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We never want our petitions to be challenged, so please follow these best practices.

  1. Remember that you are the "Witness." That means that you must watch the signer sign. It also means that you may take care of all the parts of the petition other than the signature.

  2. All signers must be registered Democrats in the election district, ward, village, town, or legislative district that matches the office on the petition. The exception to the registered Democrat rule is when you carry a petition for an independent ballot line. Signers should use blue or black ink to sign.

  3. The Town/City line is important. Some people have a mailing address in Erieville but live in the Town of Cazenovia or Nelson. Make sure you know which TOWN corresponds to the addresses on your list, and fill in the town accordingly. If you are only walking and collecting in one town, fill in those blanks ahead of time to avoid trouble. NO DITTO MARKS!

  4. DO NOT let people sign for their spouse, partner, child, etc. DO NOT let someone else carry your petition or post it in a place of business.

  5. If multiple people are running for a single seat (as for Congress), signers may sign just ONE petition for that seat.

  6. If multiple people are running for multiple seats (as for town council), signers may sign as many petitions as there are seats.

  7. You may NOT sign your own petition, except in the witness section. Sign there as you signed your voter registration. If you are registered as Margaret Ellen Boswick, sign that way, not as Meg Boswick, even if that is what you are usually called. Sign the witness section AFTER you collect all of your signatures; the date must be the same or later than your last signature.

  8. You MAY sign someone else's petition for an office for which you are carrying. But if you carry multiple petitions for a single seat or intend to carry petitions on an independent line for the same seat, you may not sign any of them.

  9. Make sure your count of signatures is accurate. If you make an error, you may correct it and initial the correction.

  10. If you are carrying a petition for an independent ballot line, you may NOT have voted in a village caucus for that position, and you may NOT have signed a petition for that line. You must find new signers; they cannot have signed for that candidate or that position on the Democratic line. They must be registered voters from the relevant election district, but they need not be Democrats. If the ballot line is for a legitimate party (e.g., the Working Families Party), the signers AND petitioners must be registered in that party. However, if the ballot line is invented for the election (e.g., Better Erieville), any registered voter may sign, as long as they have not signed another petition for the same candidate or seat. 

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