Posted on December 14, 2015 by the Communications Committee

The following is a general introduction to the processes for the coming 2016 election. Anyone seriously considering running for political office as a Peace and Freedom candidate is also advised to consult with Party officials, local PFP organizations, the California Secretary of State and local county election officials.

Candidates for Presidential Nomination

As a ballot qualified party, the Peace and Freedom Party is entitled to place its nominee for President of the United States on the November ballot in California. Candidates considering seeking the Peace and Freedom Party nomination for President need to contact us, if they have not already done so, using this contact form. The following is only a summary.

Candidates for the Peace and Freedom Party nomination for President may run in the Presidential Primary of June 2016. The result of this election are not binding, but participation in the primary is advisable.

Candidates get on the Presidential primary ballot in two ways. First, they can be placed there by the California Secretary of State in consultation with the State Chair of Peace and Freedom Party. Our role in this selection process will be complete by mid-January, 2016. Second, they can get on the ballot by petition. The nomination period for Presidential Candidates runs until March 25, 2016, with the certified list published on March 31, 2015 (see the Secretary of State's Key Deadlines).

The Presidential candidate of the PFP will actually be chosen at a State Convention in August 2016. The delegates to this Convention will be the Central Committee members newly elected in the June 2016 primary. (If the PFP formally affiliates with a national political party, a different process would be in effect, but such affiliation within the next few months is highly unlikely.)

Anyone seriously seeking the Presidential nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party in 2016 is advised to have as many as possible of their supporters register in the Peace and Freedom Party and run for Peace and Freedom Party Central Committee in the June 2016 primary election. Information on running for Central Committee is provided below and in this article.

Candidates for "Voter-Nominated" Offices

See also this list of deadlines.

Since the passage of Prop. 14 in 2010, partisan political offices have been abolished, except for the office of President and Vice President of the United States and Central Committees of political parties, including the Peace and Freedom Party. The Peace and Freedom Party opposed Prop 14 but we remain bound by its rules. What used to be partisan political offices, such as U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, State Senator, and Member of the State Assembly, are now "voter-nominated" offices selected by the so-called "top two" election procedure. Candidates will be listed on the June primary ballot as having a "party preference" (or not). Only the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of "party preference", will appear on the November ballot.

In 2016, the only statewide "voter-nominated" office is U.S. Senator, but there will be local races for U.S. Representative, State Senator, and Member of the State Assembly throughout the state.

The nomination period for all "voter-nominated" offices runs from February 15, 2016 through March 11, 2016. During this period, all candidates must file nomination documents and their declarations of candidacy for office. There is also a Signatures-in-Lieu Period for Voter-Nominated Offices running from January 4, 2016 through February 25, 2016. During this period, all voter-nominated, non-partisan (if applicable) and judicial candidates may obtain forms from the Registrar of Voters office for circulating petitions to secure signatures-in-lieu of all or part of the filing fee. Signatures may also be applied to the nomination signature requirements for office.

It is also possible to run as a write-in candidate in the June primary for any of these "voter-nominated" offices without paying a filing fee, but candidates need to obtain 40 signatures of registered voters in the district. The period for filing papers for write-in candidacy runs from April 11 through May 24, 2016. If there is only one candidate on the June ballot for any particular office, a write-in candidate can come in second and gain a place on the November ballot. There is no space for write-ins in November.

Candidates for State Central Committee

The State Central Committee is the governing body of the Peace and Freedom Party. Please read the accompanying article for more about this office.

As noted above, the actual PFP nominee for President will be chosen at the August 2016 Convention of the newly elected State Central Committee. Accordingly, anyone wishing to have a voice in this decision is should run for Central Committee. The members of the State Central Committee will be elected at the June 7, 2016 primary election. Those elected become members of both their County Central Committee and the State Central Committee (this differs from the other political parties in California).

Candidates for Central Committee have to be registered Peace and Freedom and gather twenty signatures of PFP registrants (fewer in small counties) in their jurisdiction, but there is no filing fee. The period for filing papers for Central Committee runs from January 4, 2016 through March 11, 2016. Candidates must have been a Peace and Freedom Party registrant for at least thirty days prior to filing (this is different from previous years). This means that it is possible to register with the Peace and Freedom Party as late as February 10 and still qualify.

Endorsement Procedures

Endorsements for voter-nominated officers, including the statewide office of U.S. Senator, may be made, either by a statewide body of the Peace and Freedom Party or by a County Central Committee, depending on the jurisdiction of the office.These endorsements will be placed in Voter Guides issued by the Secretary of State and County Election Boards.

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