- L'Aura Montgomery
- Democrats had to sign a list of qualified voters.
You braved the cold, waited in line, then raised your hand or scribbled a makeshift ballot when asked to do so. You went home satisfied, and perhaps intrigued by the taste of grassroots politics.
Did you notice that, days later, it was impossible to say precisely how many Coloradans caucused on Feb. 5, Super Tuesday? El Paso County, the state's most populous, was a bipartisan epicenter for unreported precincts.
On the Democratic side, results from 21 of the county's 387 precincts were still a mystery early this week. John Morris, the county's Democratic Party chair, says the plan was for site coordinators at 57 caucus locations to call in results so they could be added up, sent to state party officials, then broadcast across the nation.
Morris says it's not clear if some coordinators forgot their calls, or how else the results from 21 precincts went astray.
The next day, with no clear view of which precincts were missing, local officials moved on to verifying each precinct's delegates for the county convention and assembly Feb. 23.
The Feb. 5 numbers, Morris says, are strictly for the media; the big thing for the party is getting the county delegates sorted.
Morris expects 1,500 elected delegates at that meeting, compared to 400 or 500 four years ago. They will choose 390 delegates to May's state convention, where 55 pledged delegates will be picked for August's national convention.
A few other counties had one to three precincts not reported for the Democrats by Monday.
For Republicans, 18 El Paso County precincts and 20 in Arapahoe County were not initially reported, though many of those had been counted by this week.
"Ultimately," Morris assures, "we will know the answer to all your questions."
As of Wednesday morning, 7,826 Democrats and 12,186 Republicans were reported to have participated in El Paso County's caucuses.