Candidates' Petition Deadline Nears

undefinedBy Brian C. Caffrey, Esq.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 is the deadline for filing nominating petitions in Pennsylvania elections. Seven days later, March 19 is the deadline for filing objections to nominating petitions.

When objections to nominating petitions are filed, things move quickly. Hearings on objections to nominating petitions will normally be scheduled to occur within three days after the deadline for filing objections. Thus, if you're planning to have a supporter file objections, or you are on the receiving end of objections, everyone concerned must act promptly to obtain all the pertinent nominating petitions and access to voter registration lists. A very careful examination of those petitions and registration lists will be necessary.

Anyone who is registered to vote in the district holding the primary election and is a member of the political party to which the nominating petition pertains has the right to file objections to nominating petitions. Objections must be specifically stated. Objections may be made if the petition contains material errors or defects apparent on its face or on the face of the accompanying affidavits; if it contains material alterations made after signing without the signer's consent; if it does not contain a sufficient number of genuine signatures; or if it was filed by someone not entitled to do so. Circulators' affidavits may also be subject to challenge.

The court must finally determine the objections within 15 days after the deadline for filing the petitions, which will ordinarily be within five days after the hearing. Since attorneys for the contending sides are encouraged to confer in advance of the hearing, the court can often make its decision on the day of the hearing.

If you are contemplating objecting to an opponent's nominating petitions or facing objections filed to your own petitions, call our offices 717 657 7770 for a free consultation, don’t delay.

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