Colorado voters will go to the polls in two weeks for the primary election. In El Paso County, the clerk predicts this could be a record-setting election, because some 20,000 registered voters already requested absentee ballots.
All registered Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters can cast ballots in August 10th’s primary. But if you haven't registered to vote, it's already too late to get signed up for this round.
An informal check with area voters indicates that the U.S. Senate race appears to be the contest most people care about here in Colorado. Peter Coors and Bob Schaffer top the ballot on the Republican side. Ken Salazar and Mike Miles are competing on the Democratic side. "I think they deserve endorsement by a majority of Democrats... I'll be there," said democratic voter Paul Carpenter. "The primary between Schaffer and Coors---I haven't decided yet. I have to listen to more of the issues," said Republican Herman Abeyta.
Most people also feel their vote in this early round will matter. "I think it's important to pick a good candidate for your party and put him forward," said Natalie Reiss.
According to Terry Sholdt with the El Paso County Elections office, for the primary, Democrats and Republicans must vote within their own parties---they can't switch sides. Unaffiliated candidates have the option to declare a party when they vote. If they're voting early, they can declare a party. And if they're going to the polls, they can also declare a party. They will be given appropriate ballot.
Some races will be decided on August 10th because only two candidates are running and they're both on the same ticket. That includes the District Attorney race in District 4, which represents El Paso and Teller Counties. Both Dan May and John Newsome are Republicans.
There's still time to request an absentee ballot. You have until next week. Early voting will also take place next week---it's from August 2nd to August 6th. And there's still plenty of time to register for the presidential election in November. That deadline is October 4th.