As we get into the 2020 election, Ballot Designation Worksheets are important resources for researchers to keep in mind. These are filled out by candidates running for office in California (and many other places). According to California Elections Code section 13107.3, candidates must provide the office they are running for, their party, their home address, telephone and gender, as well as their proposed ballot designation, which is the primary purpose of the worksheet. The ballot designation is required to be the candidate’s “current principal profession, vocation, or occupation; or the full title of the public office they currently occupy (whether elected, appointed, incumbent or appointed incumbent).
Candidates for statewide office are required to submit their declaration of candidacy and Ballot Designation Statement when they file their nomination papers, which are due to the Secretary of State’s office between November 11 and December 6, 2019. The Secretary of State’s office will issue a notice to candidates by December 21, 2019 notifying them if their proposed ballot title has been accepted. Typically, if a candidate’s proposed ballot title has been accepted, the candidate will not hear from the SOS’s office until the December 21st notice. However, if there is a problem with a candidate’s proposed ballot title, the SOS’s office will work with the candidate to resolve any problems well prior to the December 21st deadline.
If you’re seeking a Ballot Designation Worksheet for a candidate running for city or county office, those are housed at the local county Registrar of Voters office.