Let Colorado Vote 2016 is dedicated to pursuing policies to increase voter engagement and participation in Colorado. It is being funded by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Colorado Concern, a group of top Business Executives in the State.
Metro Mayors Caucus
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Colorado Association of Realtors
Colorado Contractors Association
Vail Valley Partnership
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
They are considering ways to increase voter participation in Colorado and will ask voters this fall to approve two ballot initiatives:
- Initiative 98, which would open taxpayer-financed Primary Elections to Colorado’s 1.3 million unaffiliated voters. Registered Democrats would be mailed ballots featuring the Democratic candidates, and Republicans would be mailed ballots featuring GOP candidates. Unaffiliated voters would get both, but would only be allowed to mail in one for their vote to count.
MHD: But this will not allow unaffiliated voters to pick candidates of their choice, just Party candidates.
Under current law unaffiliated voters can go to a polling place right up to 7 p.m. and commit to one party or another in a Primary. Or they can change their affiliation on-line and be mailed a ballot, so long as they do this at least eight days in advance, preferably earlier, considering the vagaries of the postal service.
- Initiative 140, which would restore Colorado’s Presidential Primary Election, last held in 2000, as an Open Primary.
In recent years, Colorado voters have been almost evenly divided between Republicans, Democrats and independents, with each comprising about a third of the electorate. More recent voter registration data signal a changing landscape, however. Independents now make up 37% of registered voters, with Republicans and Democrats each tallying 31%.
Let Colorado Vote points out that Colorado is one of just 20 states where unaffiliated voters can’t participate in the Presidential nominating process without first re-registering with a Political Party, one of 17 states that close Congressional Primaries to unaffiliated voters, one of only 13 states where Legislative Primaries are closed to independents, and is one of just 14 states that rely on a Caucus system.
Colorado leads the nation in the growth of independent voters since 2008, and young people are leading the way. Two-thirds of newly registered voters chose not to join a party in 2014, and nearly half of the voters age 40 and under in Colorado are unaffiliated.
Join in passing these measures to encourage participation in the election process, rather than closing the door to the largest group of voters in our state.
NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker