VALLEY — Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams rolled out a campaign intended to help unaffiliated voters correctly fill out their ballots in the June 26 primary election.
Williams explained how unaffiliated voters can ask to receive a Republican or a Democratic ballot. Voters who don’t state a preference and get both ballots in the mail can only return one marked ballot -- if they vote both, the ballots will be rejected.
“Coloradans in 2016 allowed unaffiliated voters to automatically participate in primary elections,” Williams said. “We want to make sure those votes count.”
The latest voter registration stats from the Secretary of State’s office shows that Alamosa County has 2,590 active unaffiliated voters, the second largest voting bloc behind Democrats (3,100) with active registered Republicans in the county numbering 2,475. Conejos County has 831 active unaffiliated voters, 2335 active registered Democrats and 1,763 active registered Republicans. Costilla County has 510 unaffiliated voters, 1,555 active registered Democrats and 367 active registered Republicans. Mineral County has 168 active unaffiliated voters, 262 active registered Democrats and 293 active registered Republicans. Rio Grande County has 1,896 active unaffiliated voters, 2,068 active registered Democrats and 2,688 active registered Republicans. Saguache County has 1,158 active unaffiliated voters, 1,564 active registered Democrats and 813 active registered Republicans according to the Secretary of State’s web site.
Unaffiliated voters through early May can go to www.govotecolorado.com and choose a Republican or a Democratic ballot. This will save the county clerks and taxpayers money, as sending both ballots to unaffiliated voters will cost $1 but sending one will only cost 62 cents.
As of March 27, 29,484 of Colorado’s 1.4 million unaffiliated voters had indicated a preference. Of that, 54 percent asked for a Democratic ballot and 40 percent a Republican ballot. The rest asked for minor-party ballots but if there is no minor-party primary they will get both a Republican and Democratic ballot.
As part of the campaign, unaffiliated voters who intended to vote in the 2018 election were polled last December. Forty-seven percent were unaware they could vote in the primary, 39 percent said they planned to participate and 28 percent were undecided. The top reason unaffiliated voters gave for not voting in a primary election was unfamiliarity with the candidates on the ballot.
The measure has no impact on Republicans or Democrats, who will receive a primary ballot with their candidates’ names.
The campaign has its own web page at UChoose.co.gov and Facebook page, Twitter account and hashtag, #UChooseCO.