Legislation to restore a presidential primary in Colorado passed its first committee hurdle Monday, as lawmakers race to get it done by the end of the session May 11. House Bill 1454 would allow every voter — even those registered as unaffiliated with a party — to cast a mail ballot in a presidential primary in 2020. Coloradans would have their first presidential primary since 2000, before the state returned to the caucus system in 2004. The House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted 5-4 along party lines, with Republicans in opposition. Under the bill, unaffiliated voters would pick which party’s ballot they wish to receive, then that temporary affiliation would go away 30 days after the vote.
“My members have overwhelmingly told me they want a presidential primary,” said Steve House, chairman of the state Republican Party, stressing it opposes open primaries and would retain the caucus for local races and delegates.
A group called Let Colorado Vote is proposing a ballot initiative to allow unaffiliated voters to vote in every race and receive ballots from major parties.