Preparing a Candidate Statement of Qualifications
The Candidate Statement of Qualifications (SOQ), published in the County Voter Information Guide, is optional and is left entirely to candidates to determine if they would like to have one. The SOQ may include a candidate’s age, occupation and a brief description of the candidate. No mention of other candidates is allowed, nor can there be any reference to political party affiliation, political party membership, or political activity. The SOQ must be filed at the same time that the Declaration of Candidacy is filed.
If a candidate wishes to have their SOQ appear in Spanish as well as English, printing charges will be doubled. Additionally, the candidate must pay for the translation (approximately $100) by a certified Spanish language translator.
Withdrawal & Filing
A SOQ may be withdrawn, but not changed, during the period for filing Nomination Documents and until 5 p.m. of the next working day after the close of the nomination period. Statements are confidential until after the close of the nomination period. Copies of all Candidate Statements of Qualifications are available for public inspection at the Elections Office after the expiration of the filing deadline. (Elec. Code § 13311)
SOQs must be filed no later than 5 p.m. on the last day of the nomination period. Statements must be filed at the time Nomination Documents are filed.
Format & Appearance
The statement of each candidate shall be printed in type of uniform size and darkness, and with uniform spacing. (Elec. Code § 13307 (b)) All statements will be left-justified in order to fit within a 1/4 page space for a 200 word statement. Entire statements in all capital letters, multiple indentations, circles, or arrows are not allowed. Generally, any characters that can be produced from a standard keyboard are acceptable (i.e., !, @, *, -, ( ), %, #). However, no paragraph or sentence can start with a number or punctuation mark.
Because the Elections Code requires that all statements be uniform, bolded, capitalized and underlined words are not acceptable. Indentations or multiple underscoring are not allowed. Items in a list will not be allowed unless the list is in the form of a paragraph. All statements should be checked by the candidate for spelling, punctuation and grammar. The county elections official will not edit any material to correct mistakes. Statements with spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors will be printed exactly as submitted.
Any false, slanderous, or libelous statements offered for printing or contained in the Voter Information Guide may subject the statement or the authors to civil or criminal action or penalty. Name, age, and occupation (located at the top of the form) are not counted--only the text of the SOQ. Age and occupation information are optional.
To ensure that our office prints your SOQ correctly, please send an electronic copy in a Word or text format. We will accept all formats if the SOQ is delivered in a timely way.
By preparing your statement in accordance with the above guidelines, each statement will be uniformly printed and given the same amount of space in the County Voter Information Guide. This avoids favored composition or printing of one SOQ over another.
It is the candidate's responsibility to request help or clarification if he or she has any questions concerning the guidelines for filing a SOQ. If a SOQ is found out of compliance, the county elections official will make the necessary changes to bring the statement into compliance.