By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4)– The start of the 2018 voting season in Colorado begins Tuesday with caucuses across the state.

Thousands of Democrats and Republicans will participate in caucuses on Tuesday evening.

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The scene at a caucus in Loveland in March 2016 (credit: CBS)

It’s the first step in the mid-term elections for governor, sheriff and several local offices.

Both parties will host small precinct meetings to start the candidate nomination process and elect delegates.

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Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb stumps for candidate Hillary Clinton as Democrats prepare to cast their votes for their preferred candidate in the Colorado Democratic Party Caucus at Manual High School on March 1, 2016 in Denver, Co. Colorado is one of 13 states and one territory participating in Super Tuesday primaries or caucuses intended to award delegates to particular candidates in each party. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

These delegates will represent each precinct in future meetings. They will also voice decisions of the precincts.

Candidates who receive enough delegate votes will earn a spot on the primary ballot in June.

gettyimages 513261310 master Colorado Voters Get Ready To Caucus

Colorado Democrats pack the gym at Manual High School as they listen to caucus instructions before casting their vote for their preferred candidate in the Colorado Democratic Party Caucus on March 1, 2016 in Denver, Co. Colorado is one of 13 states and one territory participating in Super Tuesday primaries or caucuses intended to award delegates to particular candidates in each party. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

The results are non-binding — but they’re considered a measure of candidates’ strength and momentum.

State Republicans don’t hold a straw poll in non-presidential election years.

Democrats do, and they’ll release results for their gubernatorial candidates on Wednesday.

Former state treasurer Cary Kennedy, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, ex-state Sen. Mike Johnston and businessman Noel Ginsberg are among those vying to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Candidates can get at least 30 percent of delegate votes at state assemblies April 14 or petition their way onto the primary ballot.

Only voters who registered as a Republican or a Democrat before Jan. 9 of this year can participate in the caucuses. Caucuses are open to the public for those who just want to observe.

Precinct meetings for both parties start at 7 p.m. at different locations across Colorado.

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Republicans gathered on the Auraria campus in Denver prior to Mitt Romney’s speech on Feb. 7, 2012. (credit: CBS)

Democratic caucus locations: https://www.coloradodems.org/caucus-locations/

Republican caucus locations: http://caucus.cologop.org/

Tori Mason is an award-winning reporter for CBS4 This Morning. Follow her on Twitter @ToriMasonTV.

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