Precinct caucuses and Colorado’s precinct caucus process
Precinct caucuses are meetings of registered electors within a precinct who are members of a particular major political party.
The purpose of precinct caucuses is to elect precinct committee persons and delegates to county assemblies.
Caucuses are held in locations across Colorado and are open to the public. Political parties are in charge of the precinct caucuses. They are in charge of: Locations, Publicity, Staffing, Materials and Processes.
Role of the County Clerk’s office in precinct caucuses
Providing a list of voters registered with that party (no later than 21 days before the precinct caucus.) Answering questions from voters and directing them to call their party, if necessary.
Since caucuses will be held on the weekend, March 7, 2020, the Clerk’s Office will make staff available during that time to take phone calls both from the political party and voters who need assistance during the caucuses.
Caucuses are the functions of political parties. County clerks, staff and the Secretary of State’s Office do not run caucuses in their official capacity.
Where are caucuses held?
Political parties are responsible for the caucus locations. The parties also determine the time of the caucuses.
Precinct caucuses may be held in a public place or a private home that is open to the public during the caucus that is in or near the precinct.
The location must be physically accessible to persons with disabilities and comply with the rules of the county central committee.
Signs must be posted designating precinct caucus locations no later than 12 days before the caucus. The signs must state: “Precinct caucus place for precinct no. ______.”
When are party caucuses held?
In a Presidential Election year, the party caucuses are held the Saturday after the Presidential Primary Election. In 2020, this date is March 7, 2020. In a non-presidential election year, precinct caucuses are held on the first Tuesday in March.
Who can vote in a precinct caucus?
To be eligible to vote in a political party’s precinct caucus, a voter must be:
• A resident of the precinct for at least 22 days;
• Registered to vote no later than 22 days before the caucus; and
• Affiliated with the party holding the caucus for at least 22 days before the caucus.
Although Unaffiliated voters may vote in primary elections, they cannot participate in party precinct caucuses.
What happens at a precinct caucus?
Caucus attendees elect officers who will be responsible for organizing political activities within the precinct. Caucus attendees also elect delegates and alternates to represent the precinct at the political party’s county or district convention.
Many people don’t realize that the party caucus is the first step in nominating candidates for the ballot.
Candidate nominating process
Voters affiliated with a political party gather at a caucus. The candidates or representatives of the candidates encourage voters in each precinct to run as a delegate for them.
Voters at the caucuses elect delegates to the county or state convention. Voters want to know who the delegates are going to vote for at the conventions. The delegates are elected and their names are forwarded to the political parties.
What happens at county/district assemblies?
The County Assembly is convened to designate county candidates for the Primary Election and to select delegates to the congressional district assemblies and the State Assembly.
The District Assembly is then convened to designate district level delegates to the National Convention. The delegates also nominate candidates for Congress, the Colorado General Assembly, the State Board of Education, the Board of Regents and District Attorneys.
The purpose of the State Assembly is to nominate candidates for statewide offices to the Primary Election ballot. During the assembly, delegates will also be elected to the National Convention.