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9 things to know about the Colorado 2020 presidential primary

After doing away with the caucus system in 2016, Colorado faces its first presidential primary in 20 years. Here are the things voters need to know.
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man putting ballot in a box during elections in front of flag american state of colorado

COLORADO, USA — Colorado's presidential primary is coming up March 3 — the state's first in 20 years.

The state's last presidential primary was held in 2000. In the last two decades, Colorado used the caucus system. 

> More information about Colorado's former caucus system can be found here.

But voters in 2016 passed Proposition 107 and 108, reenacting state laws allowing for presidential primaries and doing away with the caucus in an effort to allow more Coloradans to participate in primary elections. 

Now, unaffiliated voters can vote in the presidential primary via mail or in person directly for their chosen candidate.

So, what does the presidential primary mean for Colorado voters?

Here are 9 things to know about the Colorado presidential primary 2020.

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1) If you are registered as unaffiliated you can vote in the presidential primary.

If you are registered as unaffiliated, you can vote in the presidential primary.

Just like state primary elections, unaffiliated voters will receive ballots for both major parties. Electors can indicate a preference as an unaffiliated voter and only receive one party's ballot while remaining unaffiliated.

If an unaffiliated voter casts and return a ballot for more than one major political party, the ballots will be rejected and will not be counted.

2) Monday, Feb. 3 is the last day to change party affiliation. 

Feb. 3 is the last day for voters who are affiliated with a political party to change or withdraw their affiliation if they wish to vote in a different party's primary election on March 3. 

> Voters can do that online here. 

3) The Colorado presidential primary will be held March 3, 2020.

The presidential primary will be held March 3, 2020.If you wish for your ballot to be counted, the county clerk must receive it by 7 p.m. If you are registered to vote, you should see your ballots come in soon after Feb. 3. 

If you plan to mail in your ballot, send it by Feb. 25 to ensure your ballot will reach the county clerk. 

If you feel like you don't have enough time to mail in your ballot, you should plan to vote in person.

> You can find where to vote or drop off your ballot here.

4) You must be a state resident of Colorado by Feb. 11.

You must be a resident of Colorado for 22 days to vote in the Colorado presidential primary.

> You can update your residency on you voter registration online here.

5) If you will be 18 on election day, you can vote in the primary.

If you are 17 at the time of the primary but will be 18 years old by Nov. 3, you can vote in the primary election.

6) You might be able to get time off to vote.

Colorado Election law Section 1-7-102 states that voters can get two hours to absent themselves from work without loss of pay if they do not have sufficient time to vote outside of regular working hours. 

The employee must arrange the time to vote with their employer prior to election day. 

7) You can look at a sample ballot.

If you are interested in seeing what will be on your ballot, you can look ahead online.

> Sample ballots can be found here.

8) Below are the Republican candidates running for president in 2020.

Matthew John Matern

Robert Ardini

Joe Walsh 

Donald J. Trump 

Bill Weld 

Zoltan G. Istvan

9) Below are the Democratic candidates running for president in 2020.

Pete Buttigieg

Cory Booker

Michael R. Bloomberg

Joseph R. Biden

Tulsi Gabbard 

Bernie Sanders 

Elizabeth Warren 

Amy Klobuchar

Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente III

Michael Bennet 

Marianne Williamson 

Deval Patrick 

Robby Wells

Andrew Yang

Rita Krichevsky 

John K. Delaney

> Email information for many of the candidates can be found here.

> Register to vote, change your affiliation or update voter information here.

More FAQs about the presidential primary election can be found here.

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