Form a Minor Party

Steps and Requirements

Minor 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.

Minor Party: Formation

To form a minor 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).
  • ​SEL199: Signature Sheet to Establish a Political Party (PDF).

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Minor 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 minor 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.

Minor Party: Signature Verification

The minor 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  minor political party is 1.5 percent (21, 804) 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 minor political party, contact the Elections Division.

Want to Know More?

Consult the Minor Political Party Formation and Candidate Nominating Manual (PDF) for a full 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.

To view or print the manual, install the latest Adobe Reader, which is available free.