Presidential primary ballots should start hitting mailboxes this week in anticipation of the March 3 election.
La Plata County Clerk & Recorder Tiffany Parker said 14,904 ballots were mailed to residents registered as unaffiliated; 11,458 to Democratic voters; and 10,318 to Republican voters.
Those numbers may change as more people register to vote or change their affiliation over the course of the year, Parker said.
This year, La Plata County residents may get their ballots sooner than in years past.
Parker said that for years, ballots would be trucked from Phoenix to Durango, then mailed to county residents, which requires going through Albuquerque. That process usually takes ballots four days to get to residents in Durango and up to six days for residents in Bayfield. In October, however, ballots were sent directly from Phoenix, which took some ballots even longer to reach their destination.
This year, however, the ballots were trucked directly from Phoenix to Albuquerque to be mailed to La Plata County, which should reduce the time it takes for ballots to reach mailboxes.
“We’re just trying to get ballots to voters faster,” Parker said.
March 3 marks the new date for Colorado’s presidential primary, which was rescheduled in 2019 by Gov. Jared Polis and Secretary of State Jena Griswold. Colorado is one of 14 states holding primaries on Super Tuesday.
“Super Tuesday will be here before we know it, and this is a prime opportunity for Coloradans to raise our voices at the ballot box,” Polis said in a statement. “Colorado is known for our leadership on enhancing the rights of voters, for producing record voter turnout, and we hope all candidates recognize our state’s significance and make a real effort to inspire our voters directly.”
Democratic and Republican voters will receive ballots for their respective parties. Unaffiliated voters will receive both parties’ ballots. They are allowed to submit ballots for only one party, otherwise their vote is not counted.
Voters who do not receive a ballot by Feb. 19 should contact the county clerk.
Voters can vote in-person starting Feb. 24 until 7 p.m. March 3.
In Colorado, residents can register and vote the same day.
This marks the first presidential primary election in 20 years without the caucus system. In 2016, voters decided to do away with the method.
“Today kicks off Colorado’s first presidential primary in 20 years, and the state’s first presidential primary ever in which unaffiliated voters can participate,” Griswold said in a statement.
This is also the first year in which 17-year-olds who will be 18 years old by Nov. 3 can vote in the presidential primaries, as well as the state primaries on June 30. Colorado is one of just 17 states to allow this added level of accessibility.