On June 26, Coloradans will vote in primaries, and for the first time, unaffiliated voters can take part, thanks to a 2016 ballot measure. That's good news for democracy, but it also makes voting a bit more complicated this year.
You will automatically be mailed ballots for both the Democratic and Republican primaries, but here's the key: You can only fill out one party's ballot. If you fill out both the Democratic and Republican ballots, neither will count.
The Colorado Secretary of State's Office launched a campaign called UChooseCO a few months back to educate the public about recent changes for unaffiliated voters.
"Our goal with this campaign is to let unaffiliated voters know they can participate in the primary election, that they can state a preference for a ballot and they should only mark one ballot if they get two," Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said in a statement.
If you're an unaffiliated voter but you already know which party's primary you want to take part in, click this link and state your party preference. This means you'll only be mailed one ballot (and save a couple trees in the process).
Registered Republicans and Democrats
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For those of you already registered with a political party, you'll vote in your party's primary on June 26, just as in years past.
But if you are a registered Republican or Democrat and you hope to vote in the other party's primary, you must become an unaffiliated voter or switch parties by Tuesday, May 29. Like most everything when it comes to voting in Colorado, this is really easy to do — click this link, fill out the information and you can participate in whichever primary you want. If you remain a registered Republican or Democrat, however, you must vote in your party's primary.
Denver County voters: Your ballot(s) will be mailed the first week of June, meaning you're likely to get your ballot(s) in early to mid-June. Fill out your ballot of choice and return it by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, or, of course, you can vote in person on the day of the election (find your polling location here). If you're outside of Denver County, you're likely get your ballot around early to mid-June, as well.
Have questions? Ask away in the comments section, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the Colorado Secretary of State's Office website, which has more useful links and tools to help you navigate the primaries.