List of political parties in the United States
: 2010 Peace Party
: Alaskan Independence Party
: American Independent (CA)
: Conservative Party
: Constitution Party
: Democratic Party
: Green Party
: Independence Party of America *
: Independent (No party affiliation)
: Independent American (Nevada)
: Justice for Vermonters Party
: Libertarian Party
: Liberty Union Party
: Moderate Party
: Mountain Party
: Peace and Freedom Party
: Progressive Democratic Party
: Progressive Party (Vermont)
: Vermont-Independence Party
: Reform Party
: Republican Party
: Tea Party
: Working Families Party
*-Independence Party also is a recognized party in New York State and Minnesota
Ballot label only parties
The State of Washington allows candidates in their top-two primary contests to choose any party label they wish. According to the Washington Secretary of State, "Each candidate for partisan office may state a political party that he or she prefers. A candidate's preference does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate."
The ballot label system in use in the state creates a situation where a candidate can list a party preference that is similar, but not actually equal, to a real political party, as well as allowing candidates to express party preferences that correlate to parties that do not exist.
According to the Seattle Weekly, "Many other states have erected hurdles to exclude minor parties, including signature requirements and other thresholds. Washington State, on the other hand, is pretty much wide-open about letting candidates and parties on the ballot. It's a new and unique system that seeks to provide voters with information. It's basically a non-partisan voting system that allows candidates to send a message to voters in sixteen characters or less."
Jordan Schrader of the Tacoma News Tribune wrote:
- "So among candidates who filed today to run, we've already got a "Prefers Neither Party" (that would be Jon T. Haugen, running for the state House seat left vacant by Jaime Herrera's decision to run for Congress) and a "Prefers Lower Taxes Party" (a group with exactly one member, Tim Sutinen, challenging Rep. Brian Blake).
- Lots of candidates will be listed as "Prefers Democratic Party," but at least two, Sen. Paul Shinn and Louise Chadez, prefer the "Democrat Party," which strictly speaking, doesn't exist any more than the Lower Taxes Party. You usually only hear "Democrat Party" from Republicans using it as a pejorative term."
These parties listed as party label preferences in the State of Washington in 2010 do not appear to correlate to political parties that exist beyond ballot labels:
Parties represented in 2010 state legislative elections
There were 2,765 state senate candidates who ran in the state senate elections in 2010.
There were 11,099 total candidates who ran in the state house elections in 2010.
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