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Clerk & Recorder Home

Clips from the Clerk: Increase Primary Election Knowledge

BY Trish Gilbert
Saguache County Clerk & Recorder
Increase Primary Election Knowledge
*Voters Affiliated with a Party That is not holding a Primary:
  • Voters who are affiliated with a major party (Republican or Democratic) will get the ballot for that party.
  • Voters who are affiliated with a minor party will get that party ballot if the minor party is holding a Primary.
  • A voter affiliated with a political party that is not participating in the Primary Election will not receive a mail ballot.
*Unaffiliated Voters May Choose a Party Preference:
  • Unaffiliated voters may choose a party preference. This means they can choose which party ballot they want.
  • An unaffiliated voter could preference for a Republican ballot, or an unaffiliated voter could preference for a Democratic ballot.
  • If a minor party is participating, an unaffiliated could preference a minor party if the minor party is allowing unaffiliated voters to participate.
  • Remember that a voter must choose a preference by May 29th.
  • The voter can indicate a preference by filling out a voter registration form.
*Unaffiliated Voters Who Don’t Choose a Party Preference:
  • Some unaffiliated voters will not affiliate and they won’t select a party preference.
  • In this case, an unaffiliated voter will get a “Ballot Packet.”
  • The ballot packet contains all applicable ballot styles, including the Republican or Democratic ballots. It could also include a non-partisan ballot if there are issues and/or questions on the ballot.  (Ballot Measures).
  • The voter must choose one party’s ballot to vote.
  • The voter should only return the party’s ballot that he/she voted.
*Voter Anonymity
Frequently Asked Question: “I am an unaffiliated voter and I received my ballot packet.  Will someone be able to find out how I voted?”
  • Which party ballot a voter voted is public information.
  • HOW a person voted is still private.
  • To maintain privacy for the unaffiliated voter, first, an election judge must remove the ballot, enclosed in its secrecy sleeve, from the mail ballot return envelope and pass it to a bipartisan team of judges without allowing the team of judges to determine the identity of the voter.
  • The bipartisan team of election judges must remove the ballot from its secrecy sleeve, review the ballot, and audibly report to the first election judge which political party’s election the voter voted in.
  • The first election judge must record in SCORE which political party’s election the voter voted in or document the proper party information for later recording in SCORE.
  • This process requires separate judges to make sure the voter’s privacy is maintained.
Unaffiliated voters are allowed to vote in the Primary Election for the first time EVER.  Just remember -  Jane, Desiree, Ben and I are here to help.