When is Colorado’s Democratic Caucus?
This year caucus will be held over five days from March 1-5 and will be held either in-person, virtually, or hybrid so allow for greater participation. Check the timeline for your county’s list of scheduled caucuses here.
What is a caucus?
Precinct caucuses are meetings of registered Democrats within a precinct—which is based on your neighborhood. This year, caucus goers will:
- Elect two Precinct Organizers to represent their precinct,
- Sign up to be considered for an Election Judge position, and
- Elect Delegates to represent the Precinct at County Assembly.
Caucuses are held in locations across Colorado and are open to the public, although only registered Democrats are allowed to participate.
How will this year’s caucus work?
Because there are few contested primaries this year, caucus will focus less on candidates and more on party organizing. Like with previous years there will still be discussion, but anyone who has signed up in advance to be a delegate to the county assembly will automatically be elected.
Why does Colorado use a caucus system?
At one point in time, most states used the caucus system to vote. Colorado continues to uphold the caucus at a more local level due to the depth and intimacy the process offers voters. During more competitive years, caucuses attracted impassioned supporters of candidates who are ready and willing to discuss platforms and views at length with anyone in attendance—helping voters decide if a candidate matches their values. Yet even in years with a more simplified process, the caucus system allows for great community engagement in the election process.
How can I participate in the Democratic Caucus?
To participate in caucus, you must be affiliated with the Democratic Party registered to vote in your current precinct 22 days in advance—this year that date was Feb. 7. State law and party rule also allow for participation of pre-registered 16- and 17-year-olds. You can read more on how to get involved as a delegate in your county’s specific caucus here.
What comes after Caucus?
After the precinct caucuses anyone who signed up to be a delegate to assembly will go on to that event. In some counties the Party Assembly will happen immediately after the precinct caucuses, in others the assembly will happen one to two weeks afterwards.
At the assembly, delegates will have an opportunity to select which candidates should appear on the ballot in contested House, Senate, and Congressional races for seats that are wholly in a county. If more delegates appear at the county assembly than the county is allocated for state assembly, the number of delegates are winnowed down.
If there are seats that cover more than one county, the assembly will advance delegates to a multi-county assembly for the same purpose – to determine which candidates should appear on the ballot. Usually determining candidates for multi-county seats, as well as congressional district seats, happens the night before State Assembly.
After the county assemblies, multi-county assemblies, and congressional district assemblies, the remaining delegates will go to state assembly on April 9th where they will help determine which candidates will appear on the statewide primary ballot in races where there are multiple candidates. As Democrats currently hold nearly all statewide seats the only possible competitive race at state assembly will be for the statewide State Board of Education seat.