Elections will be held in 2021 for City Council representatives in Wards 1, 3, and 5, along with the Office of Mayor. Candidates for City Council or the Office of Mayor file their paperwork with the Office of the City Clerk. The Clerk’s Office has complied some of the frequently asked questions and answers regarding the filing process.
Q: When is the deadline to file to run for office?
A: For the 2021 City Election cycle the deadline to file is 4:00 p.m. on April 20, 2021.
Q: What do I need to file to run for office?
A: To run for office in the City of Jackson all candidates must file a nominating petition, a Candidate Attestation Affidavit, and two completed copies of the Affidavit of Identity and Receipt of Filing. In addition, candidates are required to file financial disclosure paperwork with the County Clerk. Questions regarding financial disclosure should be directed to the County Clerk’s Office.
Q: How many signatures do I need on the nominating petition?
A: For City-wide contests (Mayor and Treasurer), petitions must contain a minimum of 100 and no more than 150 signatures. For Ward specific elections, petitions must contain a minimum of 50 and no more than 75 signatures.
Q: Does the nominating petition circulator’s signature have to be notarized?
A: No. In 2020, the electors in the City voted to remove the requirement to have an affidavit of identity of the circulator which eliminates the need for notarization.
Q: How can I make sure my filing is in order?
A: The Clerk’s Office recommends that any party interested in running for office review the instructions on the required forms prior to circulation. Also, prior to filing it is important that all documents are reviewed by the candidate for completeness. The only assistance that the Clerk’s Office staff may provide at the time of filing is notary services. Once filed, documents cannot be returned to the candidate for any reason.
Q: I am running for a Ward Council Seat and I filed a petition with 55 signatures but was informed by the Clerk’s Office that only 49 were deemed valid. Is there anything I can do?
A: Candidates are encouraged to file prior to deadline. The Clerk’s Office reviews the petitions and, upon completion of the review, notifies candidates of any shortcomings. If necessary, a candidate may, up until the filing deadline, turn in supplemental filings. Keep in mind that the total number of signatures in the filing (initial petition plus the supplemental petitions) cannot exceed the maximum allowed.
Q: The Affidavit of Identity Form mentions a filing fee of $100 as an option. Can I pay the fee in lieu of turning in a nomination petition?
A: No. The City Charter requires candidates to file a nominating petition.
Q: Where can I get the necessary forms to run for office?
A: All required forms are available at the City Clerk’s Office.
There is no May election scheduled in the City of Jackson. The primary election for the 2021 election cycle is happening Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. The General Election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.
The City of Jackson is seeing a large increase in residents voting by absentee ballot during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those wanting to request an absentee ballot, who have not already applied, may apply on the Secretary of State’s website, by mail, by email, or in person. If you’d like to check on the status of your absentee ballot, such as if one is coming to your home or has been received by the City Clerk’s Office, visit the Secretary of State’s website.
It’s important for absentee voters living in the same household to pay close attention to ensure the ballot assigned to them is returned in the appropriate envelope. Contact the City Clerk’s Office if a mistake is made on your absentee ballot to get instructions on how to correct it. Voters may return ballots directly to the City Clerk’s Office on the First Floor of Jackson City Hall.
Two ballot drop boxes are available for contactless submission or absentee ballots. One is located outside Jackson City Hall at 161 W. Michigan Ave. and another is located inside the City Clerk's Office.
Those opting to return ballots by mail are encouraged to do so as early as possible. In the days before the election, voters are urged to directly submit their completed absentee ballots to the City Clerk's Office using a drop box or in-person submission.
Voters who are registering to vote on Election Day may obtain and vote an absentee voter ballot in person at the Clerk's Office or vote in person at their voting precinct.
Ballot Submission Deadline
The Michigan Secretary of State has ballot submission deadlines listed on its website.
Spoiling an Absentee Ballot
If a voter has already voted absentee and wishes to change their vote, a voter can spoil their ballot by submitting a written request to the City Clerk's Office. More information is available about this on the Secretary of State’s website.
Safe Voting at Jackson Polling Places
All Jackson polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
COVID-19 safety guidelines will be used at all polling places to protect the health of poll workers and voters. Those concerned about voting in person may request an absentee ballot.
All precincts within each ward vote at the same location. Map of the City of Jackson's ward boundaries (PDF)
- WARD 1: Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 1107 Adrian St.
- WARD 2: Boos Center in Loomis Park, 210 Gilbert St.
- WARD 3: St. John's Parish Center, 711 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
- WARD 4: First Presbyterian Church, 743 W. Michigan Ave.
- WARD 5: St. John's United Center for Caring, 801 S. Mechanic St.
- WARD 6: Cascades Baptist Church, 1012 W. High St.
See your Ballot Before Voting
If you'd like to see what's on your ballot before heading to the polls, sample ballots are available online.
About Elections in Jackson
Elections in the City of Jackson are administered by the Jackson City Clerk's Office. The City Clerk is the Chief Election Officer and is responsible for conducting all elections held in the City of Jackson. Voter registrations are processed daily through the statewide qualified voter file to maintain the records of approximately 23,000 registered city voters. The city is divided into six wards and 16 precincts with conveniently located polling places for voters to cast their ballots on election days.
City of Jackson election results are reported through the Jackson County Clerk's website.