The Colorado Republican Party is considering nominating its candidates through caucus rather than an open primary that would allow unaffiliated voters (independents) to participate.
Voters approved two ballot initiatives in November that a) require Colorado to use primaries in presidential elections and b) open all statewide primary elections to independent voters.
Proposition 108 — the initiative that opens the state’s primary elections — included a provision that allows parties to op-out of a primary election if they want. However, 75 percent of of the party’s central committee must approve of using a caucus instead of a primary.
The Denver Post reported over the weekend that the party’s chair, Jeff Hays, will bring the question to a vote, but opposes the move. He believes the vote is the “right thing to do,” since there were some members of the central committee who oppose open primaries.
One of those committee members is Ben Nicholas, who said the open primary will be “destructive to the party.” Nicholas is reportedly in the minority, but is still not alone in the party-first mentality.
Proposition 108 allows independent voters to choose between a Republican and Democratic ballot in the primary elections. It was approved by 63 percent of voters in November and was endorsed by Governor John Hickenlooper.
The Democratic Party, at the moment, has no intention of taking up the question of primary or caucus for a vote, saying it would send a wrong message to voters.
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