Big changes may be on the way when it comes to how Colorado picks its political candidates, according to preliminary returns. As of 10 p.m., Proposition 107, which would bring presidential primary elections back to Colorado, replacing the caucus system, was leading 64-36 percent. If the lead holds, the measure would take effect in 2020, allowing about 1 million unaffiliated voters to take part in selecting candidates. Proposition 108 likewise appeared headed for passage, though with a tighter margin. That measure would let unaffiliated electors also participate in non-presidential party primaries, while the parties could in some cases select candidates by committee or convention. Voters cast 1,016,535 votes in support – about 52 percent – versus 926,420 against, according to the late results.
Colorado had presidential primaries till 2000, when the state opted for two-party presidential caucuses in 2004 to save money. Under the existing system, Democrats and Republicans elected delegates to determine who would represent their party on the ballot, from local candidates to those running for U.S. president. The delegates elected then attended county assemblies, where candidates try to secure their spots on the ballot.
Republicans this year canceled their traditional straw poll, and new precinct lines in El Paso County left some party members confused as to where to participate.
Under Proposition 107, a party’s presidential primary winner would get all delegates to the party’s national convention, and they would be obligated to support the winner there.