This is a follow-up to my last blog What is with All the Political Events? This blog is going to cover in more detail what the caucuses are about and what exactly happens at the caucuses.
What are the caucuses? The caucuses have been part of the Colorado political system since 1910, with a hiatus from 1992 to 2004, but they are not well understood, especially by those who have never participated. The caucuses are a major component of our political process in Colorado. Participating in the caucuses is critical if you want to be involved in electing the candidates that will be placed on the general state primary ballot. Several things happen at the caucus. First, two precinct leaders are elected for each precinct. These leaders are called precinct committee persons or PCPs. The elected PCPs will serve for that precinct for the next two years and they become members of the County Central Committee. The County Central Committee runs the party in Delta County. These PCPs have voting rights at the Central Committee meetings, which we are holding monthly. Second, we elect delegates to attend the County Assembly and the other higher assemblies that are involved in selecting our candidates. The allocation of delegates to these higher assemblies is based on voter turnout in the last even year election -in this case 2022. Thirdly, caucus attendees can propose planks for the Colorado GOP platform. These planks that are passed are forwarded and considered at the County and State assemblies. These three objectives set the stage how a political party is run at the county level, who gets on the ballot for a political party in that year’s elections and helps form what the party platform will be in the upcoming election. Caucuses are held in locations across Colorado and are open to the public. However, only registered electors of that political party, who live within that precinct, are allowed to vote at the caucus for each precinct.
When and where will the Delta Caucuses be held?
All Delta County Republican Caucuses will be held Thursday March 7, 2024. Precincts will meet at the following locations:
Precincts 1-8 (Delta Area Precincts) Delta Middle School – located at 401 E. 10th St., Delta CO.
Precincts 9-14 (Cedaredge Area Precincts) Cedaredge Middle School – located at 845 SE Deer Creek Drive, Cedaredge, CO.
Precincts 15, 16 & 17 (Hotchkiss - Crawford Area Precincts) Hotchkiss K-8 School – located at 465 Lorah Lane, Hotchkiss, CO
Precincts 18, 19 & 20 (Paonia Area Precincts) Paonia Elementary School – located at 846 Grand Ave., Paonia, CO.
Credentialing opens at 6:00 pm, the Caucuses run from 7 to possibly 9 pm.
Pre-registering for the caucuses. Voters can pre-register to attend the caucus and we strongly encourage you to do so. Pre-registration is done on-line on CRCAS (Colorado Republican Caucus and Assembly System.) The reasons we are encouraging pre-registration are 1) Pre-registering will first of all tell you what precinct you are in and 2) where your precinct caucus will be held. 3) It will also speed up the credentialing process. So, please, try to pre-register. The DCRCC will be helping people to pre-register so if you are not sure or you are unable to access a computer, we will help you do so. To pre-register you will need the following:
A computer, or if we assist you, we will be providing the computer.
Your email address
Your phone number.
This information will be provided to the County party, so we know how to contact you. This is important if you want to be a delegate, an election judge or just participate in party activities. If you don’t provide an email or a phone number, you won’t be considered for a delegate or an election judge.
How to pre-register on CRCAS:
Go to the website: http://caucus.cologop.org This link will take you to a Colorado Republican website where you begin pre-registering.
The page that comes up will say, “2024 COLORADO REPUBLICAN PRECINCT CAUCUS” with a box below, labeled “Find Your Caucus Location”. In the box, you are asked to fill in: your Registered Voter Address and Zip Code. This is your residence and not your mailing address, if that is different. Enter those and click the Search Button.
A second page comes up that says, “VERIFY YOUR ADDRESS”. In the box below that your address should come up. If that is your correct physical address, click on the part that says, “This is my address—Click Here”. If none of these addresses are yours, it's possible that your voter registration record is recorded with a different spelling for your street name. Please check the online voter registration system of the Colorado Secretary of State to verify how your address appears in your official voter record.
The third page that comes up will say, “CONFIRM YOUR IDENTITY”. Below that statement will be Your Address, which should be listed from the previous page. Below that will be this line “Please select your name from the list of eligible voters registered at this address:” Below that will be a list of names that are registered at that address, i.e. all family members or residents that are registered at that address. Next to each name is a bubble that you check for your name.
That will bring up a box on that page that says, “PRE-REGISTER FOR CAUCUS NOW”. In the box are two items that need to be completed a) Your email address and b) Your phone number. These two items are necessary, so we can contact you about the caucuses and any subsequent activities, like if you become a PCP or a delegate at the County, State or District Assemblies. NOTE: If you do not list an email address, the system will not continue to process your pre-registration. There is also a box you can check if you wish to be considered for an election judge. This is important to check if you want to be considered for one of the election judge positions. This does not obligate you to serve as one, but it is necessary to check to even be considered for one
The next page that comes up shows your completed pre-registration. The information on this page includes your precinct number, which is a ten-digit number, such as this number - 3055815019. The number includes many bits of information. The precinct number is actually the last three digits, in this example Precinct 19. Starting from the left, the digit 3 stands for the Congressional District you are in, in this case CD3. The second two digits, 05, show the state senate district you are in, in this case SD5. The fourth and fifth numbers show the state house district you are in, in this case HD58. The sixth and seventh numbers, 15, represent the county number. And as mentioned before the last three digits represent your precinct. In this case, Precinct 19.
