Officials with the nascent Forward Party, co-chaired by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, say they are working toward the tough feat of attaining formal party recognition in Massachusetts.

On Thursday morning, former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey and a handful of allies and supporters stood on the steps of the State House in the sweltering heat and said the Forward Party could provide an attractive alternative for voters dismayed by a stale political status quo.

“Unfortunately, today in Massachusetts, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party don’t represent the majority of voters anymore,” said Healey, who previously served with then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican. “Fully 60% of all the registered voters in Massachusetts are not enrolled in a party.”

“When people say democracy is breaking down, it is already broken down,” Healey added. “Here in Massachusetts … you have more than half of the legislators in this state House running without opposition. We are here to fill that void, to give voters a choice and to make democracy real.”

Sean Diamond, who previously led the Forward Party in Massachusetts and is currently running for state rep with a Forward Party affiliation, predicted big things for the organization in the near future.

“Within the next four years we might become the second biggest party in the state,” Diamond said. “And I think maybe in the next 10 or 20 years, we might become the biggest party in the state.”

On his campaign website, Diamond suggests that this success will come from fusing certain Democratic and Republican ideas while jettisoning others he believes lack widespread support.

“We’ll never make much progress if we only chase after either 'diversity, equity, and inclusion’ (as the Democratic Party advocates would contend) or 'liberty, freedom, and independence’ (as the Republican Party used to represent until it turned to more authoritarian policies and insurrectionist tactics),” Diamond writes. “We need to combine the best ideals of both parties and leave the other ideological baggage behind.”

For now, though, simply attaining official party status here in Massachusetts will be a huge hurdle for the Forward Party to clear.

In order to officially be recognized as a party by Secretary of State Bill Galvin, the commonwealth’s chief elections officer, and to maintain that status moving forward, political organizations such as the Forward Party need to do one of two things. They can run a statewide candidate who receives at least three percent of the vote in a given election cycle. Or, alternately, they can register at least one percent of the state’s total number of registered voters, which currently means getting commitments from almost 50,000 people.

Debra O’Malley, a spokesperson for Galvin, said she was unaware of any political entity attaining party status via voter registration.

In 2014, the United Independent Party achieved party status when gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk received 3.3 percent of the vote. That designation gave the UIP the right to hold a presidential nominating primary in 2016. In the latter cycle, though, the UIP didn’t field a presidential candidate who could have met the statewide three-percent threshold, and lost party status after failing to reach the one-percent voter registration mark.

Asked about the Forward Party’s Massachusetts launch Thursday, Falchuk struck a deeply skeptical note.

“The ballot access rules, which are so skewed against nonparty organizations, and the fundraising rules make it legally hard to actually do what you need to do to create a party,” Falchuk said.

“Voters just don’t want to join a third political party,” Falchuk added. “They want to be independent, which is about 60 percent of voters in Massachusetts. And so if you go to them and say, ‘We can fix the system, you just have to change your voter registration to whatever,’ it’s not appealing to people and they don’t do it.

“Even if you become an official party, what you don’t have is an organized group of activists around the state. You don’t have access to the kind of money that Democrats and Republicans have access to. And voters don’t believe that third party candidates can win elections. … There’s business models that just don’t work, and third parties are one of them.”

In the short term, though, the Forward Party is poised to acquire a more modest status reserved for political organizations that can’t meet the requirements for full party recognition. Such entities are dubbed “political designations,” and can be created with a petition from just 50 registered voters.

Right now, the UIP is the most populous of the state’s political designations, with 14,469 registered voters. There are 28 others, including Pirate [sic], Timesizing Not Downsizing, and Pizza Party, which has 117 members.

O’Malley, the Galvin spokesperson, said the Forward Party submitted the requisite paperwork to become a political designation Thursday, and that voters will soon have the option of registering with the group.

At present, Massachusetts official recognizes three parties: Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians. The Green-Rainbow Party has also been recognized as a full-fledged party relatively recently, though it’s currently a political designation instead.

According to the Forward Party’s website, it has already achieved party status in Florida, South Carolina, Colorado, and Utah.