In Maryland, provisions for recognition of political parties by the State Board of Elections are found in the Annotated Code of Maryland (Code 1957, Art. 33, secs. 4-101, 4-103).
A political party is an organized group of voters that wants to influence government by electing its own candidates to public office. To form a political party in Maryland, a group of voters must file a valid petition in a timely manner with the State Board of Elections. To retain party status, however, the group must poll 3% of the entire vote in the next general election (Code 1957, Art. 33, sec. 1-1(15)). As of April 14, 1999, three political parties are so recognized: the Democratic Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Republican Party.
Each political party in Maryland is governed by a state central committee. The state central committee is composed of the members of the party's local central committees for the counties and Baltimore City. Each political party functions under its own constitution and bylaws (Code 1957, Art. 33, secs. 4-201 through 4-205).
July 6, 1999
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