Don't worry. If they don't have a logo on their shirt from a lawn care or energy company, they are probably there for your signature on a designating petition. Candidates for office need to file designating petitions in order to appear on the ballot. Different party lines on the ballot require different numbers of signatures to be valid.
Here is a rundown of some questions many people have regarding the petitioning process.
- If I sign, does that mean I have to vote for this person?
- No. You are free to vote however you wish in the elections.
- How did they get my address?
- You gave it to them when you registered as part of a political party.
- Why me?
- Candidates and their friends (who are volunteering their time to help) try to visit as many registered voters as they can in order to fill their signature requirements as fast as possible. If you're in the party, you're on the list. It's like jury duty, but a lot less painful.
- Do I have to sign if I'm in the party?
- No. You are free to refuse to sign. But to sign is not a binding contract - it simply means that you support that candidate's decision to run for office. If you don't support that decision, its fine, you don't have to sign the page.
The process of gathering petitions is a grueling one. So please don't be rude to the volunteer on your porch. If you wish to decline, do so gracefully. These people are just trying to help out and do their part.
If you would like to get involved in the process, please get in touch with your party leadership. Volunteers are always needed this time of year.
Click here for contact information for the parties in Broome County.