Become a president or vice president candidate in 2020

Click on a heading below for answers to common questions about running for president and vice president in Utah. Please read our disclaimer before continuing.


1. What are the qualifications for the office of president or vice president?

To be eligible for the office of president or vice president, you must meet the following qualifications established by the United States Constitution:

  • Be a natural born citizen of the United States.
  • Be 35 years old by the time you will take the oath of office.
  • Be a resident of the United States for 14 years by the time you will take the oath of office.

2. When will Utah’s Presidential Primary Election be held?

The Presidential Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. The Democratic and Republican Parties will participate in the election. Other political parties may conduct a separate process, such as a presidential caucus, to nominate their presidential candidates.


3. How do I run as a presidential candidate for a political party that is registered in Utah?

The process for running as a political party candidate depends whether the political party is participating in the 2020 Presidential Primary Election. Below is a list of each political party and whether it will participate in the election:

  • Constitution Party – Not participating in the election.
  • Democratic Party – Participating in the election.
  • Green Party – Not participating in the election.
  • Independent American Party – Not participating in the election.
  • Libertarian Party- Not participating in the election.
  • Republican Party – Participating in the election.
  • United Utah Party – Not participating in the election.

If your party is not participating in the presidential primary, contact your party for more information on how to run.

If your party is participating in the presidential primary, the deadline to declare candidacy has passed. No late declarations may be accepted.


4. How do I run as an unaffiliated (independent) presidential candidate?

Unaffiliated candidates, also known as independent candidates, must follow the steps below to qualify:

Step 1: Gather 1,000 petition signatures from registered voters in Utah. The petition is typically split into several petition packets, which each contain multiple signature pages and one circulator verification page. Each packet must be bound at the top with spiral binding, stitching, or three staples prior to circulation. The packet cannot be taken apart or rearranged once it is bound. Your packet will be rejected if you do so. Click this link to download the petition packet template.

A petition packet must be circulated by an individual who is at least 18 years old, but she or he does not need to be a resident of Utah. Each petition packet must be used by only one circulator; if there are multiple circulators, they will each need one packet. For more information on petition regulations, refer to Utah Code 20A-9-502.

Step 2: Submit the petition to the county clerks for signature verification. If a petition was circulated within a county, it may be submitted to that county clerk. The petition signatures must be verified before you declare candidacy. Depending on the time of year, signature verification could take several weeks. It is highly advised that you coordinate with the appropriate county clerks early to ensure that they have enough time to verify signatures. Click this link for county clerk contact information.

Step 3: After the county clerks verify the signatures and return them to you, submit the signatures and a certificate of nomination with the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office between March 13, 2020 and 5:00 pm (Mountain Time) on August 17, 2020. Click this link to download the certificate of nomination form. You will also be required to pay a $500 filing fee.

All certificate of nomination forms must be filed in person at the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office (click this link for directions). If you cannot file in person, you may designate an agent to file on your behalf. There is no formal process to designate an agent.

The certificate of nomination form must be signed by you, the candidate. You can sign in front of a filing officer if you file in person, or you can get your signature notarized beforehand if you file with a designated agent.


5. How do I run as a presidential write-in candidate?

To become a write-in candidate, you must file a declaration of candidacy form and pay a $500 filing fee at the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office before 5:00 pm (Mountain Time) on August 31, 2020. Click this link to download the form.

All declaration of candidacy forms must be filed in person at the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office (click this link for directions). If you cannot file in person, you may designate an agent to file on your behalf. There is no formal process to designate an agent.

The declaration of candidacy form must be signed by you, the candidate. You can sign in front of a filing officer if you file in person, or you can get your signature notarized beforehand if you file with a designated agent.


6. How do I designate my vice president running mate?

The process for designating your vice president running mate depends if you are running as a registered political party candidate, an unaffiliated (independent) candidate, or a write-in candidate.

  • If you a registered political party candidate and you secure your party’s nomination, your political party will certify the name of your vice president running mate to the Utah Lieutenant Governor by August 31, 2020.
  • If you are an unaffiliated (independent) candidate, your vice president running mate must:
    • Submit a declaration of candidacy to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office on or before 5:00 pm (Mountain Time) on August 31, 2020. This must be done in person or via designated agent. Click this link to download the form.
    • Submit a letter from the president candidate that names the individual as a joint-ticket running mate as a vice president candidate.
    • Pay a filing fee of $1,203.50
  • If you are a write-in candidate, your vice president running mate must:
    • Submit a declaration of candidacy to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office on or before 5:00 pm (Mountain Time) on August 31, 2020. This must be done in person or via designated agent. Click this link to download the form.
    • Submit a letter from the president candidate that names the individual as a joint-ticket running mate as a vice president candidate.
    • Pay a filing fee of $1,203.50

7. How do I designate Electors for the Electoral College?

Utah has six electoral votes. If you are a candidate for a political party that is registered in Utah, your party must submit the names and addresses of the party’s six electors to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office by August 31, 2020. If you are an unaffiliated (independent) or write-in candidate, you may submit the names of your electors to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office any time after declaring candidacy. A list of alternate electors is not required, but you may provide one.

Electors may not be paid for their service, and they must meet at the Utah State Capitol at 12:00 pm (Mountain Time) on January 6, 2021 to cast their votes.


8. Are president or vice president candidates required to file campaign finance reports in Utah?

No, Utah law does not require presidential or vice presidential candidates to submit campaign finance statements with the state. Contact the Federal Election Commission for more information on federal campaign finance requirements.