Minor Parties in Connecticut
Connecticut has a rich tradition of minor and third parties.
What are the minor parties in Connecticut?
- There are many minor parties in our state, some local and some with statewide enrollment. Contact your local town clerk or registrar of voters for a list of minor parties in your town.
- Currently, minor parties with statewide enrollment privileges* are:
- Green Party
- Independent Party
- Libertarian Party
- Working Families Party
What is the definition of a minor party? Connecticut General Statutes §9-372(6) defines minor party to mean, "a political party or organization which is not a major party and whose candidate for the office in question received at the last-preceding regular election for such office,…at least one percent of the whole number of votes cast for all candidates for such office at such election." (Emphasis added).
How do I create a minor party?
- The first step in becoming a minor party is running a candidate using a nominating petition with a party designation. If that candidate garners one percent (1%) of the votes cast for that office, a minor party for that office is born. Having minor party status affords the minor party the ability to nominate for the office without having to gather signatures at the next election for that office.
- The second step in maintaining a minor party is to file party rules. Connecticut General Statute§9-374 requires that minor parties file "..at least one copy of the party rules .... in the office of the Secretary of the State..." This filing is required before the minor party nominates a candidate for that office in the next election.
- The third step in maintaining minor party status is to continually run candidates as the offices are up for re-election. Failure to do so will result in the loss of minor party status for that office.
Please note that the terms minor party and third party are used synonymously.
*Statewide enrollment privileges: voters from any town can enroll in the party