Run for Office

Who can run for Elective Office?

Any member of the public who meets the requirements below may run for public office in the City of Morgan Hill. Candidates must:

  • Be at least eighteen years of age
  • Be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the State of California
  • Be a registered voter and a resident within the district the candidate seeks to represent. The Mayor and City Treasurer are elected at-large, as such candidates must be a resident within the City of Morgan Hill. Address and Voter registration will be verified before the issuance of nomination papers.

Candidate Forms

Candidates must obtain and complete the official nomination documents that are issued by the Office of the City Clerk. This is done during the official nomination period July 13, 2020 - August 7, 2020.  Nomination documents are issued by appointment only Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. To schedule an appointment, click here. A candidate should be prepared to provide their name and residential address for validation of current voter registration and eligibility status prior to their appointment. Prospective candidates are encouraged to review the Candidate Instructional Guide prior to their scheduled appointment.

Candidate Instructional Guide

The nomination instructions are fully contained in the Candidate Instructional Guide (PDF)(Please note this guide will be updated prior to each election). This information is provided to assist candidates in understanding the requirements necessary to run for municipal office. The manual is provided as a guide and should not substitute for legal, accounting, or other professional services. Samples in this manual are not official forms and are provided for illustrative purposes only. Official forms are available only from the City Clerk. 

The filing schedule for financial reporting requirements associated with the November 3, 2020, Election can be found in the candidate instructional guide.  

The Mayor is elected at-large to serve a 2-year term. The City Council members are elected by district to serve a 4-year term. The Treasurer is elected at-large to serve a 4-year term. There are no limits to the number of terms a person may serve. The City Council terms are staggered so that half of the City Council seats expire at a time. 

Write-In Candidates

Candidates who desire to be a write-in candidate and have his or her name written on the ballot of an election shall fulfill the requirements of Part 3 of Division 8 of the Elections Code, commencing at Section 8600. Write-in candidates must meet all qualifications of the office to which they are seeking the nomination. The name of the qualified write-in candidate is not printed on the ballot. Prospective write‑in candidates should note that write‑in candidacy is possible only if the office appears on the ballot. Candidates interested in running as a write-in candidate may contact Deputy City Clerk Michelle Bigelow at to make an appointment to pull nomination papers

Statement of Write-in Candidacy

Between September 8 and October 20, 2020, anyone seeking to be a write-in candidate for any office appearing on the ballot must file a Statement of Write-In Candidacy. The elections official provides the form during the official write-in filing period.

Nomination Papers

Between September 8 and October 20, 2020, a candidate seeking elective office that requires nomination signers must circulate a petition to collect required signatures and file them for examination with the county elections official of the county in which the signers reside.

Roster of Qualified Candidates

For each election, the Office of the Registrar of Voters will post a list of qualified write-in candidates for offices appearing on the ballot in the County. Once the filing period closes, the Secretary of State will prepare a certified list of write-in candidates, and the City Clerk of each respective City will provide the certified list of write-in candidates for their City. The County will combine all write-in candidates onto one list. A link will be available on the current election webpage.

When and How Votes are Tabulated and Reported

Following Election Day and during the official canvass of the vote, the elections official will manually tally and report all votes cast for qualified write-in candidates. Votes tallied for write-in candidates are not reflected in the Election Night report, nor in the updated reports the County releases in the days and weeks following. Rather, this information is available at the time certification of the election has been completed. Write-in votes are not tallied at the same time as votes for qualified candidates who have their names printed on the ballot. Instead, these votes must be manually reviewed to ensure the name of the person written in on the ballot is qualified to have votes counted, and that the name is written under the correct candidate contest. Write-in votes are tallied by hand under the provisions of Article 7, of Chapter 1, of Division 7, in Title 2 of the California Administrative Code of Regulations. See Sections 20100 – 20105.

  1. Michelle Bigelow, MMC, CPMC

    City Clerk
    Phone: 408-310-4678