Colorado primary ballots in the mail as candidates drop out

Posted at 10:52 AM, Jan 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-23 13:04:18-05

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The first ballots for Colorado's presidential primary election just went in the mail. They're going out early to voters overseas like military men and women.

“We mailed out over 5100,” El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Steve Schleiker said.

The rest of the ballots get mailed in early February.

At the same time, there are candidates listed on the ballot who are dropping out of the race.

There is also the pending ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether Donald Trump is eligible to remain on Colorado’s ballot.
“It is unprecedented,” Vickie Tonkins, chair of the El Paso County Republican Party, said.

Primary elections are tricky because the field of candidates in the race can change right up to Election Day.

“We've seen this before, where we've seen campaigns drop out just several days before an election,” Schleiker said.

When candidates drop out of the race, their name cannot be removed from a printed ballot.

“It's just one of those things is just keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on, regarding the candidates,” Schleiker said.

If you mark the name of a candidate who is out of race, or your choice withdraws after you have voted, there are no do-overs.

“That candidate in their campaign may suspend or withdraw. and they'll [voters] call up saying, ‘hey, i want to cast another vote.’ you cannot. you've already voted,” Schleiker said.

For the primary, Democrats get ballots for their party, as do Republicans. In Colorado, unaffiliated voters get both.

They have to pick one or the other to mark and return.

If they do both, neither will be counted.

Colorado primary ballots in the mail as candidates dropping out