Filing as a Pauper

Filing as a Pauper

Under Georgia law, a candidate may file a pauper’s affidavit in lieu of paying the required fee when qualifying to run for public office. A pauper’s affidavit is a sworn statement attesting to the candidate’s poverty and his or her resulting inability to pay the qualifying fee. A pauper’s affidavit must be accompanied by a financial statement listing the total income, assests, liabilities, and other relevant financial information of the candidate indicating that the candidate has neither the assests nor the income to pay the qualifying fee.  The affidavit, financial statement, and qualifying petition template can be found here.

Before a candidate can file a pauper’s affidavit, they must file a qualifying petition that adheres to certain guidelines set forth in O.C.G.A. §21-2-132(h).

Qualifying Petitions for Paupers

For candidates qualifying for local offices, qualifying petitions must 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 sought and the signers of the petition must be registered voters eligible to vote in the election at which the candidate seeks to be elected. Please contact the Board of Elections and Registration for help determining the number of signatures required for your qualifying petition.

In the case of a candidate who is qualifying for an office for which there has never been an election or seeking an office in a newly constituted constituency, the percentage figure will be determined based on the number of registered voters in the constituency who would have been qualified to vote for that office had the election been held at the last general election. The signers of that petition must also be registered voters eligible to vote in the election at which the candidate seeks to be elected.

The circualtor’s affidavit on all pages of a petition must be notarized. It is imperative that candidates circulating petitions remember that no notary public may sign a petition as an elector or serve as circulator of any petition which he or she has notarized. Any and all sheets of a petition that have the circulator’s affidavit notarized by a notary public who also served as a circulator of one or more sheets or who signed one of the sheets as an elector shall be disqualified and rejected.