Q: Wait, didn’t we vote to get rid of caucus?
A: We voted last year to eliminate the caucus in presidential elections. We still have caucus to decide on party nominees for other races. This year, we have a number of races, including Congressional, Gubernatorial, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and more to discuss at caucus.Q: Do we still have a primary?
A: Yes! The caucus is the first step in the process for candidates running for an office; caucus is one way they can be on the primary ballot in June. If they don’t get enough support at caucus or they don’t participate, they can also petition to be included on the ballot.
Q: Why do I have to register as a Democrat to caucus?
A: Thanks to new laws voters passed in 2016, those who are unaffiliated with a major political party can participate in the party primaries. That does not apply to caucuses; voters must be registered with a party to participate in that party’s caucus.
Q: So what do we vote on at caucus? Why should I bother?
A: At caucus, you’ll vote on two main things: you’ll elect a precinct leader for your neighborhood, and you’ll use a gubernatorial straw poll to elect delegates from your precinct to County Assembly. These delegates are important — through county and state assembly, who you’ve chosen as a delegate will determine which candidates from caucus make it on to the primary ballot in June.
Q: What can I expect to happen at caucus?
A: Each caucus location will gather together multiple precincts from neighborhoods across your town. The night will begin with a “plenary meeting” of all attendees which will include speeches from candidates. The large group will then separate into precinct (or neighborhood-area) breakouts where delegates for each precinct will be allocated based on the results of the neighborhood straw poll for gubernatorial candidates. Each precinct will elect between 2 and 8 delegates to the County Assembly. Those delegates will be able to run to be delegates to State Assembly, which is where races below the gubernatorial will be decided.
Q: What can I expect to be different at this year’s caucus than in 2016?
- Online caucus pre-registration! This year, for the first time in the state of Colorado, we’re implementing an online caucus preregistration system to help expedite the check-in process and cut down on lines.
- So many races, so little time! This year’s caucus isn’t just about the presidential race; you’ll get to have your say on candidates up and down the ballot!