It’s Primary Day, Colorado

Ballot Sorting Counting Denver Elections Division
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Sorting and counting ballots at Denver Elections Division headquarters on Monday, June 29, 2020. Knoldon Boyce opens a secure delivery box after checking its seal and noting its point of origin.

If you want to vote and haven't yet, you have until 7 p.m. tonight to turn in a ballot.

Under Colorado's open primary rules, unaffiliated voters can cast a ballot in either party's primary (but not both — that ends up invalidating both ballots). Party members, however, can only vote in their registered party's contests.

Colorado also offers same-day registration at county vote centers.

Voting during a pandemic will look a little different. The state is requiring all staff involved in administering elections to wear masks. Polling areas will be set up to allow for social distancing and voting booths will be cleaned in between uses. Voters are urged to wear masks if they want to fill out a ballot in person.

If you are filling out your mail ballot today, your county clerk must receive it by 7:00 p.m. — postmarks do not count. We are in drop-off only territory today.

As of noon on Tuesday, nearly 1.3 million Coloradans had already returned their ballots. According to the latest numbers from the Secretary of State's office, 57 percent cast Democratic ballots and 38 percent returned Republican ones (the rest are still in process).

Democrats have the highest-profile primary in the state, with former Gov. John Hickenlooper facing off against former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff for the Senate nomination. The winner will face incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in what is expected to be one of the hardest-fought Senate races in the country this fall.

Voters in western and southern Colorado will also have their pick on both sides of the Congressional District 3 race. Incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Tipton is being challenged by Lauren Boebert, the owner of a restaurant that open carries its dedication to gun rights in Rifle, Colorado. And on the Democratic side, former state rep. Diane Mitsch Busch and businessman James Iacino are competing for the nomination.

Colorado held its presidential primary on March 3, so today's contests are only for state races. There are numerous down-ballot contests at stake, for the state legislature and local offices. And in Denver, voters will pick a Democratic candidate for the state Board of Education.