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Q&A: Colorado primary ballots

You have to vote by June 28.

DENVER — Have you voted yet, Colorado?

Ballots for the June 28 primary arrived at nearly 3.8 million voters' mailboxes starting last week.

We know you received them because as soon as you did, you started sending us questions.

Kellen from Jefferson County sent a photo of the Democratic primary ballot. It contained not a single contested race. That means every race had just one candidate. He sent a popular question shared by a voter in Highlands Ranch and Larimer County.

Kellen/Jefferson County: "What's the point?"

Roger/Douglas County: 'What is the reason for even sending this particular ballot out?"

Sandra/Larimer County: "If there isn’t more than one choice for an office on the primary ballot won’t that one person be the candidate regardless of how many primary votes they receive?"

We went to Democratic Jefferson County Clerk & Recorder George Stern.

"If there is a contested race in either of the major party, if either the Republicans or the Democrats have a contested race anywhere on that ballot, then I have to send ballots for all races in both of the major parties," said Stern. "If there were no contested races anywhere in the state of Colorado on anything, then correct, the primary is canceled. We move onto the general election."

RELATED: How to vote in Colorado's 2022 primary election

Sandra/Larimer County: "Is there any point in completing and returning it?"

Marcie/Adams County: "What, if anything, does it mean if I don't fill in the circle?"

"You're developing the pattern, the habit," said Stern.

If you like getting credit for voting every year, sending back a blank ballot gives you credit for voting. Voting for some races, but not all is also OK. Not voting in a race is called an "undervote."

Stern explains more practical reasons for voting regardless of the competition on the ballot.

"Mail it back. It also, practically, gives us your most recent signature, so we're comparing your signature in November with the even more recent signature on file," said Stern. "It lets us know that your information is up to date, that you are, indeed, still living at that home because you voted from that home and signed a ballot from that home."

Several unaffiliated voters have reached out with Arthur's question about wanting to vote in multiple races on both ballots. Most of the more than 1.6 million unaffiliated voters in Colorado receive both the Democratic and Republican primary ballots.

There are 42,000 unaffiliated voters who have requested to only receive the Democratic primary ballot. There are 26,000 unaffiliated voters who have requested to only receive the Republican primary ballot.

Arthur: "What if you want to vote for someone on either side? Seems like they are forcing you to vote for one party only. You can't pick people from either party."

He is right. The state legislature decided that after voters in 2016 approved that unaffiliated voters could participate in primary elections. You can only return one.

"If you return both, we are required, state law, to discard both. We can't assume your intent. We can't look at which one we pulled out first and said, 'oh, he must have wanted to vote in this one because he filled out more races in this one than the other one,'" said Stern.

RELATED: Denver opens up the ballot counting process for you to see

Keep your election questions coming. Email marshall@9news.com or next@9news.com. You can also record yourself asking a question and send it by email or on Twitter using the hashtag #HeyNext.

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