Types of Candidate Contests

Party-Nominated (Formerly known as Partisan)


Party-Nominated offices are contests in which the nominee is selected by the political party. Only registered voters in that political party can vote for that party's candidate on the ballot.

Who can Vote


Only voters registered with the same party preference as the candidate. (Except parties who allow non-partisans to cross-over and join their primary).

Offices of


County Central Committees
U.S. President

Who Advances to the General Election


Presidential contest only, the top vote-getters in each party.

Voter-Nominated


Voter-Nominated offices are contests in which the nominee is selected by the voter. In voter-nominated contests, any voter can vote for any candidate, regardless of party. It also allows candidates to choose whether they want to disclose their party preference on the ballot.

Who can Vote


All voters, regardless of party preference can vote for any candidate. This replaces party ballots in primary elections with a single combined ballot listing all candidates. The candidate may also choose to have their party preference or lack of party preference printed on the ballot.

Offices of


  • Attorney General
  • Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Secretary of State
  • State Assembly
  • State Board of Equalization


  • State Controller
  • State Insurance Commissioner
  • State Senator
  • State Treasurer
  • U.S. Representative
  • U.S. Senator

Who Advances to the General Election


The top-two vote-getters, regardless of party preference.


Non-Partisan


A Non-Partisan office is an office in which no political party nominates a candidate. Judicial, school, county and municipal offices are examples of non-partisan offices.

Who can Vote


All voters, regardless of party preference

Offices of


  • County Offices
  • Municipal Offices
  • Schools and Special Districts
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Superior Court Judges

Who Advances to the General


In majority vote contests, candidates that receive a majority of the votes win outright in the Primary. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, then the top-two vote-getters move on to the general election.