Information for Candidates for Local Office
Nomination to Run for Local Office
Towns that elect their local official officers at a floor meeting nominate candidates during the meeting (a voter will nominate the candidate who can then accept or decline to run).
Towns that elect officers by Australian ballot require candidates to submit a nominating petition signed by 30 voters or one percent of the checklist—whichever is less. The petition must clearly indicate the office and term length on the petition prior to circulating it for signatures, and the candidates name must appear on the petition exactly as it appears on the voter checklist (17 V.S.A. §2681(b), 2681(a)(3)). The nominating petition, accompanied by a consent of candidate form, must be filed with the municipal clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the sixth Monday preceding the day of the election.
Nominating petitions may contain the name of only one candidate. Voters may not sign more than one petition for the same office, unless more than one nomination is to be made, in which case the voter may sign as many petitions as there are nominations to be made for the same office.
Consent of Candidate
Candidates who are running in towns that vote officers by Australian ballot must file a written consent to the printing of the candidate’s name on the ballot at the same time that their petition is filed (no later than 5 p.m. on the sixth Monday prior to the election.) The candidate's name will appear on the ballot exactly as it listed on the consent of candidate form.
Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements
Candidates that have accepted contributions or made expenditures of $500 or more must register with the Office of the Secretary of State and file campaign finance disclosure reports thirty days before, ten days before, and two weeks after the local election (17 V.S.A. §2822). Political committees that have accepted contributions and made expenditures of $1,000 or more for the purpose of influencing a local election, or supporting or opposing one or more candidates in a local election, must also register with the Office of the Secretary of State and file campaign finance reports thirty days before, ten days before, and two weeks after the local election.
Newly-elected town officers take office as soon as they are elected. Some officials must take an oath before they perform any official duties. This oath can be administered by the clerk at town meeting, or at any time thereafter (17 V.S.A. § 2646). An official who is required to take an oath of office (by either swearing or affirming) and who refuses to do so may not take office, thereby creating a vacancy.
Union School Officers
Union school officers (clerk, treasurer, auditors, etc.), except for moderators, take office on July 1st. According to law, “union district officers elected at an annual meeting shall enter upon their duties on July 1 following their election and shall serve a term of one year or until their successors are elected and qualified, except that if the voters at an annual meeting so vote, moderators elected at an annual meeting shall assume office upon election and shall serve for a term of one year or until their successors are elected and qualified.” The law also provides that school directors elected at an annual meeting shall assume office upon election and shall serve a term of three years or until their successors are elected and qualified (16 V.S.A. § 706k).