North Carolina and Ohio Both Hold Primaries for Minor Parties as Well as Major Parties, on May 6

Three states hold primaries on May 6: Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio. They are the first primaries this year, other than the Illinois, Texas and District of Columbia primaries.

Both North Carolina and Ohio are holding primaries for more than just two parties. In North Carolina, the Libertarian Party has a contested primary for U.S. Senate. Any registered Libertarian, and any registered independent, can vote in that primary. The two major parties in North Carolina also let independent voters vote in their primaries.

The only other time North Carolina held a primary for the Libertarian Party was in 2012, when the party had a contested presidential primary. Almost 8,000 voters voted in the Libertarian 2012 primary.

Ohio is holding statwide primaries for the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, and primaries in certain parts of the state for the Constitution Party and the Socialist Party. No minor party in Ohio has any statewide candidates on its primary ballot, but the Green and Libertarian Parties have declared write-in candidates for some of the statewide offices: Governor for the Greens, and Secretary of State and Auditor for the Libertarians. Statewide candidates of the minor parties must poll 500 write-ins, in order to advance to November.

Although the Indiana Libertarian Party is ballot-qualified, it nominates by convention, not by primary.

Both Indiana and Ohio have open primaries. The voter registration forms in those two states do not ask voters to indicate partisan affiliation.


North Carolina and Ohio Both Hold Primaries for Minor Parties as Well as Major Parties, on May 6 — No Comments

  1. It would be very interesting to know if a contested primary race for a minor party statistically leads to a better or worse November result for the primary winner. On the one hand, the contest might generate early debates, media exposure, and some “oh hey look there’s a space for those guys” interest; but on the other hand, potential Green/Lib./Const. supporters split their time and money between multiple candidates early on.

  2. Primaries are a bad idea for any party. The whole point of a party is to nominate candidates to implement the parties platform. That hard to do when people who have never read the platform can choose the candidates.

  3. Is there a searchable list for the minor party candidates on the ballot (or running as write-ins) for their respective primaries?

  4. There was no NC Libertarian primary in 2012. Our first primary was in 2000, for the gubernatorial nomination; 1,154 votes were cast. There may have been 6,0000-8,0000 registered Libertarians at the time.

  5. I am surprised Brian says there was no Libertarian primary in 2012 in North Carolina. There was a presidential primary for the Libertarian Party, at which almost 8,000 votes were cast.

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