Democratic Party plans caucuses, assembly

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By John Porco
Special to The SUN
In accordance with Colorado state law, the Archuleta County Democratic Party will hold its caucuses at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 7.
Precincts 1-3 and 5-8 will caucus at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. Precinct 4 will caucus at the TARA Community Center, 333 Milton Lane in Arboles. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. and the caucuses start promptly at 2 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 govotecolorado.com and click on Find My Registration. Enter the requested information on name and birthdate and click on Search. Finally, click on the County and District Information tabs to find your precinct.
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 Feb. 14, you are eligible. Anyone who turns 18 or became a naturalized citizen after Feb. 14 may participate, if they are a registered member of the Democratic party. 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 March presidential primary and the June general 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 the U.S. Senate will appear on the Democratic primary ballot. A preference vote determines how many delegates 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 on April 18 in Denver.
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 U.S. Senate, 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 21 at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. Registration for the assembly and convention begins at 8:30 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 and the Congressional District 3 Assembly will be elected, again based on the preferred U.S. Senate candidates.
A light breakfast will be served. For questions, contact the county chair, Becky Herman, at 264-2171.