Candidate Filing FAQs

Candidate filing week is May 15-19, 2023

What are the required qualifications to be a candidate?

  • You must be a registered voter and possess the qualifications specified by law. Most offices require the candidate to be registered within the district. Exceptions are Superior Court and federal office.
  • If a candidate must be selected by voters from a specific area within a district in the primary, the candidate must be properly registered to vote within that area (RCW 29A.24.075).
  • Contact the district of the office to learn if there are additional qualifications.

Where can I file for office?  Who is my Filing Officer?

  • The Secretary of State accepts candidate filings for federal and statewide executive offices, and for any legislative, court of appeals, and superior court office serving more than one county.
  • The county elections office accepts filings for all other offices.

How and where can I file for office?

1. Online – fast and easy

File online at

Online is available only between 9 am May 15 and ends 4 pm sharp on May 19. Must be submitted by 4 pm.

Pay your filing fee online with Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

2. In person

Island County Elections Office
 400 N. Main Street
 Coupeville, WA  98239

Camano Island Administration
 121 N. East Camano Drive
 Camano Island, WA  98282

Days/Hours:   Monday, May 15, 8:00 a.m. through Friday, May 19, 4:30 p.m.

3. By mail

The filing office cannot receive prior to 10 business days before the start of filing week and must be in office by close of business of the last day of filing.

Mail your declaration and any applicable filing fee to:

Island County Elections
 PO Box 1410
 Coupeville, WA  98239

When can I file for office?

  • Candidate may submit by mail: Starting May 1
  • In-person filing begins:  8 am May 15
  • Online filing begins:  9 am May 15
  • Online filing ends:  4 pm May 19.
  • All candidate filing ends: 4:30 pm May 19
  • Last day to withdraw from ballot: 4:30 pm May 22.
  • Deadline to submit Voters' Pamphlet profile: 4 pm May 26

How much does it cost to file for office?

  • Filing fees are 1% of the office annual salary at the time of filing.
  • All filing fees are nonrefundable

What are the accepted forms of payment?

  • Online filing requires a Visa, MasterCard of American Express to complete.
  • If you file in person or by mail, you may pay via:
    • Check
    • Cash (in person only)
    • Money Order
    • Valid Filing Fee Petition
  • Filing fee petitions:
    • Candidates without sufficient assets or income to pay the filing fee may submit a filing fee petition in lieu of filing fee. Each whole dollar of the filing fee requires one signature.
    • Candidates submitting petition signatures may not file electronically.
    • Filing fees may not be paid by combining petition signatures and currency.
    • Only signatures of registered voters in the same jurisdiction as the office are valid.
    • No person may sign two petitions for the same office in the same election.
    • We recommend candidates bring petitions into the appropriate filing officer as soon as possible as it will take time to check all the signatures. The filing is not valid until the petition is checked and approved.

How is the order of candidates determined?

  • A random lot draw conducted after candidate filing ends, at 4:30 pm on May 19, sets the order which applies to all candidates for each race.
  • The lot draw takes place in the Elections Office and is open to observers from the public, political parties, campaigns and the press. 

How can I withdraw my candidacy?

  • If you decide you want to remove your name from the ballot, your signed withdrawal form must be received by the office where you filed by the end of business on Monday, May 22.
  • Candidate withdrawal forms are available at
  • Filing fees are nonrefundable, even if you filed for the wrong office (RCW 29A.24.131). 

How do I submit my Voters' Pamphlet statement and photo?

  • When you file for office, if you provided an email address, you will receive an email with a link included to allow you to access the online submission tool.
  • You may email your statement and photo to the Election Office at
  • You may submit your statement and photo in person to the same office where you filed.

Deadline to submit your statement and photo for the Voters' Pamphlet is 4:30 pm May 26, 2023.

Do I have to file my campaign finance information?

  • State and local office candidates should refer to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) for registration and reporting requirements.

Can I post campaign signs?

What is public record?

  • All approved candidate declarations.
  • Voter pamphlet submissions.
  • Campaign contact information.
  • Public disclosure commission documents.

Will my race be in the Primary?

  • If the office is a nonpartisan office, a Primary is held when 3 or more candidates file.
  • If the office is a partisan office, a Primary is held, regardless of the number of candidates filed.
  • No primary is held if the office is for Cemetery District or Parks and Recreation District.

Can my "ballot name" be different than the name on my voter registration?

  • Yes, but the last name must be the same as the last name on the voter registration record.  A ballot name can include a nickname, however, the last name must match the last name on the voter registration record.
  • If you recently changed your name and it's not showing in the online filing module, please wait a day and allow time for the change to process.

I moved recently. Do I need to update my registration before I file for office?

  • Yes. You must update your voter registration before filing for office. At the time of filing, you must be a registered voter in the district and have the qualifications specified by law.
  • Go to to update your registration.
  • After the update is processed, you may complete your filing declaration.

I just filed for office. Why don't I see my name on the list online?

  • A candidate's information won't display until the filing is examined with human eyes and approved by the Candidate Support team. Please give administrators time to process and refresh later.
  • Candidate filings are processed during regular business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Filings completed after the close of business will be processed the following day.

I have already filed. How do I change the office or position on my declaration of candidacy?

  • The only way to change your office or position is to file again.
  • A candidate must withdraw before the close of filing week and submit a new declaration of candidacy.
  • Filing fees are non-refundable.

How do I submit a write-in declaration?