The March primary included several partisan offices where voters nominated a candidate from qualified political parties to appear on the general election run-off ballot. Thus, the party nominating process contains no provision for members of non-qualified parties or non-partisan candidates to participate in the primary nomination process.

The Independent Nomination provisions of Part 2 of Division 8 of the Elections Code, beginning at Section 8300, provide a method for the nomination of non-partisan candidates to partisan public offices. There is no limitation to the number of independent candidates who can be nominated and placed on the ballot at the general election, provided each meets the legal requirements.

General Information

To be eligible as an independent candidate at the general election, the candidate:

  1. Cannot have filed as a partisan candidate at the primary election and have been defeated for the party’s nomination at that primary election; and
  2. Cannot have been registered to vote in California since October 7, 1999, as being affiliated with a qualified political party.

The number of signatures of qualified registered voters that must appear on the Nomination Papers of persons seeking an independent candidacy is based on the previous general election’s registration figures. Depending on the office sought, Nomination Papers require either one or three percent of the number of registered voters in the election jurisdiction as of October 7, 1999. On the following page the signature requirements for U.S. Senate and Congressional offices voted upon in Santa Cruz County are provided. The Nomination Papers must be filed between June 8 and August 7.

Independent candidates who wanted to run for offices that require them to file a Declaration of Intention – State Senate and State Assembly, were required to file during the pre-primary filing schedule. However, independent candidates for U.S. Senate and/or Congressional offices have different filing dates due to the fact that they do not file the Declaration of Intention.


Filing periods for independent candidates running for U.S. Senate and Congress are:

  • April 28 to July 27, 2000 – Signatures-in-lieu (see below)
  • August 7, 2000 – Elections official to notify the candidate of the number of signatures-in-lieu submitted that were invalid.
  • June 12 to August 11, 2000 – Declaration of Candidacy and Nomination Papers. Candidates who filed signatures-in-lieu and are eligible to file supplemental signatures to cover the deficiency must do so before the close of the nomination period. Candidates may either submit signatures or pay a prorated fee to cover the deficiency.

Signature & Filing Fee Requirements

Number of Nomination Signatures Required to Place Independent Candidate on the November 7, 2000 General Election Ballot


Oct. 1999 Voter Registration

Required Signatures (% of previous general election registration total)

U.S. Senate


149,692 (1%)

15th Congressional


9,543 (3%)

17th Congressional


8,190 (3%)


Filing Fee or Number of Signatures-In-Lieu of Paying the Filing Fee Required to Place Independent Candidate on the November 7, 2000 General Election Ballot



Filing Fee a



U.S. Senator


$2,734 (2%)


U.S. Congress


$1,367 (1%)


a Based on either 2 or 1 percent of salary as indicated.

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