Campaign season is underway and an important event coming up is the Precinct Caucus on March 6. What is a caucus you may ask?
The main function of a political party is to nominate partisan candidates to the ballot and help those candidates get elected to office. In Colorado, there are two ways for partisan candidates to gain access to the primary election ballot and that is either designation by assembly or designation by petition.
A candidate seeking the party’s designation will begin at the caucus. The precinct caucus is simply a neighborhood gathering for registered voters who live within the precinct boundaries and who are members of either the Democrat or Republican Party. In Colorado, only voters affiliated with a party can participate in a caucus. At this meeting, two precinct leaders are selected, and participants then elect delegates to the County Assembly.
At the assembly, delegates cast votes for each of the candidates. A candidate must receive at least 30 percent of the votes cast by the assembly to receive the nomination. If successful, the candidate’s name is placed on the ballot, as he or she has been designated by the assembly.
If a candidate chooses to forego the traditional party process, he or she has the option to petition onto the ballot. In this process, the candidate must circulate a petition among eligible, registered voters. The petition requires enough signatures to be equivalent to 20 percent of the votes cast in the last primary election for a given political party’s candidate who sought the same office. The petition is then verified by the election office. If it is sufficient, the candidate’s petition is certified, and his or her name is placed on the ballot, having been designated by petition.
Frequently asked questions:
Who can vote in a precinct caucus? To vote in any precinct caucus of a political party, a voter must be a resident of the precinct for at least 30 days, registered to vote no later than 29 days before the caucus and affiliated with the party holding the caucus for a least two months before the caucus.
Where can I get information about my precinct caucus? Contact your local political party leaders for information. Republican Party Chair is Carl Wood 970-725-3431 and Democratic Party Chair is Sandy Doudna 970-531-3384 or check out the County Clerk’s Election page at www.grandvotes.org.
Where are precinct caucuses located? The county central committee of each political party is responsible for determining the time and location of the caucus. Precinct caucuses are generally held in public buildings. Contact parties or check out the County Clerk’s Election page at www.grandvotes.org.
What happens at a precinct caucus? Caucus attendees elect officers who will be responsible for organizing political activities within the precinct. Caucus attendees also elect delegates and alternates to represent the precinct at the political party’s county assembly.
When are county assemblies, district assemblies and state assemblies held? The county assembly will be held no later than 25 days after the precinct caucuses. The date of the district assembly is determined by the chairperson of the district committee and the date is after the county assemblies. The state assembly follows both the district and county assemblies and will be held no later than 73 days before the June primary election. County assembly date and location can be provided by the political parties or found at www.grandvotes.org.
How do I verify my voter information? Coloradans can verify his or her registration information at the Colorado Secretary of State’s website govotecolorado.com. People can also verify his or her information at the Grand County Clerk’s Office at 970-725-3065.
Any comments or questions – contact County Clerk and Recorder Sara Rosene, 970-725-3110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.