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Qualify for an Election

Presidential Candidates

If you are interested in running for President of the United States in 2016, you may browse excerpts from Title 18 (The Election Code). You may also view qualifying information for presidential candidates that are affiliated with a recognized political party in Louisiana, or information for candidates that are independent of a political party

Congress, State and Local Candidates

In order to become a candidate in an election, you must qualify for the office you are seeking. Louisiana does not allow write-in candidates. The qualifying period is a three day window which is set by law. Local candidates qualify at the parish Clerk of Court's Office. State candidates qualify at the Secretary of State's Office. Candidates may qualify for office by paying a fee or by filing a nominating petition. Nominating petition forms are available at the parish clerk of court's office or the secretary of state's office. View the number of signatures required on nominating petitions for all offices.

Act 778 of the 2012 Regular Session states that a candidate serving in the armed forces of the United States who is stationed or deployed outside of the United States shall not be required to pay any qualifying fee or any additional fee. He or she shall file with the qualifying official a military qualifying certification form prepared by the secretary of state certifying that at the time of qualifying he or she is serving in the armed forces of the United States and that he or she is eligible to become a candidate pursuant to United States Department of Defense Directive 1344.10.

Having an Agent Qualify a Candidate for Office

You may use an agent to file your qualifying form.

The agent shall file with the qualifying official an agent affidavit form attesting that the agent has your authorization and consent to file the notice.

An agent who files a notice of candidacy without the authorization or consent of the candidate shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both.


The qualifications to run for office vary by office. View the qualifications of specific offices. If qualifying for an office in Orleans Parish, view the qualifications of candidates for Orleans Parish only.

Forms and Fees

Download the notice of candidacy form.

On this form, you certify to the following:

  • Registered Voter: you are a qualified elector (registered voter) in the jurisdiction where you qualify to run for office;
  • Felony Conviction: you are not currently under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony and are not prohibited from qualifying as a candidate for conviction of a felony pursuant to Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution of Louisiana (Expungement of a felony is not an exception to the law. Only a governor's pardon or a pardon by the officer of the state, nation or government, or country having such authority to pardon in the place of conviction and sentence exempt a person from being disqualified to run for office. Additionally, an exception applies when 15 years after the date of completion of the sentence of the felony has lapsed);
  • Taxes: if you are a candidate for any office other than U.S. senator or representative you must have filed federal and state income tax returns for each of the previous five tax years, have filed for an extension of time for filing either your federal or state income tax return or both, or was not required to file either a federal or state income tax return or both;
  • Campaign Finance: you acknowledge that you are subject to the provisions of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act if you are a candidate for any office other than U.S. senator, representative or member of a committee of a political party and that you do not owe any outstanding fines, fees or penalties pursuant to the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act, if any were previously due;
  • Campaign Finance, Major or District Office: if you are a candidate for a major or district office as defined in La. R.S. 18:1483, you have filed each report that you are required to file by the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act, if any were previously due;
  • Ethics: you do not owe any outstanding fines, fees or penalties pursuant to the Code of Governmental Ethics; and
  • Election Offenses: you are knowledgeable of the laws governing election offenses as provided in chapter 10 of Title 18 and the prohibitions relative to erecting, displaying or posting political campaign signs on any highway right-of-way, publicly owned property or right-of-way or to or on any public utility pole or stanchion as provided in La. R.S. 48:347(D), 30:2544(A) and 18:1470.

Your candidacy may be challenged if you are not qualified to run for the office and you may be criminally charged for executing an affidavit knowing it to contain false or incorrect information.