Colorado election officials will be mailing out 3.3 million presidential primary ballots to registered voters, but there's still time for voters to switch parties or for unaffiliated voters to let clerks know they want to receive one party's ballot.
As the state prepares to conduct a presidential primary for the first time in 20 years, the Colorado Secretary of State's Office and county clerks are reminding voters that they have until Monday to complete changes to their registration if they want to add or change their affiliation in order to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary.
Colorado's presidential primary is March 3, known as "Super Tuesday" because 14 other states will also be voting.
“I encourage all voters to check their voter registration file and their affiliation now to make sure everything is in order and they do not miss deadlines," said El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman.
"By taking the time to check your information, you will make sure your voice is heard in this primary election."
Voters who are registered as Democrats or Republicans will receive their party's presidential primary ballot starting the week of Feb. 10.
The state's unaffiliated voters, however, will receive both party's ballots — but can only return one, unless they have registered a preference to receive only one or the other party's ballot.
Election officials encourage unaffiliated voters who receive both major party's ballot to tear up and dispose of the ballot they don't want to vote, since their vote won't count if they return both of them.
Monday is the deadline for unaffiliated voters who want to choose a major political party preference to ensure they'll only receive a Republican or Democratic ballot in the mail. Choosing a preference doesn't affiliate a voter with that party, election officials stress, and it isn't required.
County clerks say that expressing a preference helps save printing and mailing costs, as well as reducing the chance an unaffiliated voter will mistakenly vote both ballots.
Monday is also the deadline for voters to change their major party affiliation — if a Democrat wants to vote in the Republican primary, or vice versa.
Voters belonging to minor political parties — the American Constitution Party, the Greens, Libertarians or the Unity Party — can also switch their affiliation to Democrat, Republican or unaffiliated by Monday's deadline if they want to vote in the presidential primary.
Voters can make any of these changes online at www.GoVoteColorado.gov or at their county clerk's office.
As things stand, Democrats can choose from 15 active presidential candidates, and Republicans can choose from six, including President Donald Trump.
Voters can mail their ballots or drop them off at numerous ballot collection boxes and election services centers in the county where they reside. They must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
The White House contenders will be the only candidates on the presidential primary ballots. Voters will be able to decide nominations for other candidates, from the U.S. Senate to members of Congress, and state legislators to county officials, in the June 30 primary.
The state's presidential primary was established by voters in 2016 with the passage of Proposition 107. That same year, voters approved Proposition 108, which allows unaffiliated voters to cast ballots in either major party's primary.