California AB 2351, the bill to ease the definition of “political party”, passed the Assembly unanimously last month. It is set for a hearing in the Senate Elections Committee on June 17. Because no group or individual has communicated any opposition to this bill, and because no legislator has expressed opposition, the bill is on the Consent Calendar. That means it passes the Committee automatically.
The bill changes the number of registrations for a group to be a “political party” from 1% of the last gubernatorial vote, to .33% of the number of registered voters. That is a decline from approximately 104,000 registrations, to 59,000 registrations. The bill also changes the alternate vote test, from a group that got 2% of the vote for any statewide race in the previous midterm general election, to 2% of the vote in the previous midterm primary election.
Groups must meet either the registration test, or the 2% vote test; there is no need for a group to meet both tests. Assuming this bill is signed into law soon, North Carolina, not California, will require support from the greatest number of voters for a group to be a qualified party.