04/17/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Indiana Senate: Democrats Face Tuesday Deadline To Get A Candidate On The Primary Ballot

The abrupt retirement of Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) from the Senate leaves Democrats with roughly 24 hours to get a replacement candidate on the primary ballot in Indiana.

According to forms on the Indiana Secretary of State's website, in order to file a declaration of candidacy, a candidate must submit a petition of nomination signed by at least 4,500 registered voters of the state, including at least 500 registered voters from each of Indiana's nine congressional districts.

Each form must include: "(a) signature of each petitioner, (b) name of each petitioner printed legibly, and (c) residence mailing address of each petitioner," according to the candidate guide.

If any one of those elements is lacking, the signature can be challenged, meaning petitioners will have to spread across the state and gather many signatures over the minimum.

The deadline is noon on Tuesday and, for a major political party, is possible to meet.

If they fail, however, the state Democratic party can still get a candidate on the ballot. State rules allow the "state committee" to fill a vacancy before June 30.

The dual deadlines essentially give the state party the power to choose the candidate, rather than voters in a primary.

Spokespeople for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Indiana Secretary of State did not immediately return calls.