Senator Allen Addresses Voter Confusion Over Presidential Primary Rules

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Sacramento, CA – Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica), chair of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, issued a statement today addressing confusion among some voters who have received a vote-by-mail ballot, or a sample ballot, that have no presidential candidates listed on it.

By way of clarification, Senator Allen gave the following explanation:

“Voters who registered to vote without stating a political party preference are called "no party preference" or "NPP" voters. NPP voters will automatically receive a non-partisan ballot, which will have no presidential candidates listed.

“Each political party has the option of allowing NPP voters to vote in their presidential primary election. This year, the American Independent, Democratic, and Libertarian parties chose to do so. If an NPP voter wishes to vote for a presidential candidate seeking the nomination of one of these parties, there are two ways to do so:

  1.    If NPP Voters have already received a non-partisan ballot in the mail, they have the option of going to their polling place on Election Day where they can surrender that ballot and request a ballot for one of the three participating political parties.
  2.    If NPP voters still want to vote one of those party ballots by mail (even if they have already received their non-partisan ballot in the mail) they must complete a new vote-by-mail application indicating which of the three political party ballots they want, and mail or return it in person to their county elections office. These vote-by-mail ballot applications must arrive by May 31.

“The Republican, Green, and Peace and Freedom parties have chosen not to allow NPP voters to request their party's presidential ballot or participate in their presidential primary election.

“If an NPP voter wants to vote for a presidential candidate seeking the nomination of the Republican, Green, or Peace and Freedom party, the NPP voter must re-register to vote with one of those parties by May 23, 2016. Voters can register or re-register online here:

“A vote by mail ballot application can be found here:

“If you have questions, please call the toll-free voter information line for Los Angeles County, at 1-800-815-2666, or visit them online at”