Signature deadline looms for candidates

Supervisor of Election says most candidates have submitted enough petitions

As the deadline to turn in petitions to qualify as a candidate for the 2016 election approaches, Putnam County’s supervisor of election is encouraging candidates to ensure they submit enough petitions to avoid being disqualified. 

In one of two qualifying methods, people running for office this year must by noon Monday turn in petitions signed by registered Putnam voters. 

Supervisor Charles Overturf III said most of the people who filed their intents to run for office have met the qualifying requirement, but there are a few who have not.

“I think there are four out of the 30-something (candidates) that we have that haven’t turned in their petitions,” Overturf said Friday afternoon. 

Three of those four, he said, are close to meeting the required number, but the fourth person is not nearly as close to meeting the requirement. 

For candidates qualifying with petitions, the number of petitions is equal to the number of Putnam voters registered to vote in the previous general election. 

For candidates running for countywide positions, they must submit 452 petitions since there were about 45,000 registered voters in the county when the books closed in October 2014, Overturf said. Candidates for Palatka offices must submit 59 petitions. 

“What we do in November of this year will be used for the 2018 election,” Overturf said about the number of people registered for the election.

All hope is not lost for people running for office if they don’t submit enough petitions by noon Monday. 

A potential candidate in a non-partisan race could pay the Elections Office 4 percent of the annual salary for the candidate’s potential position. Candidates in partisan races must pay 6 percent of the annual salary. 

Overturf said candidates who pay the fee could do so from noon June 20 until noon June 24. 

As for the petition deadline, Overturf said, candidates who have yet to turn in petitions should submit more than the number they are missing because some petitions may be disqualified because the person who signed the petition may not be a registered voter – or just might not be registered in Putnam. 

“You can’t bring in anything after noon,” he said. “If you’re 50 (petitions) short, we suggest you bring in 75 because you’re going to lose some.”

For election information, visit soe.putnam-fl.com or call 329-0224.