Calls for presidential primary following chaotic caucus night

9NEWS at 5 p.m. 03/02/16.

DENVER - The Secretary of State’s Title board approved a proposal on Wednesday to include unaffiliated voters in current Colorado primary elections but voted against a proposed initiative to bring back a Presidential primary.

Let Colorado Vote, an organization created by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, presented the measures to the board Wednesday in hopes of taking the next step in allowing Coloradans vote on the measures on the 2016 ballot.

“There’s a million Coloradoans who cannot vote in a primary election and not choose the candidates for our general election. We think they should get the chance to vote in Colorado and participate in the elections they pay for. And ensuring their voice is heard,” said Kelly Brough, President and CEO of Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

The proposal to include unaffiliated voters, proposed initiative #98, would not have affected Super Tuesday had it been in place because that measure only applies to current primary elections, not Presidential Primary elections -- which Colorado has not had since 2000.

“Parties tend to be against them. And party activists. That takes away their power and their clout within the party system,” said 9NEWS political analyst Floyd Ciruli. “They frankly, in some cases, probably like the fact that smaller numbers of people come out. Those are people they think are activists. They’re often friends of theirs and constituents as opposed to this mass of people.”

But on Wednesday the Associated Press reported that GOP Chairman Steve House said he’d work with the Colorado Democrat leaders to bring about a Presidential primary in 2020, the next big primary election.

The failed initiative to bring back Presidential Primary elections would not eliminate caucuses. There could be both a presidential primary and a caucus but would allow unaffiliated voters to cast a ballot. That measure is not necessarily dead, as the language can be amended and reintroduced, potentially later this month. Two out of three of the board members felt the proposal didn’t comply with the state’s rule that a ballot issue be limited to a single subject.

The approved initiative concerning unaffiliated voters still has several steps to take before making it onto the 2016 ballot, including a petition that will need more than 98,000 signatures.

Unaffiliated voters make up 35 percent of Colorado voters, the largest voting bloc in the state.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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