(Monday, October 29, 2007) West Palm Beach City Commissioners have voted to amend the rules for candidates wishing to qualify to run for City offices. The new rules change the timing of the qualifying period, lengthen the official campaign period and follow the recommendations made by the City’s elections task force. The Commission also changed the timing of the qualifying period for candidates wishing to use the alternative method of qualifying.
Under the new ordinance, candidates must qualify for office no earlier than noon on the last Tuesday in December and no later than noon on the second Tuesday in January. Under the previous ordinance, candidates had to qualify no earlier than noon on the on the last Tuesday in January and no later than noon on the second Tuesday in February.
Having the deadline to qualify in January rather than in February will lengthen the official campaign period by approximately one month. This will give voters additional time to consider the issues, interact with candidates and weigh the positions and qualifications of the candidates.
For candidates wishing to use the alternative method to qualify, the qualification period for the City of West Palm Beach 2008 General Election will begin on Wednesday, November 7, 2007 and close on Friday, November 30, 2007. The alternative method of qualifying for office involves gathering signatures rather than paying the campaign filing fee.