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Petition Canvasser / Circulator


  • Illinois State Board of Elections (most recent Candidate’s Guide): file:///C:/Users/there/Downloads/2021CanGuide_637477139031139186.pdf

  • 17 years of age

  • Qualified voter in Illinois (Eligible to vote, not necessarily registered)


  • The circulator MUST PERSONALLY WITNESS ALL signatures given.
  • Sign the required Certificate (bottom of each petition page), stating that ALL signatures were given in his/her presence (sign the certificate in the presence of a NOTARY).
    • Circulator MUST visually witness the signing (i.e., through a window)
  • Dates of circulating petitions:
    • 90 days before the last day for the filing of the petition. Check with Township Chairperson, County Chairperson, or candidates for the dates.
  • Circulator may NOT circulate for more than ONE political party.
  • ​Confirm that the signer is a registered voter and that the name and address match the name and address on the voter file, exactly.
    • Name: Robert Smith (voter file), cannot be signed “Bob Smith”
    • Address: Must include apartment/unit number if it is on the voter file.
    • Address: If the voter has recently moved, assist him/her with updating his/her voter file (via the internet with a smart phone or tablet), then the voter can sign with his/her new address.


  1. Can only sign a petition of ONE candidate for each race (1 for U.S. Senate, 1 for U.S. House, 1 for IL Senate, 1 for IL House, etc.).
  2. Signer must sign his/her own signature (husband cannot sign for wife, parent cannot sign for his/her adult child, etc.).
  3. Signer may change party affiliation from one election to another.
  4. Signer must be a registered voter in the candidate’s district.
  5. Signer’s address on the petition sheet MUST match the voter file.


  1. Only go to the homes of confirmed Republicans in your precinct.​
  2. What to say (just an example):
    • “Hi! I’m (name), your Republican Precinct Committeeperson and I’m collecting the signatures required to get Republican candidates on the ballot. This first page is a cover sheet to make it easier on you. Please fill this out.” “Thank you. Now, if you could just sign your name on each of these petitions on line (whatever line they signed on the cover sheet).” “Thank you! Here’s some literature on the candidates. Don’t forget to vote in the primary on (date of primary). Thank you very much and have a great day!”
    • If concerned about not knowing who the candidates are:  "Your signature is not an endorsement and it does not signify that you will vote for the candidate. Your signature simply conveys that you support that person being on the ballot as one of your options."
  3. Use a clipboard
  4. Put a Cover sheet on top
  5. Followed by the candidate sheets for each candidate.
  6. Voter (signer) prints name, address, phone, and email on the cover sheet.
  7. Voter (signer) signs each petition on the line number he/she printed his/her info on the cover sheet. (line 4 of the cover sheet = sign on line 4 of each petition).
  8. After collecting 10 signatures for each candidate, use the cover sheet to verify each signer’s name and address against the voter file.
  9. Fill in the printed name, address, city, county, and state on the petition, as it appears on the voter file (or updated address if you helped the sign update his/her address in the voter registration system).
  10. Take all the petitions to a notary and sign your (circulator’s) name and full address in the presence of the notary.
  11. Reach out to your candidates to get the petition pages to each candidate (or contact the Chairperson of your County GOP and have him/her pass the petition pages on to the candidates).