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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the person collecting the signatures have to live in the Aldermanic/School Board District or in the City (for citywide positions)?

No, the person collecting the signatures, the circulator, no longer needs to reside in the Aldermanic/School Board District or jurisdiction (city) in which the paper or petition was circulated, or reside in the State of Wisconsin. This new policy was adopted by the State Elections Board on May 21, 2003.

Does my campaign office space need to be in the Aldermanic/School Board District for which I am seeking election?

No, you may have your campaign office wherever you choose.

Does my treasurer have to live in the Aldermanic/School Board District for which I am seeking election?

No, the treasurer's residence is not regulated.

Do I have to live in that Aldermanic/School Board District in order to run for the office?
  • A person declaring candidacy (submitting their Declaration of Candidacy) must be a qualified elector* of the city of Milwaukee for 10 consecutive days as of the date they are filng the Declaration of Candidacy.
  • A person running for School Board must be a qualified elector* of the school district at the time of filing a Declaration of Candidacy and must reside within the specific school board district by the date they take their oath, which is always scheduled for the 4th Monday in April. Wis. Stat. §§ 120.05(1)(d), 120.06(2), (4)
  • You can run for alderperson and not live in the aldermanic district, as long as you are a qualified elector* of the aldermanic district and actually reside in the district at the time of the election. Wis. Stat. §.62.09(2)(a)

      *A qualified elector is defined in Wis. Stat. § 6.02 as a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older, who has resided in the election district for at least 10 consecutive days before any election at which he or she offers to vote (and who is not disqualified by virtue of one or more of the impediments described in Wis. Stat. § 6.03). 

Can I continue to work as a city employee and run for office?
If a person owns a business in a particular Aldermanic/School Board District, but does not live in that district, can the owner still sign the nomination petition?

No, only persons residing in the Aldermanic/School Board District may sign the nomination petition.

Do I, as the candidate, have to turn in my nomination petition forms?
Dropping off the nomination petition forms does not necessarily have to be done by the candidate; someone else can drop them off. However, the candidate is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of all forms submitted on his or her behalf.
Are the mayoral, aldermanic and School Board races partisan or non-partisan?

All elections for city office are non-partisan, meaning candidates do not have to declare a political party in order to run for office.

How many signatures are required on the nomination petitions in order to seek a City of Milwaukee elected position?

The number of signatures required are as follows:

  • Citywide offices (including School Board at large):  1,500-3,000
  • Alderpersons:  200-400
  • Board of School Directors (district seats):  400-800
Do I have to wait until the nomination filing deadline to turn in my petition signatures and other forms?
No, you may turn in the forms as soon as they are complete. Candidates are encouraged not to wait until the deadline.

How to Run for Public Office in the City of Milwaukee

This website was created to assist citizens who are considering a bid for elected office. This cursory review does not replace the candidate's responsibility to review Chapters 5-12 of the State Statutes governing the election process.


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