COLORADO — Ballots are expected to arrive in the mailboxes of thousands of Coloradans this week for the March 5th presidential primary.
Nine Democrats and seven Republicans will appear on their party's respective ballots, but many of the candidates on the Republican ticket have announced they've suspended their campaigns. Until a candidate formally withdraws, votes will still be tabulated for them in Colorado.
Guidance from election officials for most elections is to vote early, with presidential primaries often the advice is it may be better to wait.
"We always ask our voters to get out there and vote early because everybody wants to have those results as soon as possible," Steve Schleiker, El Paso County Clerk and Recorder said "however as you're working towards a presidential primary, you don't know whose going to be dropping out, things are changing."
Another unknown for voters is whether or not former President Donald Trump will be considered a candidate in Colorado. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a decision this week on a case that would determine his eligibility for president. A group of voters in Colorado filed a lawsuit arguing the former president is ineligible for office claiming his actions on January 6, 2021, violated section three of the 14th Amendment.
Colorado's Supreme Court ruled he should be disqualified from the ballot, but that decision has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
For now, former President Trump is on the ballot and votes will be counted for him.
Schleiker said votes will still be tabulated for candidates that have suspended their campaigns until that formal withdrawal process is done, but national parties may not count their votes towards delegates.
As has been the case since 2018 in Colorado, unaffiliated voters are allowed to participate in primaries. However, they will receive both Democratic and Republican party primary ballots, but only one can be returned for their vote to count.
KEY ELECTION DATES
Feb 12: Final day for a Republican or Democrat voter to change their affiliation for the March 5th primary (unaffiliated voters can decide to affiliate up until Election Day)
Feb 25: Final day for voters to mail back their ballots. Voters are asked to drop off their ballots in a 24-hour drop box after this date, postmarks do not count. To see locations of drop boxes in El Paso County click here.
March 5: Presidential Primary
June 25: Colorado Primary for other offices including U.S. Congress, State House, State Senate, and various local offices
Nov 5: General Election
Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.