Democrats to hold caucuses, assembly


By Becky Herman
Special to The SUN
In accordance with Colorado state law, the Archuleta County Democratic Party will hold its caucuses for all eight precincts at the PLPOA clubhouse (230 Port Ave.) on Tuesday, March 6, with registration beginning at 6 p.m. and the caucuses themselves starting promptly at 7 p.m.
If you plan to attend your caucus, it is worthwhile to ascertain what election precinct you live in. You can find out by going to Plug in your address, and the tool will reveal your precinct caucus location and precinct number. This will only work if you are eligible to vote at the caucus.
Everyone is welcome to come to the caucuses, but only those who meet certain criteria will be allowed to vote. If you live in Archuleta County and were registered as a Democrat on or before Jan. 8, you are eligible. Or, any person who became a naturalized citizen or attained the age of 18 within a two-month period immediately preceding the caucus date is also eligible. Note that if you are registered as unaffiliated, you are not eligible to vote in the caucuses, but you will be able to vote in the June primary election.
You will first check in at the registration table; here your having obtained your precinct number ahead of time will facilitate the whole registration process. Then you will be directed to the area where you and your precinct neighbors will be meeting.
The caucuses serve several purposes: They allow participants to discuss candidates and issues in an open forum, helping them to make informed choices. The main intent of the caucuses is, however, to help determine which candidates for governor will appear on the Democratic primary ballot. A preference vote determines how many delegates and alternates each candidate will receive. Those delegates will then be asked to come to the County Assembly and Convention, where the delegate pool is further whittled down into a group who will attend the State Assembly and Convention.
Other goals for the caucuses include introducing party candidates for local offices; the selection of precinct chairpersons, election judges and poll watchers; and lively discussions about ideas to be included in the party’s platform. Note that although the only preference vote will be for governor, which is the highest statewide race. Information about candidates for other offices will be available. In addition, we have invited the candidates or their representatives to attend the caucuses and speak on their own behalf.
The Assembly and Convention will be held on March 17 at the County Extension building at the fairgrounds. Registration for the Assembly and Convention begins at 8 a.m. and the Assembly convenes at 9 a.m. Only individuals elected as delegates at the caucuses will be permitted to vote at the Assembly, although anyone is welcome to attend. At the Assembly and Convention, delegates to the State Assembly and Convention will be elected, again based on the preferred gubernatorial candidates.
A light breakfast will be served. For more information, contact the county chair, Becky Herman, at 264-2171.