Deadline Monday to declare your voter affiliation for 2018 Colorado caucuses

Hey, party people. Monday is the deadline to declare yourself Republican or Democrat if you want to participate in precinct caucuses.

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Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at a meeting calling for unity among the Republican Party at the Jefferson County Republican Party headquarters on July 9, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  Wayne Williams; jefferson county republicans; politics; election; vote; denver; denverite; kevinjbeaty; colorado;

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at a meeting calling for unity among the Republican Party at the Jefferson County Republican Party headquarters on July 9, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Hey, party people. Monday is the deadline to declare yourself Republican or Democrat if you want to participate in precinct caucuses.

Caucuses are the first step in nominating candidates for the 2018 mid-term election. The Democratic and Republican parties are set to caucus March 6 and select delegates who will attend the county, legislative, congressional districts and state assemblies.

To register to vote or change registration information online, go to govotecolorado.com or text “CO” to “2Vote”. Coloradans can also register or change registration information by appearing in person at their county clerk’s offices.

The caucus route is one way for candidates to get on the Republican or Democratic ballots for the June 26 primary election. In past years, more than 90 percent of candidates on the primary ballot were chosen through the caucus route, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

“This is really a crucial step in our democratic process,” Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said.

“At some assemblies, candidates don’t get enough support from delegates to get on the ballot and their quest for office is over. In counties with lopsided voter registration, such as heavily Democratic Denver County or heavily Republican El Paso County, a group of delegates choose a single primary candidate who likely will be the winner in the general election,” Williams said in a statement.

A small number of politicians choose not to caucus and opt instead to petition their way onto the ballot by collecting a certain number of valid voter signatures from members of their own party.

Colorado’s unaffiliated voters cannot participate in caucuses unless they register with an election 60 days in advance of the neighborhood meetings. However, new rules do allow them to participate in the primary elections.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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