How to Become or Withdraw as a Candidate
To become a candidate in an Ontario provincial election you must be nominated and registered.
When you successfully register, you may receive contributions—such as monetary donations or in-kind goods and services—and issue tax receipts. You may also finance your political activities during a campaign period.
Once you are nominated, you can have your name placed on the ballot in the electoral district where you are running for election.
Before you can apply to be registered as a candidate with Elections Ontario you must:
- appoint a chief financial officer
- appoint an auditor
- meet any pre-registration requirements set by your party or constituency association
There is no fee to register a candidate.
When you fill out forms, please be sure that:
- all information is accurate and complete (inaccurate information will cause delays and may be a contravention of the Election Finances Act
- information is typed or printed clearly on the form
For more details, please see the CFO Handbook for Candidates and the Candidates Guide.
To be nominated as a candidate, your nomination paper must be filed at the returning office of the electoral district where you are running for election.
On the nomination paper you will need the signatures and addresses of at least 25 electors in the electoral district. These addresses will be verified by election officials when you file your papers.
The nomination paper must be filed before the close of nominations during the election period.
During an election, the Elections Ontario website will be updated regularly with important dates such as when nominations close.
You become a nominated candidate when the nomination paper has been approved by the returning officer.
For more details, please see the CFO Handbook for Candidates and the Candidate's Guide.
To register as a candidate, complete and sign Form C-1: Candidate Registration and Change Notice and send it to Elections Ontario. You are registered once Elections Ontario sends you an acceptance of registration.
Your registration papers may be submitted and must be received and approved by Elections Ontario no later than the day before Election Day.
- You must send the C-1 form to election compliance.
- You must file your nomination paper at your returning office.
For more details, please see the CFO Handbook for Candidates.
If you are a candidate representing a political party and you want your party’s name to appear on the ballot beside your name, your party leader needs to file an endorsement of candidate form with the Chief Electoral Officer.
The office of the Chief Electoral Officer sends the endorsement form directly to the party leader to complete.
For more information, please see the Candidate's Guide.
As a candidate, you may withdraw or be withdrawn if:
- you decide to withdraw
- you fail to file nomination papers with the returning officer on time
If you want to voluntarily withdraw and you have filed your nomination paper, you must complete Part 5–Notice of Withdrawal of the nomination paper and submit it to the returning officer in your electoral district.
If you have filed your C-1: Candidate Registration and Change Notice Form with election compliance at Elections Ontario, you must notify them of your withdrawal.
There is no fee to withdraw as a candidate. There are filing requirements and requirements for the candidate’s funds. Please see the CFO Handbook for Candidates and the Candidate's Guide for details.
If you fail to file your nomination papers on time with the returning office, Elections Ontario will withdraw you as a candidate. Your CFO will be required to complete the necessary financial filings. All the details can be found in the CFO Handbook for Candidates.