Deadline to affiliate for party caucuses draws near |

Deadline to affiliate for party caucuses draws near

If you are not registered to vote and affiliated with a party, today is the day to make registering a priority.

This is one of the most exciting years in politics for the nation and especially for Colorado. The national spotlight will be on this state in 2008 during the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Even if you’ve never participated in politics before, this is a great time to get involved.

But you need to move fast. The deadline to affiliate yourself with a party is Dec. 5 ” next Wednesday.

If it feels like the elections are moving faster than usual, or that candidates are trying to get our attention earlier than in past elections, or that deadlines are sooner than in past years ” it’s not just perception; it’s reality.

Part of the shift came last year, when a law was passed that allowed the Colorado caucuses ” traditionally held on the third Tuesday of March ” to be held in the first week of February.

The law requires you to be affiliated with a party for a minimum of two months in order to participate in the caucus.

A caucus is just jargon for a public meeting held by each party to discuss ideas, elect delegates and choose which candidates to back.

It is the very beginning of our electoral-college democratic process.

Caucuses are the very definition of grassroots, and you shouldn’t miss the chance to get involved.

Caucuses are held in people’s homes, in local libraries or schools as a gathering place for people who want to have a voice in their party’s platform and in the candidates who are nominated to represent that party in the elections.

Each precinct holds a Republican and Democratic caucus. There are 10 precincts in Grand County ” two in West Grand, two in Grand Lake, one in Hot Sulphur Springs, two in Granby and two in the Winter Park/Fraser area.

Because everyone at each caucus is from the same party, people feel more comfortable speaking freely since they are among others of like mind. At the end of the discussion, votes are cast ” the ballots are anonymous ” and the wave begins to roll toward the state convention and finally the national convention and the election of our leaders.

Again, the deadline to affiliate with a party and, by extension, the ability to participate in the caucuses, is only days away.

There are several ways to register. You can register in person at any of the town clerk offices or at the county clerk office in Hot Sulphur Springs. You can print out a form from the Grand County Clerk and Recorder Web site, That form may be submitted by mail (Grand County Office of Elections, P.O. Box 120, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451; by fax to (970) 725-0100; or attached as a PDF in an e-mail to

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