The 2018 precinct caucus will take place Tuesday March 6
By Amber McIver-Traywick
If you are currently a registered Democrat or Republican in the state of Colorado you will be able to participate in the March 6 precinct caucus. Voters who attend the caucus elect delegates and alternates to various assemblies. These can include county, state house, state senate, county commission, state congressional, and judicial assemblies.
Voters must have been registered to vote for at least 60 days before the caucus date, or Jan. 8, 2018. Additionally, voters must have been residents of their current precinct for at least 30 days on the day of the caucus and registered to vote there for at least 29 days, or since Feb. 5, 2018.
Both parties will elect delegates for committees at the county and state level, including those who will determine who will run for governor and delegates for the 2nd Congressional District that will select candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives. Resolutions may also be submitted to be considered by the county assembly and opportunities for discussion of issues concerning individuals in the precinct.
Both parties encourage members to get involved at the local level. Republican Colorado State Representative Perry Buck said while promoting involvement in the caucus, “We the people, we the neighborhoods, we your next door neighbor, can have a role in government by participating in the caucuses.”
The next level of the process will occur in March and April when the delegates who are chosen at the caucus meet at county, district and state assemblies to formally select candidates. At the county assembly, delegates will nominate candidates for county elected offices and approve the county party platform. At various district assemblies, delegates will nominate candidates for Congress, the Colorado General Assembly, state board of education, board of regents and district attorneys. At the state assembly, delegates will nominate candidates for statewide offices, such as governor, and approve a statewide party platform.
This election cycle will see major positions being voted for, including a new Colorado governor and party control of the Colorado General Assembly. The primary elections will be held on June 26 this year, which will lead to the nomination of candidates for the November election. Candidates can also be considered for the primaries if they obtain a certain number of signatures approving their candidacy. Due to Propositions 107 and 108 that Colorado voters passed in 2016, unaffiliated voters will be able to vote in the primary election.
James Thompson, chair of the Larimer County Democratic Party said the gubernatorial race is a top priority for the party this election cycle. When asked if this is a good opportunity for people interested in getting involved in local politics Thompson said, “This is a great place to do it – you get to meet your democrat neighbors who are excited about sharing their ideas and supporting their candidates – it’s a great way to get involved.”
Each county party sets locations for its precinct caucuses in accordance with certain state statutes. Larimer County has increased by 32 precincts (neighborhoods) that include around 1,000 individuals. Due to precincts being redrawn, you may have been relocated to a different precinct from previous years. Both Republican and Democrat committees have databases online to determine the location for your precinct.
Precinct caucuses are open for the public to attend regardless of your party affiliation, but individuals who don’t meet all of the voting criteria would not be able to do so. You can preregister online. Depending on your personal precinct, many individuals in Berthoud will meet at 7 p.m. at Turner Middle School, 950 Massachusetts Ave. or the community center, 248 Welch Ave.
Democrats can find their caucus location by visiting coloradodems.org/caucus-locations/larimer/ and Republicans can find their location by visiting caucus.cologop.org/
As of Nov. 2017 there were 83,740 unaffiliated voters in Larimer County. Also, as of November, registered Democrats in Larimer County totaled 59,477 individuals and Republicans totaled 68,679, who are eligible to participate in Larimer County’s caucuses.
You can register to vote, change your registration information, including your party affiliation, by visiting the Colorado Secretary of State’s website, govotecolorado.com. People can also register in person, designate a party affiliation, or change a party affiliation at their county clerk’s offices.
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