Nomination Papers


Nomination papers are the forms on which you will obtain valid signatures, that is, signatures of registered voters who are eligible to vote for the office that you are seeking. In order to be on the ballot, you will need to obtain a specified number of valid signatures on your nomination papers. All candidates for federal, state and local public office need nomination papers.

The only candidates who do NOT need nomination papers are ENDORSED candidates for party offices (i.e. district, city, town or ward committees). However, UNENDORSED candidates for district, city, town or ward committees MUST gather signatures on nomination papers.


  • Who needs nomination papers?
    Candidates for: Endorsed: Not Endorsed:
    Federal Public Office:
    Senator in Congress, Representative in Congress

    Statewide Public Office:
    Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, General Treasurer, Attorney General
    Candidates need nomination papers Candidates need nomination papers
    State Public Office:
    Senator in General Assembly
    Representative in General Assembly
    Candidates need nomination papers Candidates need nomination papers
    Local Public Office:
    Mayor/Town Administrator
    Council
    School Committee
    Candidates need nomination papers Candidates need nomination papers
    State Party Committee Office:
    Senatorial District Committee
    Representative District Committee
    Democratic State Committee
    Candidates do not need nomination papers Candidates need nomination papers
    Local Party Committee Office:
    City/Town/Ward Committee
    Candidates do not need nomination papers Candidates need nomination papers
  • How many signatures are required on nomination papers in order to qualify?
    If you are running for: Number of valid signatures required:
    Senator in Congress 1000
    Representative in Congress 500
    Governor 1000
    Lt. Governor 500
    Secretary of State 500
    General Treasurer 500
    Attorney General 500
    Senator in General Assembly 100
    Representative in General Assembly 50
    Senate and Representative
    District Committees (Unendorsed only)
    50
    Democratic State Committee (Unendorsed only) 50
    Local Offices Check with your local Board of Canvassers
  • When and where do I pick up my nomination papers?

    You may pick up your nomination papers on July 3rd.

    Senator and Representative in Congress, Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, General Treasurer, and Attorney General:
    You must obtain your nomination papers from the Department of State’s Elections Division, 148 W. River Street, Providence, RI.

    All other offices (senator in General Assembly, representative in General Assembly, party offices and local offices)
    You must obtain your nomination papers from the local Board of Canvassers where you filed your Declaration of Candidacy, except for Providence.

    For Providence Candidates Only:
    If you are a candidate for senator in General Assembly, representative in General Assembly, senatorial or representative district committee, or Democratic State Committee in the City of Providence, you must obtain your nomination papers from the Department of State's Elections Division, 148 W. River Street, Providence, RI.

    All persons other than candidates picking up nomination papers from the Department of State’s Elections Division must have written authorization from the candidate.

  • Who can sign my nomination papers and do they have to be a member of the same party?

    ANY registered voter who is eligible to vote for the office for which you seek election.

    Example: A voter who is registered in the First Congressional District can sign your nomination papers if you are running for the office of Representative in Congress in District 1, but that voter cannot sign your nomination papers if you are running for the office of Representative in Congress in District 2.

    The voter DOES NOT need to be a member of the political party listed on the nomination paper.

    Example: A registered Democrat can sign the nomination papers of a Democratic candidate, Moderate candidate, Republican candidate, or an independent/unaffiliated candidate.

  • Does it make a difference which of my papers a voter signs?

    Yes. At the top of each nomination paper there is a space for you to indicate the city/town in which the signers are registered voters.

    Signers on a nomination paper must be from the city or town listed at the top of the nomination paper.

    Example: A registered voter in Providence must sign a nomination paper that lists “Providence” at the top of the paper. This is the paper that you will return to the Providence Board of Canvassers. The Providence Board of Canvassers will certify signatures on this paper. If a Cranston voter signs a Providence nomination paper, that signature will not be certified since the nomination paper will be reviewed only by the Providence Board of Canvassers.

  • If a voter signs a nomination paper of a party candidate, does that automatically make the voter a member of that party?

    No. The act of signing nomination papers does not make the voter a member of that political party.

  • How many papers can a person sign?

    There is no restriction on the number of nomination papers a person can sign for federal and state candidates. However, your signature can only be counted once for each candidate.

  • When and where do I return my nomination papers?
    Nomination papers for: Must be returned by: Must be returned to:
    All candidates July 16th at 4 p.m. Local Board of Canvassers in the city or town listed at the top of the nomination paper
  • How do I know if I qualified for ballot placement?

    Candidates for federal, state and local office can check our website for daily updates. As certified nomination papers are received from the local boards of canvassers, we will enter the number of valid signatures for each candidate into our database. This information will be updated at the end of each day during the nomination paper certification process (July 3rd through July 20th) with the final posting available on July 21st.