What will be on my ballot?

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, looks at U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., speaking during a televised debate Monday for candidates in the Senate race to succeed the late California Senator Dianne Feinstein .  January 22, 2024, in Los Angeles.

Ballots for California’s presidential primary will begin arriving in mailboxes on Feb. 5, marking the beginning of early voting in a state with a large delegate count that could play a major role in determining who the Republican Party wins for president. Who will receive the nomination for office, and will help decide who will be elected. Majority in the US House of Representatives the following year.

It will be the second Super Tuesday for California after a 2020 rule change gave voters in the most populous state more influence over primaries after years of holding elections in late June, when the presidential nomination is often already secured. Used to go.

Although the state’s March 5 primary election may seem far in the future, millions of registered voters will face nearly two dozen candidates from six political parties running to become president of the United States.

Unlike the November general election, not all primary ballots are created equal, and can vary significantly depending on the voter’s party registration. For some, this may mean not seeing any names for the presidential primary race.

To check the status of your registration, visit Registertovote.ca.gov.

What to Expect on Your California Ballot: Presidential Primary Election

California has a “modified” closed primary system for presidential elections, meaning that registered voters can only cast votes for their political party’s candidates unless they vote differently via a specifically requested ballot. Do not request to do. The exception is the Republican Party, which allows only registered Republicans to vote for GOP candidates in primaries.

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If you are a registered Democrat:

You can only vote for Democrats, and you will have the option to vote for the party’s nominee among eight certified candidates, including current President Joe Biden.

You cannot vote for Republican candidates, because the GOP has “closed” primaries, which allow only registered Republicans to vote for Republican candidates. To vote for a Republican, voters must re-register with the Republican Party. The same applies to those who want to vote for the Green and Peace and Freedom parties. Registered Democrats wishing to vote for an American independent or libertarian candidate must either re-register with the party or register with No Party Preference.

If you are a registered Republican:

You can only vote for the Republican candidate. Eight people were eligible to get on the ballot in December, some of whom had suspended their campaigns, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The top candidates still in the race are former President Donald Trump and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

If you want to vote for a candidate from the Green or Peace and Freedom parties, you will need to re-register with that party. If you want to vote for a Democrat, Independent or Libertarian presidential candidate as a Republican, you can either re-register with the party or register as No Party Preference.

If you are registered independently:

As a member of the American Independent Party, you can vote for this year’s only independent candidate, James Bradlee. Independent candidates are often confused with candidates with no party affiliation. People who are not members of any political party are called no party preference, not independent voters, as it implies in the American Independent Party.

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If you are registered as an independent and want to vote for a Republican, Green Party member, or Peace & Freedom candidate, you will need to re-register with that specific party.

If you want to vote for the presidential candidates of the Democratic or Libertarian parties, you can either re-register with a party or register with No Party Preference.

If you are registered as No Party Preference:

Unless you request a “cross-over” ballot, you will not see any presidential candidates on your ballot.

Three political parties allow no party preference voters to “cross over”: the Democratic Party, the American Independent Party, and the Libertarian Party. The Green Party, Peace and Freedom Party, and the Republican Party do not allow unaffiliated voters to “cross over”, meaning that unaffiliated voters wishing to cast their ballot for the Republicans must re-register with the GOP.

If you are registered with another party:

About 7% of Californians registered with smaller political parties, such as the Green, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom parties, can only vote for their party’s candidate unless they re-register.

Although there is plenty of time to mark your ballots before the primary – up to a month – election officials often suggest not leaving it until the last minute. Ballots are first mailed on February 5, and by February 6, all counties are required to open a ballot drop-off center to accept vote-by-mail ballots. Early voting sites and ballot drop-off locations will be listed on the California Secretary of State’s website, caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov/.

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If you are registering or re-registering less than 15 days before the election—Feb. 20 or later – You must complete voter registration the same day, and request your ballot in person at your county elections office or polling location.

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What to expect on your California ballot: US Senate primary election

In addition to the presidential primary race, all registered Californians will also vote for a candidate for the U.S. Senate. Fortunately, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to party registration, as the state uses a top-two system, which allows voters to throw their support behind any candidate, regardless of party. , whereby the top two vote getters advance. General election.

But there will be two contests in the US Senate on the primary ballot. The first is for a regular six-year term ending in 2031, involving more than two dozen candidates. The second is for the remainder of late-Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s term expires on January 3, 2025, leaving only seven candidates, including front-runner Steve Garvey and Reps. Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee and Katie Porter.