Candidate Qualifications & Regulations
A candidate for local office must be a qualified elector at the time of election. Qualifications are as follows:
- Candidates must be 18 years of age or over.
- Shall reside in Safford for one year preceding the election.
- A person convicted of a felony cannot serve as a council member until their civil rights have been restored.
Nomination Through Primary Election
In Arizona, persons are nominated to run for office in the primary election by a petition procedure for nomination. The petition process allows any qualified voter the opportunity of seeking public office. The nomination paper is a form notification to the city clerk that the individual intends to seek municipal office. Filing of the nomination paper and securing the requisite number of signatures on nomination petitions enables a voter to run as a candidate in the primary election.
Determining a Majority
Any candidate who shall receive at the primary election a majority of all the votes cast shall be declared to be elected to the office for which he or she is a candidate effective as of the date of the general election. Candidates to be placed on the ballot at the general election shall be those not elected in the primary election and shall be equal in number twice the number to be elected. For example, if two council member seats are not filled at the primary election, no more than four candidates’ names may appear on the general election ballot. In this instance, the four candidates receiving the highest number of votes at the primary election, excluding those who receive a majority and are declared elected, would have their names placed on the general election ballot.
Nothing on the ballot in any election shall be indicative of the support or political party affiliation of any candidate.
Oath and Duties of Office
The newly elected members of the council shall assume the duties of office at the regularly scheduled council meeting next following the date of the general election at which the council members were elected and after the canvass of vote.
Candidate packets will be available in the city clerk department beginning May 2, 2016. All candidates must file with the city clerk either a political committee statement of organization or a $500 threshold exemption statement before circulating petitions, receiving or expending money, or distributing campaign literature (A.R.S. §16-903).
The candidate packet contains the required forms for filing nomination petitions, a political committee statement of organization form, a $500 threshold exemption statement form, a copy of campaign finance laws and related forms.
To become an official candidate for the office of mayor and council member in the 2016 election, the following forms must be filed with the city clerk no later than 6:00 pm, Wednesday, June 1, 2016 (A.R.S. §16-311).
- Nominations Petitions containing at least 77, but not more than 152 valid signatures (A.R.S. §16-322)
- Nomination Paper/Affidavit of Qualification/Campaign Finance Laws Statement
- Financial Disclosure Statement