Running a Ballot Access Program - National Democratic Training Committee Running a Ballot Access Program

Running a Ballot Access Program

By Peter Dougherty
40 min

What You’ll Learn

  • Find the ballot access requirements for a campaign
  • Explain the possible tactics of meeting ballot access requirements
  • Determine the appropriate tactics for your campaign’s situation
  • Develop systems of accountability for staff to ensure ballot access requirements are met

Why This is Important

For any race there are requirements a campaign must meet to get on the ballot. In many cases, one requirement is collecting petition signatures from registered voters in the district. This course introduces common strategies and tactics campaigns use to ensure their candidate’s name shows up on the ballot on Election Day.

Key Resources

  • Sample Hot Spot Tracker
  • High Traffic Canvassing Sample Training Agenda
  • Sample Form Tracker

Related Trainings

  • Getting Your Campaign Off the Ground — Set yourself up for success from day one! Take this course to learn how eligibility rules govern your campaign
  • Intro to Field — Field is critical to a campaign’s success. This course is a high-level overview of Field work and how it impacts all areas of a campaign
  • Field Tactics — Learn how to train volunteers on key tactics including: canvassing, phone banking, and text banking

Peter Dougherty


Peter Dougherty is a campaign operative with almost a decade of experience working to support Democratic candidates. Most recently, Peter served as the Deputy Coordinated and Voter Contact Director for President Joe Biden’s successful campaign in Pennsylvania, leading one of the largest organizing programs in the country. Peter was the New Hampshire Organizing Director for Joe Biden’s primary campaign and went on to oversee the Biden team’s organizing program in the Florida primary, where Biden won every county and city in the state. Peter spent half a decade overseeing field programs and managing campaigns on congressional campaigns and local races. Afterwards, Peter worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as their Southern Regional Field Director and oversaw the historic flip of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. Peter has worked on or helped oversee campaigns in 17 different states and supports campaigns at every level.