Holiday Notice: The Office of the Texas Secretary of State will be closed Monday, September 1 in observance of Labor Day. The office will resume normal operating hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 2. Electronic filing and searching of business documents via SOSDirect is available 24/7.
Elections and Voter Information

Voter Information

Independent Candidates

(Amended to reflect Federal District Court Order of 3/1/12)

You may have your name placed on the general election ballot as an independent candidate if you are not affiliated with a political party.  Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 1.005(9).  If you vote in a party’s primary elections or participate in a party’s conventions, you thereby affiliate with the party.  Tex. Elec. Code Ann. §§ 142.008, 162.003, 162.007.  To become an independent candidate, you must file a Declaration of Intent to Run as an Independent Candidate (PDF) no later than March 9, 2012 with the county judge (county offices) or the Secretary of State (district and state offices).  Tex. Elec. Code Ann. §§ 142.002 & 142.005.  After the primary elections, you must collect signatures (PDF) from registered voters, who support your application for a place on the general election ballot (PDF).  The signers must be registered voters who have not participated in the general primary election or the runoff primary election of a party that has nominated, at either election, a candidate for the office you seek.  Your application and petitions must be filed by the deadline given below with the county judge (county offices) or the Secretary of State (district and state offices).  Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 142.005.  Contact the Secretary of State’s office concerning the number of signatures required.

The deadline for filing your Application and petitions is June 29, 2012 (Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 142.006, filing deadline impacted by NEW LAW, SB 100, 2011 Legislative Session).

Filing as an independent candidate for the office of president of the United States requires no declaration, and the application and petition must be filed by June 29, 2012; see SOS website for additional information for filing for this office.

See Section 162.015 for more details about how primary voting or candidacy affects (or does not affect) candidacy.

Independent (Nonpartisan) Candidate
Public Office Sought in 2012
File Declaration of Intent and Application with Nominating Petition  
SEC OF STATE COUNTY JUDGE % Signatures a Maximum Number of Signatures
United States Senator
x
 
1%
 
United States Representative
x
-
5%
500
Railroad Commissioner
x
-
1%
-
Justice, Supreme Court
x
-
1%
-
Presiding Judge and Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
x
-
1%
-
State Senator
x
-
5%
500
State Representative
x
-
5%
500
Member, State Board of Education
x
-
5%
500
Chief Justice and Justice, Court of Appeals
x
-
5%
500
District Judge
x
-
5%
500
Criminal District Judge
x
-
5%
500
District Attorney
x
-
5%
500
Judge, County Court-at-Law
-
x
5%
500
Judge, County Criminal Court
-
x
5%
500
Judge, County Probate Court
-
x
5%
500
County Attorney
-
x
5%
500
Sheriff
-
x
5%
500
Tax Assessor-Collector
-
x
5%
500
County Commissioner
-
x
5%
500
Constable
-
x
5%
500
Justice of the Peace
-
x
5%
500
Source: Texas Election Code Section
§142.002 & §142.005
§142.007
  1. Percentage of all votes for all gubernatorial candidates cast in the applicable territory in the 2010 general election. If number is less than 25, a larger percentage may be required. Consult Secretary of State for further information.  Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 142.007.