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Voting for President? Make sure your ballot has the option you want

Tracy DeFore

County of San Diego Communications Office

The San Diego County Registrar’s office sent over 1.9 million postcards to the County’s registered voters letting them know their political party registration determines which presidential primary candidates will appear on their March 5, 2024 primary election ballot.

Political parties decide who can vote for their presidential primary candidates. All registered voters fall under two categories:

1. Registered with a political party preference

If you are registered with one of the six political parties in California, your ballot will list only that party’s presidential primary candidates. You can vote only for that party’s presidential candidates.

California’s political parties are:

• American Independent Party

• Democratic Party

• Green Party

• Libertarian Party

• Peace and Freedom Party

• Republican Party

If your party registration differs from the party of the presidential candidate you want to vote for, you will need to register to vote with that party. If you want to change your party registration, the Registrar’s office advises you to do so before Feb. 20, 2024.

2. Registered as nonpartisan (also known as independent or no party preference)

If you are registered as nonpartisan, you will automatically receive a nonpartisan ballot for the March 5 election. Your nonpartisan ballot will not list the presidential primary contest or candidates.

There are nearly 490,000 voters in San Diego County registered as nonpartisan. If you are one of them, you can take steps now to vote for a presidential candidate in the primary.

As a nonpartisan voter, you can select one of three different crossover ballot types.

Political parties allowing nonpartisan voters to crossover:

This year the American Independent Party, Democratic Party, and Libertarian Party are allowing nonpartisan voters to take part in their presidential primary elections.

Nonpartisan voters must request one of these three parties’ ballots to vote for that party’s presidential primary candidate. Selecting one of these three political party ballots will not register you with that party. You will remain a nonpartisan voter.

If you are a nonpartisan voter, you will soon get a postcard asking you to let the Registrar’s office know your choice of a party crossover ballot before Jan. 5, so it is included in the first mailing of ballots going out the week of Feb. 4.

You may also complete the Registrar’s nonpartisan crossover party ballot request form found at https://www.sdvote.com/ or visit the Registrar’s office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Political parties not allowing nonpartisan voters to crossover

This year, the Green Party, Peace and Freedom Party, and Republican Party have closed their presidential primary to nonpartisan voters.

Nonpartisan voters will not be able to select one of these ballots. Nonpartisan voters who want one of these parties’ ballots will need to re-register with that party.

This can be done by completing a new voter registration online.

No matter what your party preference, all registered voters will be allowed to vote on nonpartisan contests and voter-nominated offices, such as U.S. congressional offices and state legislative offices.

The top two vote getters in voter-nominated contests will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

Not sure which political party you’re registered with or if you’re registered to vote?

You can check your registration, re-register, and register to vote at https://www.sdvote.com.

The Registrar’s office encourages you to do so well before Feb. 20 to avoid delays and long lines at vote centers.

Learn more about voting in the March 5 presidential primary at https://www.sdvote.com, or call (858) 565-5800 or toll free at (800) 696-0136.

 

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