note that the first paragraph in the upper portion contains information as to the limitations on the number of words and the cost of printing and handling your statement.  This portion of the form is to be completed by the officer issuing the form.  The second paragraph contains check boxes for you to indicate whether you wish to have your statement printed in English only, or in English and Spanish.  You should complete this portion and date and sign where indicated.  The statement shown below has been typed, in upper and lower case, block paragraph form, and the candidate is not requesting a Spanish translation of her statement.  She has corrected and initialed a typographical error (had the candidate not corrected this error it would have been typeset as submitted).

A visual Example of How to Prepare a Candidates Statement using the criteria spelled out above


Printed Candidates' Statement

The example below illustrates the candidate's statement as it will be printed in the County Voter Information Guide. All statements are printed in Block Paragraph Style with spacing between paragraphs (no indentations).



Occupation: Businesswoman

I am running for the governing board of the Washington Unified School District because I feel I can bring a balance to the board. I attended local schools, graduating from Washington High School in 1985. I am married and currently have two children attending school in the district.

I own and operate my own business, so I am well aware of the need to operate within a budget. With proper distribution of resources and educational materials, I am convinced we can offer quality education to all students within the district.

I have been active in the P.T.A., served on the Save Our Youth committee, and am an active member of the All-Faith Church. I have served as Boy Scout Den Mother and Girl Scout Leader for the past 3 years. I also serve as a volunteer at the community Recycling Center as time allows.

I am looking forward to serving you on the Washington Unified School District Governing Board.

Thank you for your vote.


Word Count Standards

  1. Punctuation is not counted.
  2. Each word shall be counted as one word except as specified.
  3. All proper nouns, including geographical names shall be counted as one word (e.g., "City and County of San Francisco" or "Rincon Valley Union School District" shall be counted as one word).
  4. Each abbreviation for a word, phrase, or expression shall be counted as one word (e.g., S.R.J.C.).
  5. Hyphenated words that appear in any generally available standard reference dictionary published in the United States shall be counted as one word. Each part of all other hyphenated words shall be counted as a separate word.
  6. Dates shall be counted as one word.
  7. Digital numbers shall be counted as one word (e.g., 100). Numbers which are written out are counted as one word each (e.g., "one" shall be counted as one word and "one hundred" shall be counted as two words).
  8. Telephone numbers shall be counted as one word.
  9. Internet web site addresses shall be counted as one word.

Statements must be typewritten in upper and lower case, with paragraphs clearly marked.  Statements must be submitted on the appropriate form; however, statements may be prepared on a word processor and attached to the form, providing no pertinent information is covered by the attachment.  Statements submitted in a format other than block paragraph will be reformatted as illustrated above.  If age and/or occupation are left blank, none will be printed.  Occupation is not restricted by ballot designation limitations; however, occupations exceeding one line will be shortened.  Statement Must be Written in the First Person (e.g., "I am running…" not "Jane Doe is running…" or "He is running…").

Please Proofread Your Statement. This office will not be responsible for the accurate printing of any re-formatted statement or handwritten statement, nor will it correct any misspellings or errors in, grammar or punctuation.  Special formatting using ALL CAPITALS, italics, underlines, boldface type, ***stars***,!!!, dots…, etc., are prohibited.


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