Filing for Office

Elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in August (Primary) and November (General). Special elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May as needed. The Clerk is the chief elections officer and is responsible for the administration of all elections. Township elections occur each even year in November for a four-year term that coincides with the Presidential Election. Elective township offices in Canton consist of a supervisor, township clerk, township treasurer, four trustees, and six library directors (MCL 168.341 and 168.358)

RUNNING FOR TOWNSHIP OFFICE

Township Board elections in Canton are open and partisan with candidates’ political party affiliation listed on the ballot. Library directors are nonpartisan. Non-partisan candidates for the Township Board qualify for the General Election in November. It is not necessary to declare political party preference in order to vote in a primary election in Michigan. To vote in any election, you must be a qualified voter in the State of Michigan and Canton Township.

PRIMARY ELECTIONS

Pursuant to Section 345 of Public Act 116 of 1954, Township Primary elections for all partisan offices are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in August.

The filing deadline to run as a partisan candidate for Township Board or a nonpartisan candidate for Library Director is April 21, 2020, at 4 pm. Those candidates who wish to run without party affiliation (independent) for Township Board have until July 16, 2020 at 4 pm to file qualifying petitions for the November General Election.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE AND FILING PETITIONS

For an individual to be eligible for township office they must be a registered and qualified elector of the township in which election is sought by the filing deadline (MCL 168.342).

Recent changes to election law allows partisan candidates for Township Board to qualify for the August ballot by filling a $100 refundable fee. Candidate for Library Director may file with a $100 non-refundable fee. Township Board candidates with no party affiliation may only file with petitions (MCL 168.349).  

Nominating petitions for Township Board must contain a minimum of 200 signatures. No more than 400 signatures will be accepted. Only registered and qualified electors of Canton Township can sign petitions.

Candidates without political party affiliation, circulating qualifying petitions for partisan office, may only collect signatures within 180 days prior to filing. Qualifying petitions must contain a minimum of 600 signatures. No more than 1,200 signatures will be accepted. Only registered and qualified electors of Canton Township can sign petitions.

Additional FILING requirements

All candidates must submit an Affidavit of Identity form when filing or they are ineligible to appear on the ballot (MCL 168.558). These forms have a notary requirement at the bottom, so they should only be signed in the presence of a Notary Public. Notary services are available at the Clerk’s office at no charge for Candidates.

A Statement of Organization must be filed with the Wayne County Clerk, Elections Division within 10 days of becoming a candidate. This can be done in person or online at: www.wccampaignfinance.com. A complete set of Campaign Finance reporting forms and deadlines can be found on this site or the State of Michigan/ Elections in Michigan/ Information for Candidates at: www.michigan.gov.

A packet of information and nominating and/or qualifying (no party affiliation) petition forms can be picked up in person at the Clerk's Office between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm weekdays. Please call the Clerk at 734/394-5120 for more information.

Offices that file with other officials

Each of these offices have additional filing requirements. Anyone interested in filing for these offices should contact the appropriate filing officials

Precinct Delegate

A Canton resident who wishes to seek a precinct Delegate position must file an Affidavit of Identity with the Wayne County Clerk’s Office by 4 pm May 5, 2020. Petition signatures are not required. If the filing deadline has passed, an individual may file a Declaration of Intent with the Wayne County Clerk by 4 pm on the Friday preceding the August primary or in the precinct on Election Day.

Local Schools

A Canton resident who wishes to run for a school board position must file an Affidavit of Identity with the Clerk responsible for the filing by 4 pm July 21, 2020. Candidates in the Van Buren Public School District (Precincts 20, 33, and 40) file with the Van Buren Township Clerk. Candidates in the Wayne-Westland Community School District (Precincts 2, 15, and 28) file with the City of Westland Clerk.

Community College

A Canton resident who wishes to run for a community college trustee position must file an Affidavit of Identity with the Clerk responsible for the filing by 4 pm July 21, 2020. Candidates in the Schoolcraft College District (Plymouth-Canton Community Schools) file with the Livonia City Clerk. Candidates in the Wayne County Community College District (Van Buren and Wayne-Westland School Districts) file with the Wayne County Clerk.

County Office

A Canton resident who wishes to run for Wayne County Clerk, Treasurer, Register of Deeds, Sheriff, or Commissioner must file an Affidavit of Identity with the Wayne County Clerk by 4 pm April 21, 2020. The position of Wayne County Executive is elected during gubernatorial elections.

State Office

To be eligible for the office of State Representative or Senator a Canton resident must be a citizen of the United States, at least 21 years of age and a registered and qualified elector of the district he or she wishes to represent by the filing deadline. Art. IV, Sec. 7, of State Constitution; MCL 168.161. Except for write-in candidates, all candidates must submit an Affidavit of Identity. A candidate seeking the Democratic Party or Republican Party nomination must file with the Michigan Bureau of Elections by 4 pm April 21, 2020.