Hopefuls for elected office in the District don’t just get on the ballot as some sort sort of democratic courtesy; they actually have to put some work in just to get considered by the voters. Ward-based candidates have to collect signatures from 1 percent of voters in their wards and political parties — for Democrats, that’s around 250; for Republicans and Statehood Greens, it’s significantly less. (In Ward 7, for example, Ron Moten will only need signatures from 14 fellow Republicans, for example.) At-large candidates, meanwhile, have to gather more than that: 2,000 or so for Democrats, fewer for Republicans and Statehood Greens.

All told, candidates have a month-and-a-half to get signatures, after which their petitions are open to challenges from residents and other campaigns before being deemed ballot-worthy, or not.

The seats up for grabs next year are Wards 2, 4, 7 and 8; two at-large spots; the delegate to the House of Representatives; the shadow delegation; candidates for the U.S. presidency, and others.

Signature gathering may be tedious for both candidates and voters, but it’s a vital part of the democratic process.

[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]

Martin Austermuhle blogs at DCist . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.