You can print your registration, which includes information about the caucus including your precinct number and your caucus location. It will also list the time that the caucuses start. It shows the start time as 6:00 pm, which is actually when we open the doors and begin credentialing. This also allows attendees time to review candidate literature. The actual caucus will begin at 7:00 pm.
If you don’t pre-register, you can still attend the caucus. I’ve listed the locations above. If you don’t know your precinct, you can contact the Elections Clerks in the Clerk & Recorders Office in the Delta County Courthouse at 970-874-2153. But as I said before, we strongly encourage you to pre-register.
Who is eligible to vote at caucus?
To be eligible to vote in a political party's precinct caucus a voter must be:
A resident of the precinct for at least 22 days;
Registered to vote no later than 22 days before the caucus; and
Affiliated with the party holding the caucus for at least 22 days before the caucus.
any registered Republican elector who has attained the age of eighteen years within the twenty-two days immediately preceding such precinct caucus or who has become a naturalized citizen within the twenty-two days immediately preceding the precinct caucus may vote at any caucus even though the elector has been affiliated with the Republican Party for less than twenty-two days. A pre-registrant who is affiliated with the Republican Party and is seventeen years of age on the date of the precinct caucus, and who will be eighteen years of age on the date of the next general election may vote at the caucus
Can unaffiliated voters participate in precinct caucuses? No. Although unaffiliated voters may currently vote in Colorado’s primary elections, they cannot participate in party precinct caucuses. Although they may attend and observe.
The agenda at the caucus will include the following:
Welcome and Call to Order.
Invocation / Pledge.
Candidate Support Speeches.
Select temporary precinct caucus chair and secretary.
Elect Precinct Committeepersons by secret ballot or raise of hands, tally and announce results.
Elect Delegates/Alternates to County Assembly and the other multi-county higher assemblies (CD3, SD5, JD7, HD54 & HD58 and the State Assembly and Convention).
Recruit Election Judges (You must sign up at the caucus to be considered).
Discuss Issues and Consider Resolutions to pass to County Party Assembly.
Adjourn and Complete Paperwork for County Party.
How does caucus tie in to our elections? As described in my last blog, What is with All the Political Events?, the caucus is the foundation of all our political activities. What happens at the caucus affects what happens through the rest of the political process that results in the election of our governmental leaders. So here is a summary of the rest of the political process for 2024:
March 7, 2024
March 23, 2024
March 30, 2024
March 30, 2024 (This date has not been confirmed yet.)
CD3, HD58 and JD7
April 5, 2024
State Assembly & Convention
April 6, 2024
Colorado Primary Election
June 25, 2024
Colorado General Election
November 5, 2024
CD=Congressional District, SD=State District, HD=House District, JD=Judicial District
As already mentioned, I discussed how all these political activities tie together in the What is with All the Political Events? Blog. But just a reminder, the next activity after the caucuses is the County Assembly. Here is what I wrote about the assembly:
Delta County Assembly – Saturday, March 23, 2024. There are 200 delegates and 200 alternates that can attend the county assembly. These delegates and alternates are elected at the county precinct caucuses, on March 7, 2024. At the county assembly the delegates will vote on candidates for county offices, such as the county commissioners, to go on the Colorado General Primary ballot (this election is Tuesday, June 25, 2024. The delegates that are elected at the precinct caucuses for the State and other District Assemblies are ratified at the county assembly. The county assembly is open to the public to observe, but only delegates are allowed to speak and vote.
Caucus attendees will learn about who the candidates are and what they stand for, they can become PCPs for their precinct and actually be involved with county-level politics, they can become delegates to the County and other higher Assemblies and actually help select who our candidates will be in the upcoming elections and they can sign up to become an election judge in elections for the next two years. There are many reasons to participate in the caucuses. I hope this has been informative on what the caucuses are and how they are conducted. We will be discussing the caucuses at our February 6, 2024 meeting and pre-registering voters. We will also be setting a date for additional training on the caucuses for those who are interested.
Our next DCRCC monthly meeting is going to be on February 6, 2024 at the Surface Creek Community Church in Austin. Remember, this is an opportunity to meet two of the candidates running for HD 58. Mark Roeber and Larry Don Suckla will be there. The doors will open at 5:30 pm and the meeting starts at 6:00 pm and we try to finish by 7:30 pm. This is a great opportunity to meet these two candidates and talk to them. We will open the doors at 5:30 to allow folks a chance to visit with the candidates before the meeting. Hope to see you there.
Chairman, Delta County Republican Central Committee
PS –Remember you can donate to the Delta County Republican Central Committee, by going to our website https://www.deltacoloradogop.com Since we won’t have the Headquarters open for most of this year, donations are critical in helping build up our bank account so we have funds for supporting our candidates in the 2024 election. An individual donation of $20 is a great small donation. You can also donate in person at our monthly meeting. Thank you! db