While the horse race for the 2020 state primaries and general elections is already well underway, candidates took another step Tuesday when they pulled their nomination papers from the state secretary's office, the necessary initial step for ballot access.

On a day when many eyes were focused on a larger election to the north - the presidential primary in New Hampshire - the optimistic few who streamed into the Massachusetts Elections Division office Tuesday morning included experienced incumbents and those engaged in their initial bids for public office.

Jordan Meehan is a first-time political hopeful running for the 17th Suffolk seat held by Rep. Kevin Honan (D-Boston) who has held the position for 33 years and serves as co-chairman of the Housing Committee.

Meehan pulled his papers from Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin's office as it began to fill up with representatives and senators seeking re-election.

"It's exciting to give people ... a choice on the ballot to stand up for renters and homeowners alike," Meehan told the News Service."As anyone who knows anything about Allston/Brighton knows we are getting hit particularly hard with the housing crisis. We are in desperate need of rent control, a tenants bill of rights, and a zoning reform to compel or help cities and towns statewide build more housing."

All candidates except those running for federal office have until May 26 at 5 p.m. to file their papers with Galvin's office while federal candidates have until June 2 at 5 p.m to turn in their forms. State primaries take place on Sept. 1 and election day is Nov. 3.

What part of the nomination paper is most often messed up? A small gray box in the top right corner where office-seekers must fill in their party affiliation, name, residence, office, and district. Galvin spokeswoman Deb O'Malley said if anything is missing from the gray area it disqualifies a candidate.

Most famously, O'Malley said, former Sen. Jennifer Flanagan of Leominster forgot to write Leominster and had to run a write-in campaign because the Elections Division couldn't take any of her papers. Former Rep. John Keenan of Salem forgot to write Salem on two of his signature sheets and left out his party affiliation on another, according to "The Salem News," and came one signature short of the required 150.

Nichole Mossalam walked into the Elections Division offices with a group that described themselves as a loose coalition of candidates that want to usher in a progressive "new guard" of House members.

As the founding director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Medford, Mossalam plans to take on 10-term veteran Rep. Paul Donato for the 35th Middlesex seat. Mossalam, who previously ran for a Malden School Committee seat, said she will run on issues such as public transportation, affordable housing, and infrastructure.

"I learned a lot of valuable lessons on the back end of things, you know how to keep track of your data, and all that boring stuff," she said in regards to her failed 2017 campaign. "But I think more importantly, I also learned how valuable relationship-building is and meeting people where they're at and we're going to make sure that we knock on a lot of doors this time."

Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis (D-Framingham), on the other hand, is no stranger to the 17th floor of the McCormack State Office Building. After pulling papers on Tuesday, Rep. Maria Robinson (D-Framingham) took photos of Lewis at the Elections Division counter to mark the occasion of him running for his third term.

"I've done this a couple times but it's still very exhilarating to be able to be here and to ask my constituents for their support again," Lewis said. "I did take us to the wrong floor ... I was confident this was on a different floor, but we only come a couple times a year so I'm going to give myself a pass."