2019 Georgia Code
Title 21 - Elections
Chapter 2 - Elections and Primaries Generally
Article 4 - Selection and Qualification of Candidates and Presidential Electors
Part 2 - Political Party and Nonpartisan Primaries
§ 21-2-153. Qualification of candidates for party nomination in a state or county primary; posting of list of all qualified candidates; filing of affidavit with political party by each qualifying candidate; performance of military service does not create vacancy
(a) A candidate for any party nomination in a state or county primary may qualify by either of the two following methods:
(1) Payment of a qualifying fee pursuant to Code Section 21-2-131; or
(A) The submission of a pauper's affidavit by any candidate who has filed a qualifying petition as provided for in subsection (a.1) of this Code section, by which the candidate under oath affirms his or her poverty and his or her resulting inability to pay the qualifying fee otherwise required. The form of the affidavit shall be prescribed by the Secretary of State and shall include a financial statement which lists the total income, assets, liabilities, and other relevant financial information of the candidate and shall indicate on its face that the candidate has neither the assets nor the income to pay the qualifying fee otherwise required. The affidavit shall contain an oath that such candidate has neither the assets nor the income to pay the qualifying fee otherwise required. The following warning shall be printed on the affidavit form prepared by the Secretary of State, to wit: "WARNING: Any person knowingly making any false statement on this affidavit commits the offense of false swearing and shall be guilty of a felony." The name of any candidate who subscribes and swears to an oath that such candidate has neither the assets nor the income to pay the qualifying fee otherwise required shall be placed on the ballot by the Secretary of State or election superintendent, as the case may be.
(B) If a candidate seeks to qualify for a county or militia district office, the pauper's affidavit and financial statement shall be presented to the county political party; otherwise, the candidate shall file his or her pauper's affidavit and financial statement with the state political party.
(a.1) No candidate shall be authorized to file a pauper's affidavit in lieu of paying the qualifying fee otherwise required by this Code section and Code Section 21-2-131 unless such candidate has filed a qualifying petition which complies with the following requirements:
(1) A qualifying petition of a candidate seeking an office which is voted upon state wide shall be signed by a number of voters equal to one-fourth of 1 percent of the total number of registered voters eligible to vote in the last election for the filling of the office the candidate is seeking and the signers of such petition shall be registered and eligible to vote in the election at which such candidate seeks to be elected. A qualifying petition of a candidate for any other office shall be signed by a number of voters equal to 1 percent of the total number of registered voters eligible to vote in the last election for the filling of the office the candidate is seeking and the signers of such petition shall be registered and eligible to vote in the election at which such candidate seeks to be elected. However, in the case of a candidate seeking an office for which there has never been an election or seeking an office in a newly constituted constituency, the percentage figure shall be computed on the total number of registered voters in the constituency who would have been qualified to vote for such office had the election been held at the last general election and the signers of such petition shall be registered and eligible to vote in the election at which such candidate seeks to be elected;
(2) Each person signing a qualifying petition shall declare therein that he or she is a duly qualified and registered elector of the state entitled to vote in the next election for the filling of the office sought by the candidate supported by the petition and shall add to his or her signature his or her residence address, giving municipality, if any, and county, with street and number, if any. No person shall sign the same petition more than once. Each petition shall support the candidacy of only a single candidate. A signature shall be stricken from the petition when the signer so requests prior to the presentation of the petition to the appropriate officer for filing, but such a request shall be disregarded if made after such presentation. Each sheet shall bear on the bottom or back thereof the affidavit of the circulator of such sheet, setting forth:
(A) His or her residence address, giving municipality with street and number, if any;
(B) That each signer manually signed his or her own name with full knowledge of the contents of the qualifying petition;
(C) That each signature on such sheet was signed within 180 days of the last day on which such petition may be filed; and
(D) That, to the best of the affiant's knowledge and belief, the signers are registered electors of this state qualified to sign the petition, that their respective residences are correctly stated in the petition, and that they all reside in the county named in the affidavit;
(3) A qualifying petition shall be in the form and manner determined by the Secretary of State and approved by the State Elections Board;
(4) No qualifying petition shall be circulated prior to 180 days before the last day on which such petition may be filed, and no signature shall be counted unless it was signed within 180 days of the last day for filing the same; and
(5) A qualifying petition shall not be amended or supplemented after its presentation to the appropriate officer for filing.
(b) Unless otherwise provided by law, all candidates for party nomination in a state or county primary shall qualify as such candidates in accordance with the procedural rules of their party; provided, however, that no person shall be prohibited from qualifying for such office if he or she:
(1) Meets the requirements of such procedural rules;
(2) Is eligible to hold the office which he or she seeks;
(3) Is not prohibited from being nominated or elected by provisions of Code Section 21-2-7 or 21-2-8; and
(4) If party rules so require, affirms his or her allegiance to his or her party by signing the following oath:
- "I do hereby swear or affirm my allegiance to the (name of party) Party."
(c) (1) (A) In the case of a general state or county primary, the candidates or their agents shall commence qualifying at 9:00 A.M. on the Monday of the eleventh week immediately prior to the state or county primary and shall cease qualifying at 12:00 Noon on the Friday immediately following such Monday, notwithstanding the fact that any such days may be legal holidays. All qualifying for federal and state offices shall be conducted in the state capitol.
