No Party Preference Voting Options Specific to Presidential Primary Elections

New Site Press Release

Contact: Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Alternate: Jim Irizarry, Assistant Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

(Redwood City, CA) As San Mateo County residents begin to receive their ballots in the mail for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election, as many as 120,000 No Party Preference (NPP) voters will receive a nonpartisan ballot. Unlike the partisan ballots specific to the six parties that qualified for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election, the NPP ballot will not include any presidential candidates.

The six parties which qualified for this election are the American Independent Party, Democratic Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party, Peace and Freedom Party, and the Republican Party. Voters registered to parties that did not qualify for the March primary will also receive a nonpartisan ballot.

A nonpartisan ballot contains only the names of candidates for voter-nominated offices and local nonpartisan offices and measures. All voters will see the same presidential candidates in the general election.

Under California law, a political party may allow NPP voters to cast a “crossover” ballot in that party’s presidential primary. In this election, the American Independent Party, Democratic Party, and Libertarian Party have chosen to allow NPP voters to participate in their primaries. NPP voters may select only one party to participate in nominating a candidate in the presidential primary. NPP voters who request a crossover ballot will not be re-registered as a member of that party, and their status will remain nonpartisan.

NPP voters who wish to vote in the presidential primary of the Green Party, Peace and Freedom Party, or Republican Party must re-register as a member of their chosen party.

Presidential Primaries are the only elections in California where a voter’s partisan affiliation affects the contents of their ballot.

Voters who wish to request a crossover ballot can do so by contacting the Registration & Elections Division at registrar@smcacre.org or 650.312.5222. Voters may find the crossover ballot application at www.smcacre.org/march3-2020crossover-ballot.

Additionally, voters may register in person at any of the Vote Centers open throughout the County. Vote Centers currently open for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays are located at:

  • Registration & Elections, 40 Tower Road, San Mateo
  • Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder, 555 County Center, 1st Floor, Redwood City
  • South San Francisco Main Library, 840 W. Orange Street, South San Francisco

Six additional Vote Centers will open on Saturday, February 22, with an additional 33 Vote Centers opening on Saturday, February 29. All 42 Vote Centers will be open through Election Day.

California allows voters the option of registering up until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, meaning that voters can re-register to the party of their choice online at registertovote.ca.gov/. Voters who miss this deadline still have the option to vote for their preferred candidate. Conditional Voter Registration, or CVR, allows voters to re-register up until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day at all available Vote Centers. CVR ballots will be accepted after verification of voter’s eligibility. A full list of Vote Center locations can be found at www.smcvote.org.

Confirming Current Registration Status 

Voters can verify their current registration status online at www.smcvote.org by clicking on the “My Election Info” button. The latest county registration statistics, updated biweekly, are available under “Voter Registration.”

All-Mailed Ballot – Vote Center Election Model for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election
The March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election will be the fourth election San Mateo County conducts under the California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) model. It is the first Presidential Primary Election to be held under the VCA.

Traditional polling places have been replaced by Vote Centers, which will be open for voting for an extended period, and which will offer expanded voter services including voter registration, multilingual assistance, and disabled access voting options. Every registered voter will also receive a Vote by Mail ballot, which voters can return with no postage required in any mailbox or into secure county ballot drop boxes located throughout the County.

For more information, call 650.312.5222, visit www.smcacre.org or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @smcvote.