Elections Division

Running for Office in Ottawa County

All candidates must be registered and qualified electors of the districts in which they are seeking office.

Step 1: Which office are you running for?

The complete list of offices that will appear on the ballot in 2022 can be found on our website at miOttawa.org/elections.

New district boundaries for the August 2, 2022 and November 8, 2022 elections have been voted on but are still subject to litigation. New boundaries will determine the number of petition signatures required and where candidates for certain offices file their paperwork. Please use caution if you intend to file before boundaries are finalized. Filings do not automatically transfer to a new district and you could forfeit your $100 filing fee or have to collect new signatures

If you are unsure of which precinct you live in, visit Michigan.gov/vote. This website allows you to view your voter registration status, sample ballot, polling location, and voting precinct.


Step 2: Where do I file for office?

Candidates running for the following offices in 2022 must file with the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections. The Bureau of Elections can be contacted by phone at (517) 335-3234, or email at elections@michigan.gov.

Candidates running for the following offices in 2022 must file with the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections:

  • All Federal offices
  • All Statewide offices
  • All Judicial offices
  • State Senator (Districts 30, 31 and 33 contain parts of Ottawa County)
  • State Representative (Districts 43, 86, 88 and 89 contain parts of Ottawa County)

Candidates running for the following offices in 2022 must file with the Ottawa County Clerk:

  • State Representative (District 85 only)
  • County Commissioner
  • Local School Board (note: Allendale Public Schools Board Member candidates file with the Allendale Township Clerk)
  • Precinct Delegate

Candidates for city, township, or village offices file with their local city of township clerk. To find contact information for your local clerk in Ottawa County, click here.

Please note: All candidates who file with the Ottawa County Clerk must submit their filing at the West Olive location of the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office, 12220 Fillmore St., Room 130, West Olive, MI 49460.


Step 3: What forms and information do I need?

Each office has different filing requirements. Please select the appropriate office for more detailed information.

  • Michigan State Senator

    Filing Form and Deadlines

    All candidates must submit an Affidavit of Identity in duplicate. This form must be submitted to the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections by Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 4:00 PM in order to appear on the ballot. Write-in candidates may file with the Bureau of Elections until Friday, July 22, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Write-in candidates must submit a Write-In Candidate Declaration of Intent form in order to be elected.

    The Affidavit of Identity must be filled out completely and notarized before your name can appear on the ballot. Our office can notarize this form at no charge.

    Petition or Filing Fee Requirement

    All candidates must submit either petition signatures or a filing fee in order to appear on the ballot. The petition signature requirement is based on the population of the district, and all signatures must be from registered voters of the district.

    All State Senator candidates for Districts 30, 31 and 33 which contain part of Ottawa County must collect a minimum of 500 signatures to be placed on the ballot. A filing fee of $100 can be paid in lieu of submitting petition signatures. This fee is paid to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections.

    All petitions must be completed on the proper form. Additional petition forms can be picked up from our office – Ottawa County Clerk / Register of Deeds, 12220 Fillmore St., Room 130, West Olive, MI 49460.

    Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements

    All state-level candidates must file campaign finance forms with the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections.

    Positions Available

    Each State Senate District elects one member to the state legislature. All available positions that contain a part of Ottawa County are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

    Term of Office

    All State Senators are elected to 4-year terms and are limited to serving three terms. All partisan candidates will be nominated at the August 2, 2022 Primary Election. Candidates who receive their party’s nomination, or candidates who are running without party affiliation, will appear on the ballot during the November 8, 2022 General Election.

    Current Candidates

    All candidates who have filed for office for 2022 are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

  • Michigan State Representative

    Filing Form and Deadlines

    All candidates, with the exception of candidates running in District 85, must submit an Affidavit of Identity in duplicate. This form must be submitted to the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections by Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 4:00 PM in order to appear on the ballot. Write-in candidates may file with the Bureau of Elections until Friday, July 22, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Write-in candidates must submit a Write-In Candidate Declaration of Intent form in order to be elected.

    All candidates running in District 85 must submit an Affidavit of Identity. This form must be submitted to our office by Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 4:00 PM in order to appear on the ballot. Write-in candidates for District 85 may file with our office until Friday, July 22, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Write-in candidates must submit a Write-In Candidate Declaration of Intent form in order to be elected.

    The Affidavit of Identity must be filled out completely and notarized before your name can appear on the ballot. Our office can notarize this form at no charge.

    Petition or Filing Fee Requirement

    All candidates must submit either petition signatures or a filing fee in order to appear on the ballot. The petition signature requirement is based on the population of the district, and all signatures must be from registered voters of the district.

    All State Representative candidates for Districts 43, 85, 86, 88 and 89 which contain part of Ottawa County must collect a minimum of 200 signatures to be placed on the ballot. A filing fee of $100 can be paid in lieu of submitting petition signatures. This fee is paid to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections for candidates in Districts 43, 86, 88 and 89. This fee is paid to the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office for candidates in District 85.

