• Sarah Shorter

Bootstrapping Your Campaign: Filing to Run

After you've decided to run, you get to actually do everything required to be allowed to run. Congrats, it's time to file!

Not going to lie, it's kind of expensive. Apparently fundraising you can reimburse yourself but for right now, you're going to be out, like $300. It depends on what office you're running for, if it's statewide or county, what state you're in, how far you have to drive.

So you have that cash, you've looked at the filing checklists like twenty times and you've printed them off and lost them in your purse twice--here's a more detailed step-by-step list of what you need to do.

Step One: Don't be doing tax crimes. Also have filed your taxes previously.

Half of what you're going to be doing in this stage is letting the public and the Ethics Commission know that you're on the up-and-up and what you might have to gain by running. If you're like me, you will breeze through most of this because lmao you think I own a majority share in something? The only assets I have are my car and my cats.

Step Two: Fill out the affidavit of tax payments (link for MO offices only).

This is where the not doing tax crimes part comes in. And DON'T SIGN IT! You have to sign it in front of a notary. And you know what, print off two copies, just in case.

Step Three: Get that sucker notarized!

Fill out legal documents. get them notarized like at maybe a library or bank or something. you don't have to--they might be able to do it where you file but I wouldn't bank on it just because that's not how my luck goes.

Step Four: Pay the filing fee to your statewide party organization and get a receipt.

Hot tip: party reps will be at the capitol ONLY on the first day of filing. You can realize this five hours before you planned to drive to the capitol and frantically email and message the person in charge of getting you receipts but I would not recommend it, particularly if you have anxiety. Print off multiple copies just to be safe.

Step 4.1: Put them in a folder or something you uncultured monster.

All of them. All of the papers. This also keeps your documents together so you just have to keep track of one thing not five, and, bonus, the papers don't get crumpled.

Step 4.2: Weep secretly at the loss of 300 dollars but try to avoid telling your mother.

Step 5: Get off work at 630 am and get 2 different caffeinated beverages because you didn't sleep well last night and you might be getting sick and you're going to be driving for six hours.

Step 6: Pick up your mother who doesn't feel comfortable with you driving all the way to Jeff City by yourself after working all night.

Step 6.1: Concede the point and frantically clear out the passenger seat of your car.

Step 7: Drive to Jeff City. Are you just tired, or is this route really boring? Did the phone map lady do this on purpose? You know she hates you.

Step 7.1: Listen to your specially curated roadtrip playlist and try not to think about how much the rest of the day is going to suck.

Step 7.2: Instead think about how regular people with regular jobs are supposed to do this without taking a day off work.

Step 7.3: Realize that maybe that's the point. Maybe regular people aren't supposed to and a lot of this process seems specially formulated to keep regular type people from doing this.

Step 7.4: Your irritation will power you through part of the drive.

Step 8: Get to Jeff City.

Step 8.1: Get lost.

Step 8.2: Get anxious.

Step 9: Find the first building on your trip where you are supposed to file the tax thing you got notarized.

Step 9.1: Get lost in the building.

Step 9.2: Go to the wrong place.

Step 9.3: Go to the right place that's actually wrong because you've already printed and filled out the form. You were wrong but you're winning!

Step 9.4: Surprise the person you're talking to by already having the form notarized. You're extra super winning now.

Step 9.5: Finally reach the right office and file the form.

Step 9.6: You get two copies, just in case.

Step 10: Realize that you are going to have spent 6 hours driving for a max of 30 minutes giving people paperwork. sink into despair.

Step 11: Go to a different building. There is a library in it and a cool glass elevator. The stacks make you feel calmer.

Step 11.1: Almost try to swipe into a door before realizing that a. you aren't wearing a badge, you're wearing a visitor's sticker, and b. this is not where you work--even if you were still wearing your badge it wouldn't work.

Step 12: Go into an office and wait a minute or two.

Step 12.1: Get taken back and fill out some demographic information.

Step 12.2: Wonder briefly about putting your address on the internet.

Step 12.3: Hand over the rest of your paperwork. get more copies.

Step 13: Get a packet of ethics stuff. Find out there's another thing you have to file in two weeks.

Step 14: Drive home and sleep for like two hours because you're getting sick and can't breathe and then go to work at 10.

Congratulations, you have managed to get your name on the ballot! Theoretically easy; realistically so many little steps that take a lot of time.

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