El Paso County's 140,000 or so unaffiliated voters are being asked to express their preference online by Monday on which June 26 primary they want to vote in, county election officials say.

Documenting a preference online isn't mandatory, but county officials hope unaffiliated voters do so to avoid confusion and save the county money on ballot printing and mailing.

For the first time this year, unaffiliated Colorado voters get to participate in the primary process, thanks to the passage of Proposition 108 in 2016.

Those voters have until May 29 to express a preference at uchoose.co.gov, said County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. But county officials hope they'll do so by Monday.

If they don't express a preference online by May 29, they will be mailed ballots for both major parties' primaries but can return only one of those ballots. If a voter returns both ballots, the vote is voided under state law.

Any preference expressed online is only valid for that primary, Broerman said. Voters will remain unaffiliated, and they can choose to vote in another party's primary in future elections.

As of Tuesday, about 3,400 unaffiliated voters in the county had picked a preference, said Kristi Alfonso, a spokeswoman for Broerman's office. About 57 percent chose to receive a Republican primary ballot, and about 43 percent chose a Democratic primary ballot.

Each unaffiliated voter who chooses a primary online saves the county about $1 in ballot printing and mailing costs, Broerman said.

Ballots will be mailed to all county voters June 4, he said. Those registered with a political party will receive a ballot for that party's primary.

Voters should receive their ballots by about June 8, he said.

The Clerk and Recorder's Office must receive all completed ballots by 7 p.m. June 26. They can be mailed or dropped at one of 15 drop boxes. As the election approaches, the county also will open seven voter service and polling centers, where people can register to vote or obtain a replacement ballot.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams kicked off the "UChooseCO" campaign March 31 to encourage unaffiliated voters to go online and request a primary ballot by early May.

Anyone with questions about voting in the June 26 primaries can call 575-8683 or email elections@elpasoco.com.

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Colorado Politics contributed to this story.

County Government Reporter

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