    All petitions must be completed on the proper form. Additional petition forms can be picked up from our office – Ottawa County Clerk / Register of Deeds, 12220 Fillmore St., Room 130, West Olive, MI 49460.

    Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements

    All state-level candidates must file campaign finance forms with the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections.

    Positions Available

    Each State House District elects one member to the state legislature. All available positions which contain a part of Ottawa County are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

    Term of Office

    All State Representatives are elected to 2-year terms, and are limited to serving three terms. All partisan candidates will be nominated at the August 2, 2022 Primary Election. Candidates who receive their party’s nomination, or candidates who are running without party affiliation, will appear on the ballot during the November 8, 2022 General Election.

    Current Candidates

    All candidates who have filed for office for 2022 are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

  • Ottawa County Commissioner

    Filing Form and Deadlines

    All candidates must submit an Affidavit of Identity. This form must be submitted to our office by Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 4:00 PM in order to appear on the ballot. Write-in candidates may file with our office until Friday, July 22, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Write-in candidates must submit a Write-In Candidate Declaration of Intent form in order to be elected.

    The Affidavit of Identity must be filled out completely and notarized before your name can appear on the ballot. Our office can notarize this form at no charge.

    Petition or Filing Fee Requirement

    All candidates must submit either petition signatures or a filing fee in order to appear on the ballot. The petition signature requirement is based on the population of the district, and all signatures must be from registered voters of the district.

    All County Commission candidates in Ottawa County must collect a minimum of 50 signatures to be placed on the ballot. A filing fee of $100 can be paid in lieu of submitting petition signatures. This fee is paid to the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office.

    All petitions must be completed on the proper form. Additional petition forms can be picked up from our office – Ottawa County Clerk / Register of Deeds, 12220 Fillmore St., Room 130, West Olive, MI 49460.

    Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements

    All candidates must open a campaign finance committee. The Statement of Organization form creates a campaign finance committee. This form must be submitted to our office within 20 days of becoming a candidate. We recommend that all candidates complete the Statement of Organization form and submit it with their Affidavit of Identity when they file for office.

    All new candidate committees must complete the starred * items on the Statement of Organization form.

    Candidates who expect to spend or receive less than $1,000 may apply for a reporting waiver. Committees with a reporting waiver are not required to submit additional campaign finance documents to our office. However, this waiver is automatically lost if the committee goes over the $1,000 limit. To apply for the waiver, check “Yes” in box 10 on the Statement of Organization.

    Candidates without the reporting waiver must submit regular reports to our office. In years where candidates appear on the ballot, they must submit campaign finance statements to our office before and after each election. When a candidate does not appear on the ballot, candidates must submit both Annual and Quarterly statements.

    Positions Available

    The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners has 11 members, with each member representing one commission district. Each district elects one member every two years. All available positions are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

    Term of Office

    All Ottawa County Commissioners are elected to 2-year terms. All partisan candidates will be nominated at the August 2, 2022 Primary Election. Candidates who receive their party’s nomination, or candidates who are running without party affiliation, will appear on the ballot during the November 8, 2022 General Election.

    Current Candidates

    All candidates who have filed for office for 2022 are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

  • Spring Lake Village Council President

    Filing Form and Deadlines

    All candidates must submit an Affidavit of Identity. This form must be submitted to the Spring Lake Township Clerk’s Office by Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 4:00 PM in order to appear on the ballot. Write-in candidates may file with the Spring Lake Township Clerk’s Office until Friday, October 28, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Write-in candidates must submit a Write-In Candidate Declaration of Intent form in order to be elected.

    The Affidavit of Identity must be filled out completely and notarized before your name can appear on the ballot. Our office can notarize this form at no charge.

    Petition Requirement

    All candidates must submit petition signatures in order to appear on the ballot. The petition signature requirement is based on the population of the district, and all signatures must be from registered voters of the district.

    All candidates in Spring Lake Village must collect a minimum of 3 signatures to be placed on the ballot. All petitions must be completed on the proper form, and petition forms can be picked up from our office – Ottawa County Clerk / Register of Deeds, 12220 Fillmore St., Room 130, West Olive, MI 49460.

    Campaign Finance Reporting Requirement

    All candidates must open a campaign finance committee. The Statement of Organization form creates a campaign finance committee. This form must be submitted to our office within 20 days of becoming a candidate. We recommend that all candidates complete the Statement of Organization form and submit it with their Affidavit of Identity when they file for office.

    All new candidate committees must complete the starred * items on the Statement of Organization form.

