Affiliate... or don't caucus



Though the names of candidates in this year’s state and local races probably won’t strike the same nerve as did the likes of McCain, Romney, Clinton and Obama did in 2008, local parties are still getting ready to hold caucuses this year on March 16.

To participate, you must be registered either a Democrat or Republican by Jan. 19, which is two months before the caucus date.

Caucuses start off the complex, and often arcane, process of selecting party nominees for contested races on the ballot. Delegates picked at precinct caucuses go on to larger county meetings, where they pick smaller groups of delegates for statewide political conventions, and prioritize the candidates to appear on primary ballots Aug. 10 (candidates who don’t get enough support at caucuses and assemblies don’t make the ballot).

Ultimately, the primary will determine which candidates get their party’s nomination to appear on ballots in the Nov. 2 general election.

So far, the big contests for El Paso County Republicans are shaping up to be local, with crowds vying for commissioner District 5 and clerk and Recorder. The big race for Democrats is shaping to be the competition for U.S. Senate, with former speaker of the Colorado House Andrew Romanoff trying to take the place of Michael Bennet, who was appointed to the seat a year ago.
If you are already affiliated with a party but have moved, you have until Feb. 16 to update your registration.

You can check your registration information by visiting the secretary of state’s Web site,, and clicking on “verify/update my voter registration.”

A release from the El Paso County clerk and recorder follows:

With 2010 being a general election year a lot of political activity is already making local news. This year there will be a Primary Election August 10 and a General Election November 2. Both elections will be polling place elections.

Party caucuses will be held on March 16, 2010. The Election Department reminds voters that to be able to vote at a party caucus, you must be affiliated with the political party holding the caucus for two months prior to the caucus. The cutoff date for affiliation for the 2010 caucuses is January 19. The voter registration cutoff to participate in the caucus is February16.

Precinct committee persons and delegates to county assemblies, to be held on April 10, 2010, will be elected at the party caucuses.

Also, anyone interested in being an election judge for the upcoming elections may submit their name at the caucus. Names received from party caucuses have first priority for filling the election judge positions for the primary and general elections.

Registration forms and other valuable election information are available on the Clerk and Recorder’s website at\election, or you may call the Election Department directly at (719) 575-VOTE (8683).

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