Filing deadline approaching for upcoming primary election

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2016

While the contest between the candidates vying for the Republican and Democratic nominations for November’s pivotal presidential election rages on, the stage is currently being set for a number of locally contested races that will also take place on Election Day.

The deadline for partisan candidates seeking a place on the ballot for the Michigan Primary Election, which takes place Aug. 2, is rapidly approaching. Interested residents have until 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, to complete their paper and filing petitions and turn them in to the appropriate local or state office in order to secure their spot on the primary ballot.

The upcoming deadline is for candidates seeking the Republican or Democratic nomination for the county, township and state positions that will be contested during the general election in November. These candidates will run against fellow party members during the state primary election, with the winners moving on to represent their party during the fall election.

Among the local positions contested this year are:



• State Representative, 59th District and 78th District



• Cass County Commissioner (All seven districts)

• Sheriff

• Prosecutor

• Clerk/Register

• Treasurer

• Drain Commissioner

• Surveyor


Officer positions in all 15 Cass County townships will also be decided, including township trustees, supervisors, treasurers and clerk.

In order to be placed on the primary ballot, potential candidates must first fill out an affidavit of identity, in which they must list their legal name (the one listed on their birth certificate), their birth date, which party they are running for, how they want their name spelled on the ballot, their current address and voting precinct, and the number of years they have been a resident of the county and state. This document must be notarized — employees of the Cass County Clerk/Register office can perform this task, free of charge, though the applicant must present some form of identification first.

People filing for positions must be U.S. citizens and qualified to vote in the district they are running in. Candidates running for the position of Cass County Prosecutor must also be a registered attorney in the state of Michigan.

Potential candidates must also turn in a petition form, which must include a minimum amount of signatures from voters living in their district, depending on which position they are running for. For example, candidates running for Cass County Commissioner or a township position will need a minimum of three signatures; however, people seeking a countywide position like Sheriff must have at least 100.

These signatures must be collected in person, by either the candidate or someone circulating the form on a candidate’s behalf. Candidates are not allowed to leave a form unsupervised somewhere for people to sign, then pick it up later.

Once the affidavit and petition are completed, candidates must file these forms in the appropriate location — for those seeking a state position, like state representative, they must file them with the Michigan Secretary of State office; those seeking county level positions must file them with Cass County Clerk/Register office; and those seeking village/township seats must file them with their local clerk.

These forms must either be delivered in person, or can be mailed in if they have already been notarized.

People can pick up the appropriate candidate forms at the Cass County Clerk office in Cassopolis, even for positions the office does not accept filings for. People who have questions are encouraged to contact either the county clerk or other local clerk offices.