Organisation : California Secretary of State
Facility Name : Political Party Qualification
Country : California, USA
Website : https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/political-parties/political-party-qualification
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- 1 CA SOS Political Party Qualification
- 2 Beginning the Process of Qualifying a Political Party
- 3 Two Methods to Qualify a Political Party
CA SOS Political Party Qualification
A qualified political party is entitled to participate in any primary election or presidential general election. (Elec. Code, § 338.)
Related / Similar Facility : SOS California Online Pre-registration
The following information is for a new political party to be entitled to participate in the following elections:
** June 7, 2022, primary election,
** March 5, 2024, primary election, or
** November 5, 2024, presidential general election
The political parties currently qualified to participate in the elections are, in alphabetical order:
The American Independent Party, the Democratic Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Peace and Freedom Party, and the Republican Party.
Beginning the Process of Qualifying a Political Party
Whenever a group of electors desires to qualify a new political party, the group shall form a political body by carrying out the following two requirements (Elec. Code, § 5001):
Hold a Caucus or Convention
The group of electors must hold a caucus or convention at which temporary officers shall be elected and a party name designated. The designated name shall not be so similar to the name of an existing party so as to mislead the voters, and shall not conflict with that of any existing political party or other political body.
Filing Notice with Secretary of State
Following the convention, the group must file a formal notice with the Secretary of State.
The notice must contain the following information:
** That the political body has organized,
** That the political body elected temporary officers,
** That the political body intends to qualify a political party pursuant to Elections Code section 5100 or 5151, but not both, and
** The names and addresses of the temporary officers of the political body.
Upon receipt of the above notice, the Secretary of State will notify county elections officials of the name of the political body, its intent to qualify as a political party, and whether it intends to qualify for the next primary election or for the next presidential general election. (Elec. Code, § 5002.)
A political body is entitled, upon request to the Secretary of State, to have counted toward its qualification as a political party, affidavits of registration in which voters disclosed a preference with the political body prior to the date the political body filed the above notice. This request must be made within the first 70 days after filing the notice. (Elec. Code, § 5003.)
Two Methods to Qualify a Political Party
A political body may use one of two methods to qualify as a political party: voter registration or petition. (Elec. Code, §§ 5100, 5151.)
Voter Registration Method – Elections Code Section 5100(b) or 5151(c)
To qualify a new political party by voter registration requires that voters equal in number to at least 0.33 percent of the total number of voters registered on the 154th day before the primary election or the 123rd day before the presidential general election complete an affidavit of registration, disclosing a preference by writing in the name of the political body intending to qualify as a political party. (Elec. Code, §§ 5100(b), 5151(c).)
These completed affidavits of registration must be submitted to the county elections officials 154 days prior to any primary election (if intending to qualify to participate in the next primary election) or 123 days before a presidential general election(if intending to qualify to participate in the next presidential general election). (Elec. Code, §§ 2187(c)(1), (c)(4).)
The completed affidavits of registration should be submitted to the elections official in the counties of the voters’ residences. They may be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office, although this will result in delays to the counties’ receipt of the affidavits.
** 154 days prior to the June 7, 2022, primary election is January 4, 2022.
** 154 days prior to the March 5, 2024, primary election is October 3, 2023.
** 123 days prior to the November 5, 2024, presidential general election is July 5, 2024.
The Secretary of State must determine, from examining and totaling the reports of registration from the counties, that the political body obtained voter registrations equal in number to at least 0.33 percent of the total number of voters registered on the 154th day before the primary election or the 123rd day before the presidential general election. (Elec. Code, §§ 5100(b), 5151(c).)
If a political body chooses to use the voter registration method, they can contact the Secretary of State Elections Division to obtain voter registration cards. Any request of 50 or more voter registration cards will require a representative from the political body to complete and submit a “Voter Registration Card Statement of Distribution” form to the Secretary of State. A “Voter Registration Card Statement of Distribution” form is available on the Secretary of State’s website at elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/vrdis.pdf.
The completed form must be mailed or faxed to:
** Secretary of State
** Elections Division
** 1500 11th Street, 5th Floor
** Sacramento CA 95814
Fax: (916) 653-3214
Petition Method – Elections Code Section 5100(c) or 5151(d)
To qualify a new political party by petition, no later than 135 days prior to the primary election or the presidential general election, the Secretary of State must determine if a political body intending to qualify collected petition signatures of registered voters equal to 10 percent of the votes cast at the last gubernatorial election. (Elec. Code, §§ 5100(c), 5151(d).) The current signature requirement is 1,271,255 (10% of 12,712,542, the votes cast at the November 8, 2018, gubernatorial election).
In order for the Secretary of State to make this determination on or before the 135th day prior to the primary election or the presidential general election, the counties must have ample time to count and verify the signatures. Note: E-135 always falls on a Sunday, therefore the deadline will be adjusted to the next business day pursuant to Elections Code section 15.
** 135 days prior to the June 7, 2022, primary election is January 23, 2022.
** 135 days prior to the March 5, 2024, primary election is October 22, 2023.
** 135 days prior to the November 5, 2024, presidential general election is June 23, 2024.
If a political body chooses the petition process, it is responsible to print and distribute petitions at its expense. The Secretary of State does not review the petition prior to its distribution. The political body may need to obtain the services of an attorney who is familiar with election law to ensure the accuracy of the petition.