Whether or not you sign a petition is a personal choice. Some people refuse to sign petitions. However, the reluctance to sign petitions makes it difficult for potential candidates without strong political party backing to get the requisite number of signatures and run for elected office. Signing a petition is an important way to participate in the electoral process. Some people sign candidates' petitions on a first-come-first served basis, without regard for the candidates' political beliefs. This practice can result in you signing a petition for a candidate who doesn't share your political philosophies and who may have goals in government you oppose. The best way to participate in the petition process is to become familiar with the candidates before signing. If a candidate, or his/her supporter, whom you are not familiar with approaches you for your signature, you may ask some questions about the candidate's beliefs and goals. Then you will be able to make an informed decision whether or not to sign the candidate's petition. Signing a petition does not obligate you to vote for the candidate in the Primary or General Election.