How Primaries are Conducted in California

In June of 2010, California voters approved Proposition 14 (The Top Two Open Primary Act). This amendment made many changes to how primaries are conducted in California.

Previously, there were only two types of offices, partisan and nonpartisan. Now, there are three types: party-nominated, voter-nominated and nonpartisan. For the 2022 Statewide Primary Election, party-nominated offices will not appear on the ballot.

Below are the different types of offices that will appear on the ballot, who can vote in these races, and who advances to the November General Election.

Voter-nominated Offices

  • Includes Congressional and State offices
  • All voters, regardless of party preference, can vote for any candidate in these contests
  • The top two vote-getters, regardless of party preference, will advance to the November General Election

Nonpartisan Offices

  • Includes Judicial, School, County and City offices
  • All voters, regardless of party preference, can vote for any candidate on the ballot
  • For nonpartisan Judicial, County and some City offices, the top two vote-getters will proceed to the November General Election. However, if a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, that candidate is elected to office.
  • For School and most City offices, candidates that receive the most votes are elected to office.

What's on Your Ballot

In the 2022 Statewide Primary Election, all voters will receive an Official Ballot. Depending on which voting precinct you reside in, the following contests and measures may appear on your ballot.

  • Voter-nominated offices
  • Nonpartisan offices
  • Local ballot measures