Tuesday, June 12, 2018

CO Elections Officials Explain 2018 Primary Ballot Participation by Unaffiliated Voters

The Boulder Colorado County Clerk and Recorder's Office's Elections Division and the Colorado Secretary of State's Office are reminding Unaffiliated Voters that they can Cast Ballots in either the June 26th Democratic or Republican Primary Election even if those Voters are Not Affiliated with any Political Party.

Under a Voter-Approved 2016 State Ballot Measure, All Unaffiliated Colorado Voters, along with Registered Republicans and Democrats, can participate those Parties' Primaries in 2018.

This will be the First Time Unaffiliated Voters can participate in Political Party Primaries without formally having first to Affiliate with the Party holding the Primary Election.

Of the 202,722 Voters on Boulder County's Registration Rolls as of April 1st, 75,569 of those Voters were Unaffiliated, 37% of the Total. There were 90,273 Registered Democrats and 33,398 Registered Republicans, with Members of other Political Parties totaling 3,482 Voters.

Unaffiliated Voters will receive both the Democratic and Republican Parties' Primary election Ballots in the Mail, unless they have Pre-Selected a Preference for one of those Two Parties' Primary Ballots, Boulder County's Elections Division noted in a News Release.

Unaffiliated Voters getting Both Major Parties' Primary Ballots will only Fill Out and Return One of those Parties' Ballots to their County Clerk. If an Unaffiliated Voter Marks his or her choices and Returns Both Parties' Ballots, none of their Primary Election Choices will be Counted.

Boulder County Elections Division's Staff is encouraging Unaffiliated Voters who already know which Party's Primary they want to Participate in, to indicate that Party's Primary Election Ballot in Advance by going to Uchoose.CO.Gov and indicating that Preference.

"Selecting a ballot now helps save Boulder County taxpayer resources because the county will only need to print and mail one ballot instead of two, and it saves valuable time and staff resources on the ballot processing side of the elections operation," Boulder County Elections Officials said in a News Release.

State and County Elections Officials have emphasized that Casting a Ballot in a Democratic or Republican Party Primary does not change an Unaffiliated Voter's status or formally designate that Voter as a Republican or a Democrat on Registration Roles in the future.

The Political Party's Primary in which that Unaffiliated Voter participated will be a matter of Public Record, but how that Person Voted on the Republican or Democratic Primary Ballot will not be.

"Since the ability for unaffiliated voters to participate in the primary Election without declaring an affiliation has never happened before in Colorado, our office, as well as the Secretary of State's Office, wanted to spend some time communicating to voters about the process and what to expect," Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall said in a Statement.

"We are especially interested in educating voters that since they can only vote one ballot by law, that in order to prevent potential voter mistakes and save time, paper waste, and lower county costs, if one is ready to make a decision on which party's primary they want to vote in, to make that selection now rather than wait," Hall said.
"But either way, we want people ready to vote and understanding that they may only vote one ballot."

For Voters already Registered with either the Republican or Democratic Party, there are no changes in the process of getting and casting Primary Election Ballots. Those Voters are to get their Party's Ballot in the Mail the first week in June.

However, people Registered with one of the other State-recognized Political Parties, such as the Green, Libertarian, and Unity or American Constitution Parties, would have to change their Registration to Democrat or Republican, or change to Unaffiliated status, by May 29th to get and cast a Democratic Party or Republican Party Primary Election Ballot.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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