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Presidential Primary & Primary Election FAQS

What are the important dates for the Presidential Primary Election?

What is the difference between the Presidential Primary Election on March 3, 2020, and the Primary Election on June 30, 2020?

Who can vote in the Presidential Primary Election and Primary Election?

Are parties required to allow unaffiliated voters to participate in their primary election?

I am an unaffiliated voter. Do I have to choose in advance which party’s primary ballot to vote?

Does selecting a ballot preference as an unaffiliated voter mean that I am joining that party?

I am unaffiliated and selected a preference to receive a minor party ballot. Why didn’t I receive that party’s ballot?

I selected a ballot preference last primary election and received that party’s ballot. Why didn’t I get that ballot again this primary election?

Does voting in a party’s primary as an unaffiliated voter mean that I am joining that party?

I am an unaffiliated voter. Why did I get two ballots sent to me during a primary?

How do I vote in a minor party’s primary election if I am unaffiliated?

How old do I have to be in order to vote in the Presidential Primary Election and Primary Election?

Do I still have to attend a party caucus meeting to vote in a Presidential Primary Election?

Where can I find information about caucus?

Can I participate in a party’s caucus meeting if I am unaffiliated?

How can I find out my precinct information to participate in caucus?

Besides caucus meetings, what other election activities are available only to members of a party?

What political parties are recognized in Colorado?

 

What are the important dates for the Presidential Primary Election?
Ballots will be mailed to Democratic, Republican, and unaffiliated voters in Douglas County the week of February 10-14, 2020. Ballot drop box locations open beginning February 10 through 7 p.m. on Election Day, March 3, 2020. Voter Service and Polling Centers open beginning February 24 through 7 p.m. on Election Day, March 3, 2020.

What is the difference between the Presidential Primary Election on March 3, 2020, and the Primary Election on June 30, 2020?
The presidential race is the only contest on the Presidential Primary ballot in March.

All other federal, state and local races with more than one qualified candidate per party will be included on the Primary Election ballot in June.

The nominated candidates from each party’s Presidential Primary and Primary Election ballot will be placed on the November General Election ballot. The winner of the November General Election will hold office.

Who can vote in the Presidential Primary Election and Primary Election?

  • Voters affiliated with a major party, Republican or Democrat, may cast a ballot for candidates of the party you are affiliated with. If you are a registered Republican or Democrat, you will receive only your party’s mail ballot for the Presidential Primary Election and Primary Election.
  • If there is a minor party contest, voters affiliated with that minor party will receive their party’s mail ballot and may cast a ballot for those candidates.
  • Unaffiliated voters may cast a ballot for any one political party. Unaffiliated voters will receive two mail ballots, one Democratic and one Republican. Unaffiliated voters may vote ONLY ONE ballot and must securely dispose of the ballot they do not use (e.g., shred, tear up, etc.) If an Unaffiliated voter returns multiple voted ballots in the same envelope, none of the ballots will count. Voting a party’s primary ballot will not affiliate you with that party, you will remain registered as unaffiliated.

If you wish to make changes to your party affiliation you can update your voter registration at  govotecolorado.gov.

Are parties required to allow unaffiliated voters to participate in their primary election?
Major parties are required to allow unaffiliated voters to participate in a primary. Minor parties, on the other hand, may refuse to allow unaffiliated voters to participate in their primary.

I am an unaffiliated voter. Do I have to choose in advance which party’s primary ballot to vote?
No, but you can if you want to. You have several options:

You may choose which party’s ballot you want to get in the mail for the next primary election by selecting a party preference at govotecolorado.gov or on any paper voter registration form.

If you would rather receive a packet containing the ballots of both participating major parties, you can take no action or select this option when first registering to vote.

You can also appear in person at any Voter Service and Polling Center in your county and choose the party’s ballot you want to vote.

Does selecting a ballot preference as an unaffiliated voter mean that I am joining that party?
No. An unaffiliated voter who selects a ballot preference in advance of a primary election will remain unaffiliated.

