All independent and primary candidates must submit a nominating petition in order for their names to appear on the ballot. (Candidates nominated by a method other than primary, however, are certified directly to the election commission by the party.) T.C.A. § 2-5-101. Nominating petition forms are furnished by the county election commission and, for some offices, by the coordinator of elections. T.C.A. § 2-5-102. These petitions are not to be issued more than 90 days before the qualifying deadline for the office sought. T.C.A. § 2-5-102(b)(5).
For most offices, the nominating petition must be signed by the candidate as well as a minimum of 25 or more registered voters who are eligible to fill the office (presidential and delegate candidates have different requirements). Either the signer's normal or legal signature is acceptable. The voter must also include the residence or other address as shown on the voter registration card. Including additional information on the petition that does not appear on the voter registration card will not disqualify the signature if there is no conflict in the information. T.C.A. § 2-5-101.