May 7, 2016 - Yes, it's true. There are 31 "political parties" in Orange County (names of political parties used by voters when they registered to vote). But the vast majority are not "qualified" political parties. The process of qualifying a party is lengthy, but essentially it can be done by registering 0.33% of the total number of statewide registered voters in the new party, or gathering 751,398 signatures statewide supporting the party.
That doesn't stop a voter from registering to vote and writing in the name of any "political party" (in fact 1,158 have done so in Orange County). What happens if a voter registers with a non-qualified party? These voters are classified as "no party preference" when it comes to receiving a ballot, which is a non-partisan ballot. The current qualified parties in California are: American Independent, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom, and the Republican Party.