In 2016 legislation was passed establishing a presidential nomination primary. Common questions about the presidential primary are answered below.
- When will the presidential nomination primary take place?
- It will take place on the first Tuesday in March of a presidential election year, unless the major party chairs agree on a different date by March 1 of the previous year.
Will all parties participate in the presidential nomination primary?
- No, only major parties will participate.
Will all parties be on the same ballot?
- No, each major party will have a separate ballot.
Who decides which candidates will appear on a party’s ballot?
- The chair of each party will submit a list of candidates for the party’s ballot no later than 63 days before the date of the presidential primary.
What if a candidate drops out before the primary?
- Once a party’s list is submitted, changes will not be made to candidates that will appear on the ballot.
Will there be a place to write in a choice or vote for “uncommitted”?
- Only if it is requested by the party chair. Party chairs will need to submit names of write-in candidates to be counted seven days before the primary.
Will any other offices be on the ballot?
- No, only presidential candidates from a major party will appear on the presidential primary ballot. Other offices with a primary will be on the primary ballot in August.
How will I be able to vote in the presidential nomination primary?
- Registered voters will be able to vote at their polling place on presidential primary day or by absentee up to 46 days before presidential primary day. A voter must state which party's ballot they want and will be given a ballot containing only that party's candidates. If you refuse to select a party, you will not be able to vote in the presidential nomination primary.
Will other people know which party’s ballot I request?
- Yes, a voter’s choice of party ballot will be recorded and will be public information. How a voter voted on the ballot will be secret.
Will parties have to abide by the primary results?
- The presidential primary results must bind the election of delegates in each party.
Who will pay for the presidential nomination primary?
- County and municipalities will be reimbursed by the state for the primary costs.
Will there still be precinct caucuses?
- Yes, precinct caucuses and local and state nominating conventions will still take place to conduct other party business.