In our Voters Service role, we present unbiased, nonpartisan information
about elections, the voting process, and issues on the ballot.
ON THIS PAGE:
- What is a political party?
- Why join a political party?
- How to join a political party
- What is a "qualified" political party?
- Currently "qualified" political parties
- Other political parties
- If you wish to be "Independent"...
What is a Political Party?
A political party is a group of people who try to determine publicpolicy and operate government by getting their candidates elected to office. More in our Political Parties Fast Facts.
Why Join a Political Party?
If you join a political party you can elect members to the partycentral committee which governs the party. You can help to select the party's candidates and you can work to elect members of the party to political offices. You are not required to work for the party, to contribute moneyto the party or to vote for the party's candidates. If you want to be active in the political party you should contact party officials. See also "voting in a primary election".
How to Join a Political Party
You join (or affiliate with) a political party by checking that party's box on the voter registration application form. If you checked "decline to state" when you registered and now wish to affiliate with one of theparties you must re-register by filling out a new voter registration application and checking the box of one of the political parties. You may change your party affiliation at any time by re-registering. Find out more about political parties using our Political Parties Fast Facts!
What is a "Qualified" Political Party?
Only seven political parties are currently qualified to run candidatesfor partisan offices on the California ballot. See political party qualification for more information.
Currently Qualified Political Parties in California
Read an overview of political parties from the League Of Women Voters' Easy Voter Guide.
Check the parties' official websites for information about a party's beliefs and how to contact the party for more information.
- American Independent Party
- Democratic Party
- Green Party
- Libertarian Party
- Peace and Freedom
- Republican Party
Other Political Parties
If you check the box marked "Other" on the voter registration application form you may write in the name of any political party not listed on the form.
If You Wish to be "No Party Preference"
If you do not wish to join any political party you should check the"No, I don't want to register with a political party" box on the voter registration application form. Read more about how this affects voting in a primary election.