Monterey county elections Monterey County Elections

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03/05/2024 Presidential Primary Election

March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary Election

The Presidential Primary Election will be held on March 5, 2024. Voters throughout Monterey County will vote to narrow the field of presidential candidates for the general election, select the top two candidates for voter nominated offices and elect local office holders. This election is one of the most complex elections, in that it combines different types of primaries, each with their own rules affecting candidates and voters. Voters will be mailed ballots and in-person voting opportunities including satellite offices, mobile vote units, and polling places will be available.


Important Dates

February 5, 2024

to March 5, 2024

  • voting services available at Elections (including in-person voting)
  • additional in-person voting opportunities will be listed here

February 5, 2024

  • ballots to be mailed by this date
  • ballot return location(s) open by this date

February 20, 2024*

  • last day for regular registration

February 21, 2024**

to March 5, 2024

  • same day voter registration period (conditional voter registration)
  • new citizens registration period

February 27, 2024

  • last day Monterey County Elections will mail ballots
  • recommended last day for voters to mail back ballots

March 5, 2024

  • last day to return ballots in person
  • ballots must be postmarked no later than this date and received by March 12, 2024
  • last day to vote in person


*Original deadline, February 19, 2024, is a state holiday therefore the deadline moves forward to the next business day.


**Original start date is impacted by state holiday and therefore moves forward to the next business day.

Important Ballot Information

All voters can vote in the primary election. However, because it is a presidential primary election where parties are nominating their official candidates for the general election, the ballot will differ based on the voter’s political party preference for this contest. In addition, for voter nominated offices such as U.S. Senate, Congress, State Assembly, State Senate, the list of candidates may be long and will include candidates representing all different party preferences.

You can vote for:

  • U.S. President (party specific, voters registered with a political party will see candidates with that specific party preference. No party preference voters will receive a ballot without this contest unless they request a party ballot of a party that allows crossover voting) ,

  • U.S. Senator and Congress (all candidates for office regardless of party),

  • California State Senator and State Assembly Member (all candidates for office regardless of party),

  • Local offices in your city and county (non-partisan), and

  • Local party offices, like your party’s central committee and county council (party specific).

Your party preference will determine which ballot you receive.


About the Presidential Primary Election

The 2024 Presidential Primary Election essentially has three different primaries.

  • Presidential Primary: Nominated by party. Each party will select their presidential nominee for the general election.

  • California Top Two Primary: Nominated by voters. Candidates are nominated directly by voters to run in the following general election. The party preference (or “None” if applicable) for each candidate will be included on the ballot. The offices listed below fall under the Top Two Primary rules:

    • U.S. Senator

    • U.S. Representative, District 18 & District 19

    • State Senator, District 17

    • State Assembly, District 29 & District 30

  • County or Local Offices Nonpartisan Primary: The party preference will not appear on the ballot. The offices include:

    • County Board of Supervisor (District 1, District 4 & District 5)*

    • Superior Court Judge       

* If no candidate receives over 50% of the votes cast in the primary, the two candidates with the most votes will appear on the ballot in the general election.

Frequently Asked Questions


What can I do to prepare for the Election?

You can check your voter registration status, including your name, address, and political party by visiting My Voter Status or call (831) 796-1499. You can also update your voter registration information by visiting Online Voter Registration | California Secretary of State.


Can I vote for candidates who are not in my party?

It depends. The 2024 Presidential Primary Election is essentially three different primaries. This election requires voters to be registered with the political party to vote on the presidential contest and, if applicable, central committees. Some parties may allow those voters with no political party (voters who are registered as no party preference) to cross-over and request their ballot.

Under California’s Top Two Primary, offices such as U.S. Senate, U.S. Congressional and state legislatives offices will list all candidates for office regardless of party preference. In this case, the two candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election.

The county and local election for nonpartisan offices will list candidates without noting the candidate’s party preference.


Will I still get my party’s ballot for the primary?

Yes. You will get your party’s ballot for the 2024 Presidential Primary if you are registered with one of these qualified political parties:

  • American Independent Party

  • Democratic Party

  • Green Party

  • Libertarian Party

  • Peace & Freedom Party

  • Republican Party

The partisan offices of President will reflect your registered political party.


What does party preference mean?

Party preference indicates the party the candidate is associated with as a registered voter. Voters may either register with a political party preference or "no party preference" if they are not affiliated with a qualified political party.

A candidate's party preference does not necessarily mean that they have that political party's support. The list of candidates who receive a party's official endorsement is in the county voter information guide.


What do the terms “partisan” and “nonpartisan” mean?

  • Partisan means related to a political party.

  • Nonpartisan means not related to a political party.


Why do candidates for local offices (Board of Supervisors, Sheriff, etc.) not have their party preference listed on the ballot?

The local contests, Board of Supervisors, Sheriff, etc., are nonpartisan offices and candidates do not run with a political party label on the ballot.