How does one go about registering a political party in Texas? Is it done at the federal level?

  • It appears that you fill out a form: sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/181004.pdf
    – user1530
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 1:52
  • 1
    @DA. - Now I know the correct explanation for why we have a 2-party system. People HATE filling out forms! Also, that comment should be an answer
    – user4012
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 3:00

1 Answer 1


Forming a new minor party is covered in TX Election Code 181 and TX Election Code 182. A brief overview is available on the Secretary of States website.

Procedures for Establishing a Minor Party

Chapter 181 of the Code applies to a political party making nominations by convention, except Chapter 182 of the Code applies to a political party making nominations only for county and precinct offices. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. §§ 181.001, 182.001. A person wishing to start a political party in Texas must form an organization and elect a chair and other necessary officers. Id. §§ 181.004, 182.002. The organization must have a name of three words or less. Id. § 161.002 [...]

How you get your parties candidates on ballots varies from state to state. In general, you should check with your states Secretary of State (SOS), or SOS website. In the state of Texas, it appears that if you are a new party you need to register with the SoS by the 2nd of January with a minimum of nearly 50k valid signatures to get your name on the ballot. If your party's candidates receive 5% of the vote, then next year you needn't take any actions.

Nominee of New Party or Party Without Ballot Access

If you are a member of a new party or if your party's candidates for statewide office in the last general election received less than five percent of the vote, your party must qualify for ballot access. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. §§ 181.0041, 181.005. Your party must register with the Secretary of State's Office by January 2, 2014, and needs the support of 49,799 qualified voters.


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