North Carolina’s State Board of Elections has unanimously approved names of candidates to go on state ballots for the presidential primary on March 5, 2024.
In-person early voting for the 2024 primary begins Thursday, Feb. 15, and runs through Saturday, March 2. Absentee ballots will be mailed out starting January 19th.
The approved candidates were submitted by the Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, and Republican Party for inclusion on each party’s primary ballot. North Carolina has an open primary system, meaning that voters registered as “unaffiliated” may choose a primary ballot for the Republican, Democratic, or Libertarian parties. The other two officially recognized parties in North Carolina, the Green Party and the No Labels Party, have not opened their primary to unaffiliated voters.
The Democratic Party will only have current President Joe Biden on the state’s primary ballot. North Carolina’s Republican primary voters will have seven candidates to choose from, including former president Donald Trump, Florida’s current Governor Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, Ryan Binkley, Asa Hutchinson, and Vivek Ramaswamy.
The Libertarian Party primary ballot will have ten presidential candidates including Toad Anderson, Charles Ballay, David (TrimeTaveler) Dunlap, Jacob Hornberger, Beau Lindsey, Lars Mapstead, Chase Oliver, Michael Rectenwald, Joshua Smith, and Mike ter Maat.
The Green Party did not submit any candidates for the primary but, according to the State Board of Elections, may still nominate a candidate for the general election on Nov. 5, based on the candidate chosen by the Green Party’s national nominating convention. The Green Party was officially recognized as a party in 2022 after filing a lawsuit against the NCSBE for rejecting their petition signatures. In August of 2022, the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a motion from two Democratic groups that tried to block the Green Party from appearing on the N.C. general election ballot.
The other recognized political party in North Carolina, the No Labels Party, will nominate its general election candidates by convention rather than primary, since this will be the first general election the party will participate in. The State Board recognized No Labels as a political party in August. The national party is co-chaired by former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory. Last week, the group updated media on efforts to get on ballots across the country, expecting to be in 34 states by November.
The State Board will meet again on January 2, 2024 when it may consider adding additional candidates who were not submitted by the political parties. Under state law, candidates may be added to the ballot of any party by submitting a petition signed by at least 10,000 qualified voters affiliated with their same political party.