Whom Can I Vote For
in the March Primary -- or
How Open is this Primary, Anyway?!
|If you plan to register or change your voter registration,
February 17 is the deadline for delivering or postmarking
your form. Read on for more details.
California currently has a modified closed primary system.
If you are registered with a political party, your ballot
will include your party's candidates for federal and state
offices as well as four statewide propositions and probably
some contests and measures in your county.
If you are not registered with a political party ("decline
to state" or "unaffiliated"), you may participate
in a party's primary election if that party allows unaffiliated
voters to do so. For this election, an unaffiliated voter
may request and vote a ballot for these parties:
- American Independent
- Democratic (all candidates except county central
- Republican (all candidates except Presidential and
county central committee candidates).
Unaffiliated voters who go to the polls must ask for
one of the three parties' ballots if they do not want
a ballot for nonpartisan offices and measures only.
Poll workers are not obligated to inform unaffiliated
voters that they have a choice of ballot.
To see the various ballot choices, use Smart Voter's
"Find My Ballot" function and select the possible
"Decline to State" options.
Decide which ballot you want to vote - a nonpartisan
or a party ballot. You may need to change your voter
registration if you want a particular party's ballot.
Fill out a voter registration card (available at city
halls, post offices, libraries, and online) and mark
the political party of your choice. The registration
card must be delivered to your county's Elections Office
or be postmarked by the February 17, 2004 deadline.
Permanent absentee voters who are unaffiliated will
receive a letter from their Elections Office asking
if they want to vote one of the three parties' ballots.
Unaffiliated voters requesting an absentee ballot just
for the March election should also request a party's
ballot if they do not want just the nonpartisan ballot.
Web site Resources:
Smart Voter's "Find My Ballot" by Party: http://smartvoter.org/
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
· Cost to Register
· How to Register to Vote
· What is your Residence?
· Re-Registering to Vote
· How often do you have to Register?
· Voting by Mail and Overseas
· Political Parties
· Registration Drives
Secretary of State On-line Voter Registration