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Reader: We Should Scrap Caucuses and Use Open Primaries
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Reader: We Should Scrap Caucuses and Use Open Primaries

On Tuesday, March 6, Colorado caucused. Republicans and Democrats gathered in gyms, schools and other open spaces to begin the process of electing Colorado's next governor. Like elections themselves, though, caucuses aren't without controversy. While some Coloradans consider the caucus a cornerstone of democracy, others argue that caucusing is an archaic, unnecessary step. Nathan, for example, who says: 

Quit having them. They are less democratic than primaries. And we have both, which is confusing and time-confusing. Oh, and the primary determines who gets on the general election ballot, not the caucus.

Adds Allyson:

The one and only step is to scrap caucuses and use open primaries.

Notes Chris: 

1) Caucuses are a stupid waste of time and energy in the age of technology. 2) Be sure to vote against anyone who has ever taken a DIME from the NRA.

Susan argues:

Change the caucus system to a primary. If you keep the caucus system, make it at times when people can go, don't need child care, or allow them other ways to participate as delegates rather than just the caucus. Caucusing is a very confusing process which excludes a huge number of potential participants. If the Democrats are really for expanded voting, they will go to a primary system allowing everyone to vote.

And to make caucusing more intriguing to voters, Susan suggests:

Change the name to Great American Beer Festival!

Keep reading for more of our coverage of caucuses.

Reader: We Should Scrap Caucuses and Use Open Primaries
Gregg Looker at Flickr

"Seven Ways to Improve Caucus Turnout"

Cary Kennedy collected as many caucus votes as all of her competitors combined.
Cary Kennedy collected as many caucus votes as all of her competitors combined.
Facebook

"Colorado Caucus Results 2018: Cary Kennedy Is the Big Democratic Winner"

Reader: We Should Scrap Caucuses and Use Open Primaries
Mihajlo Maricic/iStock

"John Wren Still Believes in Caucusing"

Reader: We Should Scrap Caucuses and Use Open Primaries
Let Colorado Vote Facebook page

"Caucus? Primary? A Voters' Guide to Colorado's Elections."

A caucus is, simply, a political community gathering, and the March 6 caucuses were held at the precinct level, which is the smallest subset of a county. The idea is to engage in neighborhood-level discussions and debate local party leaders and ideas. Rather than going to a voting booth and filling out a ballot (primary), you go to a designated location, usually a high school gym or a community center (but sometimes even a living room or barn) and, after debate, vote for delegates to your party's assembly in mid-April.

Political junkies get a kick out of caucuses, and political newbies generally find them snoozy. But the March 6 Democratic caucuses were a real wake-up call, because Cary Kennedy got a surprising 50 percent of the support.

What do you think about the caucus system? Who do you think will be the next governor of Colorado? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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