Before nominees from both major parties go toe-to-toe in November, they must each win their party’s nomination. These contests are held state-by-state with each state setting its own rules. Some hold caucuses, most hold primaries. The California primary is June 7.
California holds a closed primary, meaning only voters registered with a given party may vote for that party’s candidate. Alternatively, a party can choose to allow voters registered with “No Party Preference” to vote, as long as they notify the state 135 days prior to the primary.
For the upcoming primary, only registered Republican voters will be given a Republican ballot. With the Republican race coming down to the wire, California could be pivotal in deciding whether Donald Trump or Ted Cruz competes against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Voters registered with no party preference will be able to vote for the Democratic, Libertarian and American Independent parties.
The last day to register to vote in the June primary, or to change party affiliation, is May 23.