The Department of Elections Reminds Voters about March 3 Consolidated Presidential Primary Election Rules

Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
John Arntz, Director

For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, Friday, November 22, 2019 – On March 3, California will hold a Consolidated Presidential Primary Election. Under California’s “Top Two Primary” system, voters may vote for candidates of their choice in congressional and state contests, regardless of voters’ political party preference selected at registration. However, voters’ party preference determines which presidential candidates, if any, will appear on their ballots.

Voters registered with a preference for a qualified political party can only vote for that party’s presidential candidates. Voters who are registered to vote with a preference for a specific political party and who want to vote for presidential candidates of a different party, must reregister to vote with that party preference.

Voters registered without a preference for a qualified political party and who want to vote for U.S. President must request a primary election ballot with presidential candidates. The American Independent, Democratic, and Libertarian parties will allow voters with no party preference to participate in their Presidential Primary Elections.

In the coming days, the Department of Elections will mail notices to voters with no party preference and who vote by mail to allow voters to request their preferred ballots in advance of mailing vote-by-mail ballot packets for the March 3 election. Voters may complete and return the postage-paid notice, call the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375, or email sfvote@sfgov.org, to submit their requests. Alternatively, voters may use the online Voter Portal – sfelections.org/voterportal – to request their preferred ballots.

Vote-by-mail voters who do not submit requests for ballots with the presidential contest or do not reregister to vote with a qualified political party will be mailed ballots that do not list presidential candidates.  However, voters will be able to exchange their ballots for their preferred ballots through Election Day, March 3, by following the instructions enclosed in their vote-by-mail packets. 

Voters can check their party preference at sfelections.org/voterportal or by calling the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375.

For more information about primary election rules, visit sfelections.org/2020primary.

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Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 48
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 554-4375
sfelections.org

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