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Voting in the March Primary

Voting for President depends on which party you are registered with. 

Six political parties are holding Presidential Primaries:

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace and Freedom

If you are registered with one of these parties, your ballot will include the candidates running for that party’s presidential nomination. If you are registered with one political party, you may not vote a ballot for another political party.

If you are not registered with one of the six political parties, or if you registered Decline to State, Independent, or Nonpartisan, you are a No Party Preference (NPP) Voter.

Three parties allow NPP voters to vote in their presidential primary:

  • Democratic                                  
  • American Independent   
  • Libertarian

If you want to vote in one of these party primaries, you must ask for that ballot. 

If you vote by mail, you will be mailed a postcard in mid-December to select a party ballot before ballots are mailed on February 3. You may also request a party ballot:

  • online application at www.votescount.com
  • by phone - 831-454-2060. You will need to provide your name, the address where you live, the address where you want us to mail your ballot, your date of birth, the last four digits of your social security number, and your driver's license number. 
  • by email to PartyBallot@votescount.com. You will need to provide your name, the address where you live, the address where you want us to mail your ballot, your date of birth, the last four digits of your social security number, and your driver's license number. 
  • by FAX to 831-454-2445. You will need to provide your name, the address where you live, the address where you want us to mail your ballot, your date of birth, the last four digits of your social security number, and your driver's license number. 

If you receive a ballot without the office of President and want to vote on that office, contact the county elections office using one of the methods above, and a new ballot will be mailed to you.

If you vote at the polls or a satellite voting location, you can select the party ballot there.

If you do not select a party ballot, you will receive a Nonpartisan ballot that will not include the office of President.

Three parties allow only voters registered with their party to vote in their presidential primary:

  • Republican                             
  • Green                                     
  • Peace and Freedom

If you want to change your party registration before the Primary Election

The last day to register or re-register to vote is February 18, 2020.  You can register to vote online at registertovote.ca.gov or cards are available at post offices, city halls, libraries and the County Elections Department. 

If you miss the deadline to register or change your party, you may still register and vote up to and including Election Day.

How to vote in the California Top-Two Primary

The following offices will be on the ballot for California's Top-Two Primary in March:

  • US Representative
  • State Senator
  • State Assemblymember

All candidates from all parties will be on the ballot for these contests.
You don’t have to be registered with a party to vote on these contests.
You can vote for a candidate from any party.
You can “write in” a candidate in the Primary Election.
The two candidates with the most votes will appear on the General Election ballot even if they have the same party preference.

Nonpartisan offices on the March ballot include:

  • Superior Court Judge
  • County Supervisor

These contests are always open to all eligible voters.
Candidates who receive at least 50% plus 1 vote are elected.
Or, if no candidate wins, the two candidates with the most votes move on to the General Election

What does party preference mean?

Voters may either register with a political party preference or choose "none."

A candidate's party preference does not necessarily mean that they have that political party's support. The list of candidates who receive a party's official endorsement is in the county Voter Information Guide.

Voting for County Central Committees

Only voters registered with a political party may vote for candidates running for county central committee. The following parties and districts have contests on the March ballot:

Democratic Party 

  • 1st District
  • 2nd District
  • 3rd District 
  • 5th District

Republican Party

  • 1st District

The other districts for the Republican Party had fewer people file than there are seats, so they will be appointed in-lieu of election. 
The Peace and Freedom Party, Libertarian Party and Green Party did not have any candidates file for office.
The American Independent Party chose not to select their members using the March ballot.