In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (a U.S. state), there are four recognized political parties and an additional 25 political designations in which registered voters may choose to enroll. Voters may also choose to remain as "unenrolled voters" (i.e., independents). Political parties hold primary elections, while political designations do not. A political designation is a one-to-three word descriptive term which may appear next to candidates' names on election ballots. To be recognized as a political designation, fifty registered voters must file a document with the state seeking this status.
In Massachusetts, election ballots include the candidates' names followed by either the candidates' party or his or her "political designation"—a one-to-three word description that must be another one-to-three word term whose recognition has been requested by fifty or more registered voters. In many cases, non-party designations include the word "party" in the designation. However, only four such designations actually correspond to organizations that are recognized by Massachusetts as political parties: the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Green-Rainbow Party.
Enrolled and unenrolled votersEdit
Voters may change their enrollment status with their election official, with a deadline twenty days before an election.
All registered voters may vote in general elections. Massachusetts voters enrolled in a particular party may vote only in that party's primary, and cannot cross-over to vote in another party's primary, but "unenrolled" voters may cast a primary ballot for one of the four parties. Political designations are treated as "unenrolled" voters for primary purposes, and so they too may choose to vote in one of the party primaries.
Under Massachusetts law, a political designation is created when fifty registered Massachusetts voters "file a form with the Secretary of the Commonwealth requesting that they, or any other voters, may change their registration to such designation." These non-party political designations may field candidates for statewide office, if they petition with a sufficient number of signatures (10,000).
List of current parties and designationsEdit
|Democratic Party||D||political party|
|Republican Party||R||political party|
|Libertarian Party||L||political party|
|Green-Rainbow Party||J||political party|
|America First Party||V||non-party political designation|
|American Independent Party||Q||non-party political designation|
|American Term Limits||BB||non-party political designation|
|Conservative Party||A||non-party political designation|
|Constitution Party||K||non-party political designation|
|Green Party USA||G||non-party political designation|
|Interdependent 3rd Party||T||non-party political designation|
|Latino-Vote Party||non-party political designation|
|Massachusetts Independent Party||O||non-party political designation|
|Natural Law Party||B||non-party political designation|
|New Alliance Party||N||non-party political designation|
|New England Independence Party||NE||non-party political designation|
|New World Council||C||non-party political designation|
|Pirate||X||non-party political designation|
|Pizza Party||AA||non-party political designation|
|Prohibition Party||P||non-party political designation|
|Rainbow Coalition||F||non-party political designation|
|Reform Party||E||non-party political designation|
|Socialist||S||non-party political designation|
|Timesizing Not Downsizing||M||non-party political designation|
|Twelve Visions Party||DD||non-party political designation|
|United Independent Party||CC||non-party political designation|
|Veterans Party America||W||non-party political designation|
|We The People||H||non-party political designation|
|Working Families||Z||non-party political designation|
|World Citizens Party||Y||non-party political designation|
- "Massachusetts Directory of Political Parties and Designations". sec.state.ma.us. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
- Rhodes, George (6 August 2015). "In Mass., there's even a Pizza Party". Sun Chronicle. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- Political Parties and Political Designations, As of 12/31/2014, Town of North Reading (accessed August 27, 2016).
- State Primary Election Types, National Conference of State Legislatures (July 21, 2016).
- Frequently Asked Questions for New Voters, City of Boston Election Department (accessed August 27, 2016).
- Winger, Richard (8 August 2016). "Libertarian Petition in Massachusetts Has Enough Valid Signatures". Ballot Access News. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- Quinn, Tom (14 April 2016). "Tired of politics as usual? Tap your inner pirate, or try pizza". Worcester Magazine. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- Cambridge Election Commission Voter Registration Training Manual. Cambridge, Massachusetts: City of Cambridge. 2011. p. 5.