Friday, April 19, 2024

Registered with a Political Party? Make Sure Your Primary Ballot Offers the Presidential Candidate You Want

If you live in San Diego County and are registered with a political party, then that party’s presidential candidates will appear on your March 2024 presidential primary ballot.

If you want to vote for a presidential candidate from another political party, you’ll need to re-register with that party.

For that reason, the Registrar’s office encourages you to verify your political party preference and your home and mailing address. Ballots start going out to registered voters the week of Feb. 4.

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 qualified 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 qualified 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.

  1. 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.

Nearly 490,000 voters in San Diego County are 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 PartyDemocratic 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.

You can complete the Registrar’s nonpartisan crossover party ballot request form found at or visit the Registrar’s office in Kearny Mesa from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.

Also note that the Democratic Party is allowing nonpartisan voters to vote in its presidential contest, but not its Central Committee contest. If requested, you will receive the nonpartisan version of the Democratic ballot.

Political Parties NOT Allowing Nonpartisan Voters to Crossover

This year, the Green PartyPeace 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.

You can fill out a new voter registration form online at

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

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, or call 858-565-5800 or toll free at 800-696-0136.

Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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