Form a Political Party

Steps and Requirements

Political parties can nominate candidates for any partisan office, including federal, state and county offices, as long as the party has been established within the electoral district and maintains ballot access.

Party: Formation

To form a political party within any electoral district and nominate candidates to the ballot, the chief sponsor begins the process by filing with the Elections Division:

  • SEL198: Petition to Establish a Political Party (PDF)

Party: Signature Gathering

The chief sponsor can begin gathering signatures after receiving written approval to circulate and after reviewing with circulators​ the legal requirements and guidelines for circulating a political party petition.

After gathering the required number of signatures, the chief sponsor submits them to the Elections Division for verification no later than two years after the prospective formation petition was filed.

Party: Signature Verification

The political party may nominate candidates to the next general election ballot if signature verification shows the petition contains the required number of signatures.

  • The number of valid signatures required to form a statewide political party is 1.5 percent (22, 046) of the total votes cast in the jurisdiction for governor at the last election.
  • For the number of valid signatures required to form a less than statewide political party, contact the Elections Division.
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Want to Know More?

Political Party Manual​ (PDF) >
Explanation of the minor party formation and ma​intenance process.

Failure to follow the instructions in the manual may invalidate the petition or delay receiving written approval to circulate.