Tuesday is your day to caucus, if you want to have a say on who could end up on your primary ballot in June.
Colorado still has caucuses. Voters did away with choosing presidential candidates for each party through the caucus process, instead bringing back presidential primaries starting in 2020.
Caucuses still exist, especially during Gubernatorial elections because they help choose who ultimately qualifies for the primary ballot.
Candidates make the primary ballot one of two ways:
- Collect signatures through the petition process
- Go through the caucus process and receive 30 percent or more of the support at your party's state convention
To take part in a caucus, you have to be a registered Democrat or Republican, and have been registered as such by the end of January.
Caucuses are three step processes.
- County Assembly
- State Assembly
Ultimately, delegates at the state assembly will choose who has enough support to continue to the primary ballot. You have to attend your precinct caucus on Tuesday, if you want to have a chance to be part of the state assembly at the end of the process.
On Tuesday, precincts caucuses happen at schools, community centers, libraries and other local venues. Think of this as you and your neighbors.
Democrats and Republicans handle their precincts differently.
Democrats divide voters up by who they prefer. For Governor, there are four candidates trying to qualify for the ballot through the caucus process:
- Cary Kennedy*
- Mike Johnston
- Jared Polis
- Noel Ginsburg
*Kennedy is only going through the caucus process. The other three are also collecting signatures on petitions to try to qualify for the ballot through that method as well.
The more support a candidate receives at the precinct level, the more supporters they'll have selected to go to the county assembly, where a similar process takes place. The more supporters a candidate has at the state assembly, the better chance they'll have at getting to the 30 percent threshold required to make the ballot.
If a candidate attends the state assembly, they need to receive 30 percent of the delegate vote to get on the primary ballot. If they receive between 10 and 30 percent, they can still qualify if they had turned in enough signatures. If they receive less than 10 percent of the vote, they can't make the ballot, even if they turned in signatures.
Candidates who qualify through this process and through the petition process will be on the primary ballot in June.
For Republicans, the process is loose in comparison.
They don't advance delegates strictly based on support of a specific candidate. Voters who show up at the Republican precinct caucuses can volunteer to be delegates at the county assembly, based on support of a candidate or maybe they're just curious what the next step is like.
The only time Republicans ask delegates to show support for a specific candidate is at the state assembly in April.
Republican candidates seeking to make the primary ballot through the caucus process:
- Steve Barlock
- Lew Gaiter
- Cynthia Coffman
- Greg Lopez
Colorado Democratic Party: https://www.coloradodems.org/caucus-lookup/
Colorado Republican Party: http://caucus.cologop.org/