2020 NATIONAL ELECTIONS AND CAUCUSES
There will be three statewide elections conducted in Colorado this year, including the first Presidential Primary since 2000, which will allow Unaffiliated Voters to participate!
As members of the League of Women Voters and as citizens, it is important to understand the purpose of each election. We need to understand the caucus system as well because it plays a critical role in how candidates are nominated and placed on the ballot.
The three elections are:
1. Presidential Primary - March 3
2. Primary Election for candidates in local, state and federal offices - June 30
3. General Election - November 3 to determine which candidates will hold office
As a mail-in ballot state, Colorado voters receive their ballots in the mail approximately two weeks prior to each election.
This means many Colorado voters will begin receiving the Presidential Primary ballots beginning February 10th. For the Presidential Primary, most registered voters will receive at least one ballot. Those registered as Democrats will receive the Democratic ballot, and those registered as Republicans will receive the Republican ballot. And, for the first time in a presidential primary, those registered Unaffiliated will receive both Republican and Democratic ballots.
If you are an Unaffiliated voter, it’s important to remember that only one of the two ballots can be returned. Return only the ballot you are casting and destroy the other ballot. If a voter returns both ballots, both will be considered invalid and neither ballot will be counted.
Voters who are affiliated with a minor party (such as Libertarian, Unity or Green Party) will not receive a primary ballot as their party of affiliation does not participate in the Presidential Primary election.
In Colorado there are two ways candidates other than presidential candidates are placed on the ballot. Registered voters attend meetings of their political party called a caucus. This year’s caucus date is March 7. In order to participate in a Caucus a voter must be registered with either the Democratic or Republican party no later than 11:59 p.m. on February 10. At the caucuses, candidates are nominated for county, state and federal office, excluding the president who will be determined by a presidential primary and a national convention. Also, delegates for those candidates are selected to attend county and state assemblies where votes are held to select which candidates will appear on the primary ballot. Candidates for office may choose to avoid the caucus process by circulating petitions. Those candidates who follow the petition process and get enough valid signatures are placed on the primary ballot.
In the June primary election, registered voters who are affiliated Republican or Democrat will receive Primary Election ballots for their designated preference. As mentioned earlier, Unaffiliated voters in Colorado will receive two ballots and can vote only one.
In the General Election, candidates chosen at the June Primary Election will appear on the ballot appropriate to their voting location. All registered voters will begin receiving General Election ballots on October 9th and must return it by mail or to a Voter Service and Polling Center no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day November 3rd.
Support your local election officials this year, as the year ahead is very challenging. For further details or questions, please contact the Montrose or Delta County Elections Office at (970) 249-3362 or (970) 874-2150.
The League of Women Voters is committed to making sure all eligible citizens are registered to vote, and that voters have the information they need to participate in elections and have their vote counted. Since 2006, VOTE411.org has provided tens of millions of voters with information about the election process and information directly from tens of thousands of candidates regarding their vision for their community and America's future. Every election, whether local, state or federal, is important to ensuring our laws and policies reflect the values and beliefs of our communities.
The first step to having a say on the issues that matter most to you is making sure you are registered to vote. Election Day is the one day when all Americans are equal. Thank you for Making Democracy Work®.
Three Ways to get Educated:
Voter Registration FAQs
on the Secretary of State's website.
Every Vote Counts!
Voter Registration Information
Guide to Colorado Voter Registration page
Mail-In Ballot/Early Voting
Colorado is a Mail-In-Ballot state. Every voter now receives a mail ballot at the mailing address provided through their voter registration file. To check the address on file for your voter registration visit GoVoteColorado.com
If you would like to vote at the polls, you can surrender your mail ballot and vote in-person at a voter service and polling center. To do so, go to GoVoteColorado.com
to find your polling locations.
A mail-in ballot must be received at the County Clerk's office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Find out more about Mail-In Ballots on this FAQ Sheet
Early voting may take place at the County Clerk's office 10 days before the Primary Election and 15 days before a General Election or other November election.
GETTING THE FACTS
Confused about issues or candidate's statements? Try these sites to help you sort through election information:
is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of confusion in U.S. politics.
OpenSecrets.org is from the Center for Responsive Politics. The site is a nonpartisan guide to presenting political news, actual positions of parties and candidates as well as campaign monies raised.
in cooperation with FactCheck.org, finds ads, checks the facts, and then exposes the manipulation and inaccuracies using parody and humor. It is headquartered at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
GET KIDS INVOLVED
Check out Ben's Guide to U.S. Government
for Kids to have Ben Franklin help your K-12th grade children understand the federal election process. The site is divided into activities by grade level.