    Candidates who expect to spend or receive less than $1,000 may apply for a reporting waiver. Committees with a reporting waiver are not required to submit additional campaign finance documents to our office. However, this waiver is automatically lost if the committee goes over the $1,000 limit. To apply for the waiver, check “Yes” in box 10 on the Statement of Organization.

    Candidates without the reporting waiver must submit regular reports to our office. In years where candidates appear on the ballot, they must submit campaign finance statements to our office before and after each election. When a candidate does not appear on the ballot, candidates must submit both Annual and Quarterly statements.

    Positions Available

    Spring Lake Village elects one president every two years. The Village President will be elected during the November 8, 2022 General Election.

    Term of Office

    The Spring Lake Village President is elected to a 2-year term.

    Current Candidates

    All candidates who have filed for office for 2022 are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

  • Spring Lake Village Council Member

    Filing Form and Deadlines

    All candidates must submit an Affidavit of Identity. This form must be submitted to the Spring Lake Township Clerk’s Office by Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 4:00 PM in order to appear on the ballot. Write-in candidates may file with the Spring Lake Township Clerk’s Office until Friday, October 28, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Write-in candidates must submit a Write-In Candidate Declaration of Intent form in order to be elected.

    The Affidavit of Identity must be filled out completely and notarized before your name can appear on the ballot. Our office can notarize this form at no charge.

    Petition Requirement

    All candidates must submit petition signatures in order to appear on the ballot. The petition signature requirement is based on the population of the district, and all signatures must be from registered voters of the district.

    All candidates in Spring Lake Village must collect a minimum of 3 signatures to be placed on the ballot. All petitions must be completed on the proper form, and petition forms can be picked up from our office – Ottawa County Clerk / Register of Deeds, 12220 Fillmore St., Room 130, West Olive, MI 49460.

    Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements

    All candidates must open a campaign finance committee. The Statement of Organization form creates a campaign finance committee. This form must be submitted to our office within 20 days of becoming a candidate. We recommend that all candidates complete the Statement of Organization form and submit it with their Affidavit of Identity when they file for office.

    All new candidate committees must complete the starred * items on the Statement of Organization form.

    Candidates who expect to spend or receive less than $1,000 may apply for a reporting waiver. Committees with a reporting waiver are not required to submit additional campaign finance documents to our office. However, this waiver is automatically lost if the committee goes over the $1,000 limit. To apply for the waiver, check “Yes” in box 10 on the Statement of Organization.

    Candidates without the reporting waiver must submit regular reports to our office. In years where candidates appear on the ballot, they must submit campaign finance statements to our office before and after each election. When a candidate does not appear on the ballot, candidates must submit both Annual and Quarterly statements.

    Positions Available

    Spring Lake Village elects three council members every two years. Three candidates will be elected during the November 8, 2022 General Election.

    Term of Office

    Spring Lake Village Council Members are elected to 4-year terms.

    Current Candidates

    All candidates who have filed for office for 2022 are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

  • City and Township Partial Term Offices

    Filing Form and Deadlines

    All candidates must submit an Affidavit of Identity. This form must be submitted to the City or Township Clerk’s Office by Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 4:00 PM in order to appear on the ballot. Write-in candidates may file with the City or Township Clerk’s Office until Friday, July 22, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Write-in candidates must submit a Write-In Candidate Declaration of Intent form in order to be elected.

    The Affidavit of Identity must be filled out completely and notarized before your name can appear on the ballot. Our office can notarize this form at no charge.

    Petition Requirement

    All candidates must submit either petition signatures or a $100 filing fee, depending on the office, in order to appear on the ballot. The petition signature requirement is based on the population of the district, and all signatures must be from registered voters of the district. Please check with your City or Township Clerk to verify the number of signatures required and if you are eligible to pay the $100 filing fee in lieu of petition signatures.

    All petitions must be completed on the proper form. Additional petition forms can be picked up from our office – Ottawa County Clerk / Register of Deeds, 12220 Fillmore St., Room 130, West Olive, MI 49460.

    Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements

    All candidates must open a campaign finance committee. The Statement of Organization form creates a campaign finance committee. This form must be submitted to our office within 20 days of becoming a candidate. We recommend that all candidates complete the Statement of Organization form and submit it with their Affidavit of Identity when they file for office.

    All new candidate committees must complete the starred * items on the Statement of Organization form.

    Candidates who expect to spend or receive less than $1,000 may apply for a reporting waiver. Committees with a reporting waiver are not required to submit additional campaign finance documents to our office. However, this waiver is automatically lost if the committee goes over the $1,000 limit. To apply for the waiver, check “Yes” in box 10 on the Statement of Organization.

    Candidates without the reporting waiver must submit regular reports to our office. In years where candidates appear on the ballot, they must submit campaign finance statements to our office before and after each election. When a candidate does not appear on the ballot, candidates must submit both Annual and Quarterly statements.

    Positions Available

    All positions will be listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, when they are available, which can be found online at miOttawa.org/elections.

