Next year, unaffiliated voters —the state’s largest voting bloc—for the first time will be able to help choose the Democratic or Republican nominee in a Colorado governor’s race while still remaining unaffiliated. That’s because voters last year passed a ballot measure allowing those who choose not to join a political party to participate in the party primaries. Unaffiliated voters, however, can only pick one primary to vote in— they can’t vote in both.
And here’s something those non-party people should know: The primary they choose could become public information. Colorado’s Republican secretary of state, Wayne Williams, is pushing for such disclosure as he develops rules to implement the new law before the 2018 statewide gubernatorial primaries. He says such transparency is about voter integrity.
… Morgan Carroll, who leads the state Democratic Party, and Jeff Hays, who leads the state Republican party, both say they also want the ability to access the names of unaffiliated voters who voted in their primaries.
Not everyone, though, wants that information made public.
“I think people are unaffiliated because they don’t want that tag, don’t want that label,” says Amber McReynolds, an unaffiliated voter who is Denver’s director of elections.
She is pushing back against the move, saying that it might set up a legal challenge down the road to determine whether Williams has the authority to make such a rule himself. She notes that the statewide pitch to voters who passed the new law at the ballot box, called Prop. 108, didn’t talk much about whether unaffiliated voters will have to publicly declare what party primary they choose.