Folks, keep an eye on your mailboxes: The ballots are coming.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams’s office said in a release Monday primary ballots will be mailed out starting on June 4, ahead of the primary on June 26.
If you haven’t heard about it yet, this year’s primary includes a big change. Unaffiliated voters, who make up nearly 40 percent of all registered voters in Colorado, will be allowed to vote in primaries for the first time ever.
The change is taking place amid one of the most hotly-contested gubernatorial races in the country. There are eight gubernatorial candidates between the two parties’ primary ballots (there are no third-party primaries). Other nominees for races including attorney general, state treasurer and Congressional seats will be chosen next month.
Williams has been traversing the state with a giant “U” to call attention to this new option. The campaign is also reminding unaffiliated voters that even though they will get both Democratic and Republican ballots, they can only cast one. Voters can also request a ballot; if they don’t, they will get both. Active voters, those whose mailing address is currently on file with the Secretary of State’s office, will get a ballot mailed to them. You can check to make sure your address is correct at GoVoteColorado.com.
But only use one. Voting in both primaries will invalidate your ballot.
If you don’t get a ballot mailed, it might be because the county’s clerk doesn’t have your address on file.
And a reminder: Voters can cast a ballot in a party’s primary without worrying about their vote being bound to the same party during the General Election in November.
The new option was made after Colorado voters approved Proposition 108 in 2016, which allowed for automatic participation for unaffiliated voters.
“The voters have spoken,” Williams said in the release, “and it’s the job of election officials to implement their will as best we can.”
So far, unaffiliated voters have been requesting far more blue ballots than red ones.
Williams has been updating the number of requests made for each party on Twitter. On Monday, he said 40,971 unaffiliated voters had picked a ballot for the primary. The breakdown: 22,938 (55.9 percent) picked Democratic ballots, while 15,479 (37.7 percent) picked up Republican ones.
Are you a young, unaffiliated voter who’s participating in this year’s election for the first time or know somebody who is? I would like to talk to you for a story. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org