California elections law gives parties the option to allow voters who have No Party Preference (also known as "Nonpartisan") to "crossover" and vote in their primaries for a single election only.
Each individual party decides whether or not they want to allow crossover voting. It is not determined by the Registrar of Voters' Office or the California Secretary of State.
For the June 5, 2012 Primary, the Democratic and American Independent parties have agreed to allow Nonpartisan voters to request to crossover and vote for their Presidential candidates.
If you are registered to vote as Nonpartisan/No Party Preference voter, you can request a crossover ballot two ways:
If you do not request a crossover ballot, you will still be able to vote. Your ballot will include all candidates and measures except President and Party Central Committee.
Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act
Top Two Primary Chart: 3 Types of Candidate Contests
On June 8, 2010, California voters approved Proposition 14, which created the “Top-Two Candidates Open Primary Act”.
The “Top-Two Candidates Open Primary Act” changes the way elections are conducted for the following offices, now called Voter-Nominated Offices:
|Secretary of State
||Board of Equalization
Under the “Top-Two Candidates Open Primary Act”, all candidates running for Voter-Nominated Offices, regardless of their party preference, will appear on the single combined ballot, and voters can vote for any candidate from any political party.
The “Top-Two Candidates Open Primary Act” requires that only the two candidates for Voter-Nominated Office who receive the highest and second-highest numbers of votes cast at the primary shall appear on the ballot as candidates at the ensuing General Election.
U. S. President and Party Central Committees are Party-Nominated Offices. Voters can vote only for the candidates of the same qualified political party (unless parties allow No Party Preference voters to cross-over and join their primary).
For U. S. President, the candidate chosen nationally by each party is placed on the General Election ballot. For Party Central Committees, the candidates who receive the most votes in the Primary win outright.
Non-Partisan Offices include the Superintendent of Public Instruction as well as judicial, county, city, school, and special district offices.
Voters can vote for any candidate. A candidate's political party preference is not listed on the ballot.
In majority vote contests, candidates that receive a majority of the votes (more than 50%) in the Primary win outright. Otherwise, the top two candidates who receive the most votes in the Primary move on to the General Election.