How to Get on the Ballot for Alderman of Chicago

Nomination papers for Alderman must be submitted to the Board of Election Commissioners.

Running for elected office is one of the highest forms of civic duty in the United States. All candidates in Chicago's municipal elections, including those running for Alderman, cannot be affiliated with a political party and must meet minimum qualifications and requirements to run for office. If you are thinking about running for a seat on the City Council, you must submit nomination papers in order to have your name appear on the ballot.

Ensure you meet the qualifications for the position of Alderman, as set out in the Chapter 65 of the Illinois Consolidated Statutes. Anyone running for Alderman must be a qualified elector who has resided for at least one year in the ward he seeks to represent before the date of the election. You must also not owe taxes or other debts to the City of Chicago and you must not have been convicted of a felony in any U.S. court.

Collect signatures from registered voters in the ward in which you are seeking office. You must ensure that you have the minimum number of signatures required to run for Alderman. The number is based on the population of the ward and is established before each election by the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago. The original petition sheets must be submitted with your nomination papers.

Complete the Statement of Candidacy. This document will formally request that your name be placed on the official ballot. It includes your name, address and the office you are running for, as well as declarations indicating that you are qualified for the office and that you have filed or will file a Statement of Economic Interest.

Complete a Statement of Economic Interest and file it with the County Clerk of Cook County. This document must be submitted before the deadline for filing nomination papers. Once you have filed this document, you will be issued a receipt.

Submit your nomination papers to the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago. You can submit your nomination papers in person or by mail. Nomination papers must include your Statement of Candidacy, original petition sheets and the receipt for the Statement of Economic Interest. You may send the receipt for the Statement of Economic Interest after you submit the other documents, but it must be received by the Board before the deadline for filing nomination papers.

John Costa covers travel, public policy and consumer issues for various online publications. He has also worked as a government adviser since 2005, developing policies and programs. Costa holds a B.A. in history and political science from the University of Toronto, as well as an M.A. in comparative politics from the University of York in England.