List of political parties in North Dakota
Current political parties
- North Dakota Republican Party , state affiliate of the United States Republican Party
- North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party , state affiliate of the United States Democratic Party
Defunct political parties
- Democratic (1889 to 1956)
- Democratic-Independent (1890 to 1895)
- Republican/Non-Partisan League (1915 to 1956)
- Republican/Independent Voters Association (1918 to 1945)
Minor political parties
North Dakota election law does not provide for the existence of any minor political parties, and unlike many other states that allow individual independent nominees to include a minor party designation next to their name on the ballot. A political party is either organized, and thus officially recognized by the Secretary of State's office, with equal rights and responsibilities therein or it does not have any legal existence.
The interest group Friends of Democracy has been lobbying to expand ballot access to the minor political parties, with some success. In 2004, the length of time that a petition to create a new political party could be circulated was expanded, as was the process by which new political parties can remain recognized state parties and independent nomiees for president can now include a brief minor party designation in liue of independent.
North Dakota's most historically significant minor parties, the Non-Partisan League and the Independent Voters Association could be considered factions of the Republican party, however this is a gross simplification of the situation, as both groups had structures strongly resembling independent political parties, despite competing on the Republican primary ticket.
In 1996, the Reform Party became a recognized political party in the state, with Ross Perot winning five percent or more of the popular vote in that state, and the Natural Law Party became organized that year to nominate a slate of candidates in that year's state constitutional election. However, neither political party remained active and soon lost their recognized status.
Unorganized political parties
In light of the state election law regarding the organization of a political party, most minor political parties do not go through the official process to become organized but some of them are still active and will endorse some candidates for office.
Even when a third party does become formally recognized by the State, it is still very difficult for them to have their candidates included on the election ballot, due to some tricky primary election rules.