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The Unaffiliated: meet the voters shaping Colorado elections

Posted at 1:59 PM, Jun 26, 2024

EL PASO COUNTY — It's been six years since Colorado's unaffiliated voters have been allowed to vote in primary elections.

In Colorado, the voters not belonging to a political party are the largest voting bloc in the state, and they can play a big role with their influence in elections.

The power unaffiliated voters hold also means they have more than one decision to make, not only who to vote for but which ballot they will fill out.

Ahead of Election day, News5 spoke with unaffiliated voters to hear about how they plan to vote and why they vote unaffiliated. We also got their take on what side of the aisle they think Colorado Springs falls into politically.

So that is exactly what I did, at first getting people to speak on camera was difficult but eventually, we found exactly who we were looking for.

I first asked Ingrid Daniel to place the star on where you think Colorado Springs aligns politically. "No earthly idea. Then I guess I'll just take a guess there.," said Daniel.

Daniel placed the star leaning slightly toward the Democratic side, I asked "What'd you put there?".

"Um. Because. I'm hoping it's a little bit more toward this side than that, but I don't really know. Yeah. And so I'm an optimist, " said Daniel.

We followed up with Daniel learning she has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 22 years and reflected on if she felt as though the political leaning of Colorado Springs has changed in recent years.

"Maybe it's much. Not a whole lot. But I do think it's changing a little bit here and there, depending on the issues, depending on who the different candidates might be. But yeah, a little tiny bit maybe," said Daniel "It's really important for everyone to vote. Because this is a right that comes with our country. And whether you agree with one party or the other party, it doesn't matter as long as you actually get out and vote."

We next caught Tony Frankmore, an independent voter out of Colorado Springs. Frankmore also believes that Colorado Springs has aligned itself more on the left side of the aisle in recent years with the influx of new people.

"Just think with all the transient people moving in, that it just tends to get more and more like that. Yeah, I think with in years past with, with the religious organizations and such that it used to be a lot more right to the right," said Frankmore.

Finally, we caught Will Lee, an unaffiliated voter who believes that Colorado Springs used to be firmly on the far right, but while still right-leaning is beginning to trend more toward the left in recent years. We asked what ballot he would be voting on and he said the republican, even though he may not vote for them come the general election.

"Those are most of the candidates that are going to get elected. And even though I may not necessarily vote for them in the general election, I wanted to have some influence over who was running from that party in the primary," said Lee. "That's exactly why we have open primaries. Because, you know, most of the time when you're in the general election, it's obvious who's going to win. So your influence is at the primary level and more. Not very many people vote. So your votes count more.

If we take a look at election data unaffiliated voters have been able to participate in primaries since 2018. Statewide most have voted in the Democratic primary, that changed statewide in 2022. In El Paso County, more unaffiliated voters have participated in the Republican primary since the law went into effect.

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