The precinct caucus is Tuesday. Here’s how it works. | SkyHiNews.com

The precinct caucus is Tuesday. Here’s how it works.

Above are the locations for each precinct caucus in Grand County, all of which will be held Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

If you're a first-time voter in Colorado, you might encounter some confusion when it comes to this week's caucus.

Here's what it is and how it works.

Colorado is a state that utilizes a caucus, which is what candidates use to obtain enough delegates to be voted on to get on the election ballot. The Colorado caucus format is structured around allowing voters to first gather with neighbors, at a location near their home, to discuss candidates and issues, then electing some of their own to represent the group at the county level and beyond.

The caucus format applies only to county-level elections and above, not for town elections.

The county-level offices that will appear on the ballot this year include county commissioner, clerk and recorder, treasurer, assessor, sheriff, coroner and surveyor.

The initial meeting of a caucus is called a precinct caucus, which will be held Tuesday at various locations across Grand County. It is at this meeting when representatives, for both Republicans and Democrats, from each precinct are chosen to participate in the county assembly.

The county assemblies in Grand County will be held March 11 for the Republicans and March 20 for the Democrats.

Elected precinct delegates gather at these county assemblies to voice support for whichever candidate they choose.

They also elect representatives to participate at the state convention. At the state convention, delegates are elected to represent the interests at the national convention. Here, the candidates are selected to be named on the ballot for the general election in November.

In order to get on the primary election ballot, a candidate has two options: they can either proceed through the caucus route or forgo the caucus and petition the ballot.

Through a caucus, a candidate must receive at least 30 percent of the votes cast at the county assembly. It is possible to have three candidates from each party from the county assembly for each office. If a candidate receives more than 10 percent, but less than 30 percent, they can attempt to petition onto the ballot.

A candidate can also forgo the county assembly — or fall into the more than 10 percent but less than 30 percent category — and petition onto the primary election ballot. The candidate must circulate a petition and obtain at least 20 percent of the votes cast for that specific office from the last contested or uncontested primary for that party.

The parties, from their assemblies, or the candidates, by petition, are then placed on the ballot for their party in the primary election, which will be held June 26.

The candidates who are successful at the primary — one candidate for each office from each party — will be placed on the general election ballot for that office. Unaffiliated candidates may petition onto the general election ballot. Unaffiliated candidates must obtain 2 percent of the votes cast, or 750 signatures, whichever is less to appear on the general election ballot.

The county clerk has established 12 precincts within Grand County, each having between 1,500 to 2,000 active voters.

In order to vote in any precinct caucus of a political party a voter must be:

• A resident of the precinct for at least 30 days.

• Registered to vote no later than 29 days before the caucus.

• Affiliated with the party holding the caucus for at least 2 months before the caucus

After the caucus: Election 2018

– April 3 is the municipal election for statutory municipalities. It’s the first Tuesday after the first Monday in April in even numbered years

– May 8 is the election for special districts. It’s the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May in even numbered years

– June 26 is the primary election

– Nov. 6 is the general election