(C) In the case of a special primary for a federal office, the candidate shall qualify no earlier than the date of the call for the special primary and no later than 60 days immediately prior to the date of such special primary, and such qualifying period shall be open for a minimum of two and one-half days. In the case of a special primary for any other office, the candidate shall qualify no earlier than the date of the call for the special primary and no later than 25 days immediately prior to the date of such special primary, and such qualifying period shall be open for a minimum of two and one-half days.
(D) In any case where an incumbent has qualified as a candidate to succeed himself or herself in office but withdraws as a candidate for such office prior to the close of the applicable qualifying period prescribed in this paragraph, qualifying for candidates other than such incumbent shall be reopened at 9:00 A.M. on the Monday next following the close of the preceding qualifying period and shall cease at 5:00 P.M. on the Tuesday immediately following such reopening, notwithstanding the fact that any such days may be legal holidays.
(2) If a political party has not designated at least 14 days immediately prior to the beginning of qualifying a party official in a county with whom the candidates of such party for county elective offices shall qualify, the election superintendent of the county shall qualify candidates on behalf of such party. The election superintendent shall give notice in the legal organ of the county at least three days before the beginning of qualifying giving the dates, times, and location for qualifying candidates on behalf of such political party.
(1) Within two hours after the qualifications have ceased, the county executive committee of each political party shall post at the office of the county election superintendent a list of all candidates who have qualified with such executive committee, and the state executive committee of each political party shall provide a list of all candidates who have qualified with such committee to the office of the Secretary of State. If the election superintendent qualifies the candidates for a political party in accordance with subsection (c) of this Code section, the election superintendent shall post at his or her office a list of all the candidates who have qualified with such superintendent for such political party.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 21-2-154, it shall be unlawful for any person to add or remove any candidates from either of the lists provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection following the posting of such lists unless such candidates have died, withdrawn, or been disqualified. Any person who violates this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(e) Each candidate for party nomination described in subsection (a) of this Code section shall file an affidavit with the political party at the time of his or her qualifying stating:
(1) His or her full name and the name as the candidate desires it to be listed on the ballot. The surname of the candidate shall be the surname of the candidate as it appears on the candidate's voter registration card. After such name is certified by the political party to the Secretary of State or the election superintendent, the form of such name shall not be changed during the primary and election for which such affidavit is submitted;
(2) His or her residence, with street and number, if any, and his or her post office address;
(3) His or her profession, business, or occupation, if any;
(4) The name of his or her precinct;
(5) That he or she is an elector of the county of his or her residence eligible to vote in the primary election in which he or she is a candidate for nomination;
(6) The name of the office he or she is seeking;
(7) That he or she is eligible to hold such office;
(8) That the candidate has never been convicted and sentenced in any court of competent jurisdiction for fraudulent violation of primary or election laws, malfeasance in office, or felony involving moral turpitude under the laws of this state or any other state or of the United States, or that the candidate's civil rights have been restored and that at least ten years have elapsed from the date of the completion of the sentence without a subsequent conviction of another felony involving moral turpitude;
(9) That he or she will not knowingly violate this chapter or rules or regulations adopted under this chapter; and
(10) Any other information as may be determined by the Secretary of State to be necessary to comply with federal and state law.
(f) Candidates for the office of presidential elector or their agents who have been nominated in accordance with the rules of a political party shall qualify beginning at 9:00 A.M. on the Monday of the thirty-fifth week prior to the November general election in the year in which a presidential election shall be held and shall cease qualifying at 12:00 Noon on the Friday immediately following such Monday, notwithstanding the fact that any such days may be legal holidays. All qualifying for the office of presidential elector shall be conducted in the state capitol.
(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any elected public officer who is performing ordered military duty, as defined in Code Section 38-2-279, shall be eligible for reelection in any primary or general election which may be held to elect a successor for the next term of office, and may qualify in absentia as a candidate for reelection to such office. The performance of ordered military duty shall not create a vacancy in such office during the term for which such public officer was elected.
(2) Where the giving of written notice of candidacy is required, any elected public officer who is performing ordered military duty may deliver such notice by mail, agent, or messenger to the proper elections official. Any other act required by law of a candidate may, during the time such officer is on ordered military duty, be performed by an agent designated in writing by the absent public officer.
Code 1933, § 34-1006, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1966, p. 501, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 329, § 11; Code 1933, § 34-1005, enacted by Ga. L. 1970, p. 347, § 13; Ga. L. 1974, p. 4, § 1; Ga. L. 1975, p. 575, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 205, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1053, § 4; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1004, § 18; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 21; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1512, § 5; Ga. L. 1983, p. 930, § 4; Ga. L. 1984, p. 1038, § 2; Ga. L. 1985, p. 206, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 496, § 5; Ga. L. 1986, p. 32, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 647, § 2; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1360, § 8; Ga. L. 1989, p. 643, § 5; Ga. L. 1989, p. 903, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 243, § 2; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2510, § 2; Ga. L. 1993, p. 118, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 617, § 5; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1406, §§ 4, 5; Ga. L. 1996, p. 145, § 2; Ga. L. 1997, p. 590, § 12; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 240, § 9; Ga. L. 2001, Ex. Sess., p. 325, § 7; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, §§ 12-14; Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 20/HB 244; Ga. L. 2009, p. 311, § 3/HB 156; Ga. L. 2011, p. 535, § 2/HB 302; Ga. L. 2011, p. 683, § 4/SB 82; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 10/SB 92; Ga. L. 2014, p. 1, § 3/HB 310.