I am unaffiliated and selected a preference to receive a minor party ballot. Why didn’t I receive that party’s ballot?
This could happen for two reasons:

The minor party you selected is not conducting a primary election, or the minor party you selected is not allowing unaffiliated voters to participate in their election.

In either of these situations, you should receive a ballot packet containing the ballots of both major political parties. You may vote on and return one of these ballots, or you may contact your County Clerk’s office or visit a Voter Service and Polling Center to request a different minor party’s ballot.

I selected a ballot preference last primary election and received that party’s ballot. Why didn’t I get that ballot again this primary election?
A ballot preference selection is good for only one election. So, if you select a ballot preference before the June 2018 primary, that preference will be removed before the next primary in 2020. If you still prefer to receive one party’s primary ballot, you may select your preference again at any time by visiting  govotecolorado.gov or by making the selection on any paper voter registration form.

Does voting in a party’s primary as an unaffiliated voter mean that I am joining that party?
No. An unaffiliated voter who votes in a party’s primary will remain unaffiliated. However, the primary that you vote in will be a public record (but not how you voted).

I am an unaffiliated voter. Why did I get two ballots sent to me during a primary?
Most unaffiliated voters will receive the ballots of both major political parties during a primary election. This allows an unaffiliated voter to choose which party’s primary they will vote in.  Unaffiliated voters may only return one party’s ballot. Returning two voted ballots will result in neither ballot counting.

How do I vote in a minor party’s primary election if I am unaffiliated?
You have two options:

  • You may select a ballot preference for the minor party’s election that you would like to vote in at govotecolorado.gov or on any paper voter registration form.
  • You may contact your local County Clerk’s office or visit any Voter Service and Polling Center in your county and request that minor party’s ballot.

Keep in mind that the minor party you select may not hold an election or may not allow unaffiliated voters to participate in their election.

How old do I have to be in order to vote in the Presidential Primary Election and Primary Election?
Every person who is seventeen years of age on the date of the Presidential Primary or Primary Election and who will be eighteen years of age on the date of the November 3, 2020 General Election is entitled to vote in the Presidential Primary Election or Primary Election. Seventeen-year-olds who meet this criteria and are pre-registered to vote will receive a ballot by mail. Seventeen-year-old’s who will be eighteen years of age on the date of the November 3, 2020 General Election and who are not pre-registered, may register to vote at  govotecolorado.gov or by visiting a Voter Service and Polling Center through 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Do I still have to attend a party caucus meeting to vote in a Presidential Primary Election?
No. Beginning in 2020 Colorado voters will vote in a Presidential Primary Election that is run just like a normal Primary Election. Like other elections, voters will receive a ballot in the mail. While each political party will still conduct caucus meetings, these meetings will not select presidential candidates.

Where can I find information about caucus?
Caucuses are held on the first Tuesday in March. In a presidential election year, a political party has the option to hold its precinct caucuses on the first Saturday following the presidential primary election.  The Colorado Republican and Democratic parties will be holding their precinct caucuses on Saturday, March 7, 2020.  The persons receiving the highest number of votes at the precinct caucus are the delegates to the county assembly from the precinct. Contact your political party for additional information relating to caucus and party rules.

Can I participate in a party’s caucus meeting if I am unaffiliated?
No. To participate in a party caucus meeting you must join that party before the party’s caucus. However, you are still eligible to vote in any participating party’s primary election.

How can I find out my precinct information to participate in caucus?
Please visit govotecolorado.gov and click on “Find my registration”. Enter your first and last name, zip code, and birthday, then click “Search”. Select the tab titled “County & District Information”. Your Precinct number and its explanation will be listed under “District Information”.   The last three digits of your precinct number are the information you need to determine your caucus location. Contact your political party directly for specific caucus locations for each precinct.

Please click here for additional Caucus FAQs.

Besides caucus meetings, what other election activities are available only to members of a party?
You must be a member of a political party to sign a petition for a candidate for that party. You also cannot run for office with a party without first being a member of that party.

What political parties are recognized in Colorado?
 A list of the current Colorado political parties is available here.