What are the registration requirements for a new federal political party in the USA?

  • 1
    In what state would this party start? Federal party status is basically just relevant for campaign finance; ballot access is controlled by state laws, not federal.
    – cpast
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 22:23
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    Is it some basic common requirements cross-states? I am doing comarative analysis of registration requirements among several counries so I am predominantly interested in some general things. Or could you please provide an example for any particular state?
    – Bogdan
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 0:18

1 Answer 1


Federal Registration

The Federal Election Commission handles this at the federal level. According to their website, registration requirements include:

  1. The party should have nominated Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates in numerous states (as well as other candidates for other offices).
  2. Engaging in the normal activities of a party, such as voter registration drives.
  3. Holding a national convention and having national offices

State Registration

Federal registration requires already being registered in "numerous states". Each state can have different requirements. For example, my state (Kansas) requires a petition to be filed with the Kansas Secretary of State. The petition must be signed by at least 2% of active voters (operationalized as the number of voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election).

I don't have a general knowledge of state requirements to register a party, but I quickly looked up Nebraska and Maine's requirements and they are similar (although they have different percentages required).

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