    Current Candidates

    All candidates who have filed for office for 2022 will be listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at miOttawa.org/elections.

  • Local School Board Member
    Filing Form and Deadlines

    All candidates must submit an Affidavit of Identity. This form must be submitted to our office by Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 4:00 PM in order to appear on the ballot. (Please note: Candidates for Allendale Public Schools must file with the Allendale Township Clerk.) Write-in candidates may file with our office until Friday, October 28, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Write-in candidates must submit a Write-In Candidate Declaration of Intent form in order to be elected. The Affidavit of Identity must be filled out completely and notarized before your name can appear on the ballot. Our office can notarize this form at no charge.

    Petition or Filing Fee Requirement

    All candidates must submit either petition signatures or a filing fee in order to appear on the ballot. The petition signature requirement is based on the population of the district, and all signatures must be from registered voters of the district.

    All school board candidates in Ottawa County must collect a minimum of 40 signatures to be placed on the ballot. A filing fee of $100 can be paid in lieu of submitting petition signatures. This fee is paid to the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office.

    All petitions must be completed on the proper form. Additional petition forms can be picked up from our office – Ottawa County Clerk / Register of Deeds, 12220 Fillmore St., Room 130, West Olive, MI 49460.

    Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements

    All candidates must open a campaign finance committee. The Statement of Organization form creates a campaign finance committee. This form must be submitted to our office within 20 days of becoming a candidate. We recommend that all candidates complete the Statement of Organization form and submit it with their Affidavit of Identity when they file for office. All new candidate committees must complete the starred * items on the Statement of Organization form.

    Candidates who expect to spend or receive less than $1,000 may apply for a reporting waiver. Committees with a reporting waiver are not required to submit additional campaign finance documents to our office. However, this waiver is automatically lost if the committee goes over the $1,000 limit. To apply for the waiver, check “Yes” in box 10 on the Statement of Organization.

    Candidates without the reporting waiver must submit regular reports to our office. In years where candidates appear on the ballot, they must submit campaign finance statements to our office before and after each election. When a candidate does not appear on the ballot, candidates must submit both Annual and Quarterly statements.

    Positions Available

    Each school district has a different number of positions available, but most school districts in Ottawa County elect two candidates every two years. All available positions are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

    Term of Office

    Most school board candidates in Ottawa County are elected to 6-year terms. School Board members for West Ottawa Public Schools are elected to 4-year terms. All candidates will be elected during the November 8, 2022 General Election.

    Current Candidates

    All candidates who have filed for office for 2022 are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

    Term of Office

    Most school board candidates in Ottawa County are elected to 6-year terms. School Board members for West Ottawa Public Schools are elected to 4-year terms. All candidates will be elected during the November 8, 2022 General Election.

    Current Candidates

    All candidates who have filed for office for 2022 will be listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at miOttawa.org/elections.

  • Precinct Delegate

    Filing Form and Deadlines

    All candidates must submit the Precinct Delegate Affidavit of Identity. This form must be submitted to our office by Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 4:00 PM in order to appear on the ballot. Write-in candidates may file with our office until Friday, July 22, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Write-in candidates must submit a Write-In Candidate Declaration of Intent form in order to be elected.

    The Affidavit of Identity must be filled out completely and notarized before your name can appear on the ballot. Our office can notarize this form at no charge.

    Petition or Filing Fee Requirement

    Precinct Delegate candidates do not need to submit petitions or a filing fee to appear on the ballot.

    Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements

    Precinct Delegate candidates are not required to report campaign finance activity.

    Positions Available

    Each precinct has a pre-determined number of Precinct Delegate positions available, and those designations are made by the county political parties. Political parties have until April 1, 2022 to submit the number of positions to the County Clerk’s Office. Those numbers will be updated on our candidate listing as they are submitted to our office.

    Term of Office

    All precinct delegates (for both political parties) are elected every two years during the August Primary Election. Precinct Delegates will be elected during the August 2, 2022 Primary Election and will serve until the August Primary Election in 2024.

    Current Candidates

    All candidates who have filed for office for 2022 are listed on the Ottawa County Candidate Listing, which can be found online at www.miOttawa.org/elections.

    Additional Information

    Precinct Delegates have one primary responsibility – they are voting members of the party at the county party’s political convention. The convention takes place within the two weeks following the August Primary. However, there are other responsibilities that vary by party or county. Precinct Delegates can:

    • Assist parties with voter registration
    • Be a liaison between a party and a precinct
    • Recruit new party members
    • Volunteer for other roles within the party

    If you have specific questions about how to get involved with one of our local political parties, you can contact the party chairs:

    Ottawa County Democratic Party

    Tim Smith
    616-848-7580
    www.ottawadems.com

    Ottawa County Republican Party

    Keith denHollander
    616-396-3791
    www.ottawagop.org