DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado is in uncharted territory with its 2020 presidential primary. It is not only the state’s first presidential primary in 20 years, it’s the first all-mail presidential primary ever in Colorado.
It’s also the first where unaffiliated voters and 17-year-olds, who turn 18 before November, can vote.
The election is set for March 3, Super Tuesday and while a primary may be less perplexing than the chaotic caucus process, there are peculiarities.
Here’s what you need to know:
While Democrats and Republicans each get one ballot, unaffiliated voters get two – Democratic and Republican. But you can only vote one, or neither will count.
If you’re voting the Democratic ballot, there are 17 candidates, but seven have dropped out. Pick one of the 10 still running and don’t expect to know the winner on primary election night. The process is involved.
There are 67 Democratic delegates. 23 are allocated based on who wins the statewide vote. The other 44 are allocated based on who wins in each of the seven congressional districts. Districts with more Democratic voters award more delegates.
In both cases, candidates have to win at least 15% of the vote to be eligible for any delegates.
While we should know the winner of the statewide vote election night, it could take days to determine the winner of each congressional district and, in turn, the winner of the most delegates.
The Republican primary is less complicated. Six candidates are on the ballot. Five are still running. Each candidate needs 20% of the vote to qualify for delegates that – like Democrats – are awarded proportionally unless one of the candidates gets 50% of the vote, then he gets all the delegates. Pres. Donald Trump is expected to do so.
Colorado’s U.S. Senate primary is June 7. A lot of Democrats are vying for the nomination but not all will make the ballot. They need to petition or caucus to get on the ballot. The deadline to register with the party to caucus is Feb. 14, but you can register to vote right through Election Day.
Register to vote through the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.