The state’s voter registration rolls someday could include a political party with the central goal of making California independent from the rest of the United States.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla last week notified county election officials to begin tracking the number of voters affiliating with the California National Party.
Besides independence, the party opposes federal government surveillance programs, and advocates more funding for health care, welfare programs, and schools.
The would-be party already has one candidate: Louis J. Marinelli, a San Diego teacher and civil rights activist who has filed a November 2016 statewide ballot measure to ask voters if they want California independence. Marinelli announced last month that he was running for the Assembly.
The national party joins several others seeking to join the six parties now qualified in California. Others on the attempting-to-qualify list include the American Freedom Party, the Transhumanist Party, and the UCES’ Clowns Party.
Party activists face long odds. Would-be parties have to convince tens of thousands of voters to register with it, or gather petitions with several hundred thousand signatures. And any newly qualified party has to maintain its status – one way is by getting at least 2 percent of the vote for a statewide office.
The Americans Elect Party, the Natural Law Party, and Reform Party have all gained – and lost – qualified status over the years.