Colorado primary election: Here’s what you need to know

By: - June 28, 2022 9:54 am

A ballot box stands outside the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library on Welton Street in Denver on June 17, 2020. (Quentin Young/Colorado Newsline)

It’s primary election day in Colorado.

Colorado is a same-day voter registration state. You can register and still vote at a voter service and polling center on Election Day. Polls close at 7 p.m. today. If you received a ballot in the mail, it’s too late to mail it back. Return it in a drop box or at a polling location.

The secretary of state’s office offers an online tool that helps voters find nearby polling locations and drop boxes. The secretary’s website also helps voters connect with their local county clerk’s office.

If you already voted, you can check the status of your ballot online at the secretary of state’s website or through BallotTrax using your name, birth date and zip code. Additionally, BallotTrax can help election workers contact voters if there is an issue with their ballot. That is often a signature matching issue, where the signature on the ballot envelope does not match whatever signature is in the county clerk’s system. If that happens to you, you’ll get notified and have a chance to “cure” your ballot.

If you vote in person, bring your ID. Also, take note of newly enacted laws: It is now illegal to openly carry a firearm at a polling location, in any building where a polling location is or within 100 feet of a drop box.

Unofficial results are expected to begin coming in from the secretary of state’s office shortly after 7 p.m., but some races might be too close to call tonight.

What will I be voting on in the primary?

The primary elections determine which candidates earn their party’s nomination to make it to the general election ballot in November.

If you’re an unaffiliated voter and didn’t pre-select a primary, you can vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary.

Statewide this year, Colorado voters are selecting a U.S. senator, governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and state Board of Education member. The competitive primaries are on the Republican side for governor and secretary of state.

  • U.S. Senator: Incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet has no primary opponent. On the Republican side, state Rep. Ron Hanks and construction company owner Joe O’Dea are vying for the nomination.
  • Governor: On the Democratic side, incumbent Gov. Jared Polis is running unopposed. For the Republicans, University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl and former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez are running.
  • Attorney general: Democratic incumbent Phil Weiser is running unopposed. Republican John Kellner, the current district attorney for Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, is also running unopposed.
  • Secretary of state: Democratic incumbent Jena Griswold is running unopposed. Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson and businessman Mike O’Donnell are running in the Republican primary.
  • Treasurer: Democratic incumbent Dave Young has no primary opponents, and neither does former Republican state representative Lang Sias.
  • At-Large Board of Education member: Democrat and former Adams 12 Five Star Schools school board member Kathy Plomer is unopposed in the primary. Republican activist Dan Maloit is also unopposed.

You will also vote for a U.S. representative and state representative. Based on where you live, you might also have candidates for a state senator, another Board of Education member or University of Colorado regent on your ballot.

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