About the Caucus and Assemblies
The following terms and procedures relate to the Jefferson County Republican Party and Central Committee.
A meeting of registered Republican voters in a precinct (see definition of precinct below). The meeting is mandated by state law, but attendance by voters is optional. One must be a registered Republican within the precinct 60 days prior to Caucus (or turned just became 18 years old) in order to participate. Each major party conducts its own Caucus. Some procedures are mandated by the state, while other decisions are left up to each county’s party. Therefore, each Caucus is a little different in procedure as well as terminology.
Caucus serves three main functions: to elect Delegates to send to County, State and Congressional Assemblies (explained below), to make Party platform recommendations to the Republican Party, and to elect two Precinct committeepersons. Ever wondered where they get the Party platform issues? They might come from your neighborhood. Anyone qualified to participate in Caucus may vote on Delegates and take part in the debate over which issues ("Resolutions") should be submitted for further review up the line.
In years where the U.S. President is elected, the Caucuses conduct a non-binding straw poll for U.S. President which is made public and national convention delegates are selected at the GOP State and Congressional Conventions.
Because Caucus is an official meeting, it is run as such according to traditional rules of order. This includes electing a Chairperson and Secretary to conduct it. Then Delegates, Alternates and Precinct Committeepersons (see below) are elected and platform issues are discussed and voted upon for submission (optional). It begins promptly at 7:00pm so arrive early to sign in and talk to your neighbors. Anyone with an interest in the process is welcome to participate to the fullest extent possible including becoming a Delegate. The only requirement is a desire to pick the best possible candidates to represent our citizens.
The smallest political unit in the state of Colorado. It consists of a geographically connected neighborhood of around 1500 registered voters. Jefferson County has 257 precincts. This reflects the result of the redistricting which became effective January 1, 2012. See your precinct map here. Precincts can change every 10 years when the population of registered voters in the county changes according to the Census.
Precinct Committee People (PC)
For each precinct there are two PCs elected at Caucus. They are charged with the task of organizing and mobilizing voters within the precinct. They also prepare the precinct for the next Caucus in two years. This elected position has the smallest number of constituents in the party but is one of the most important. PCs are provided with information about their precinct including voter registration data. They will also work closely with candidates in their district in an election year. PCs are the backbone of the party and are often the biggest activists. They attend organizational meetings and sit on commitees for the county as well as house and senate districts. This position is usually the pool from which officers and candidates come from. Anyone qualified to participate in the Caucus may run for the office of PC. It requires a two year commitment. See your PCs on the Contact Us Page.
Campaigning for an office does not guarantee a candidate will be placed on the Primary ballot. In order to determine which candidates should be placed on the ballot, each precinct will elect Delegates to go to the County, State and Congressional Assemblies to vote on behalf of the constituency. The number of Delegates elected is dependent upon a formula determined at the state level and is subject to change with each election. In a non-Presidential election year, all Delegates are elected at Caucus.
Alternates are elected as backups in case a Delegate is a no-show at the Assembly.
Any registered Republican can run for an elected office as long as certain age and residency requirements are met. If there is more than one Republican candidate running for an office, there will be an election at an assembly to determine which candidate(s) will be put on the Primary ballot. (See Qualifications) All registered Republicans can then vote in the Primary election to determine who will represent the Republican Party in the final election in November. The County Assembly is a meeting to determine who will be nominated to run for office and thereby placed on the Primary ballot for county-specific offices such as Sheriff and Coroner. This is determined by a small number of voters who represent each precinct in the county. These representatives are called Delegates.
State House and Senate Assemblies
Precincts also elect delegates to their house and senate district assemblies. Here in Jeffco, most of our house and senate districts are wholly contained within the county. Their assemblies are actually conducted within the confines of the county assembly. Therefore delegates to county are automatically elected to vote in their senate or house districts wholly contained in Jeffco. If you live in a senate or house district that shares a district with other counties, your caucus will be charged with electing delegates/alternates specifically to that "multi-county" assembly. The only multi-county Senate District is District 16. The only multi-count House District is District 1.
The State Assembly is similar to the County Assembly except that Delegates vote on candidates running for statewide offices such as Governor and U.S. Senate. Therefore, the Delegation is from all over the state of Colorado. This Assembly also determines which of the submitted platform issues will be recommended to the Republican National Committee. If it is a Presidential election year, the National Delegation is elected at the State Convention which convenes immediately following the Assembly.
Every two years Coloradan's send seven Congressmen to Washington DC to represent us in the US House of Representatives. These representatives come from seven distinct Congressional Districts. Jeffco currently lies within three of those districts: CD2, CD7, and just a small area of CD1. Each district has an assembly to select which candidates will be presented to voters on the Primary Ballot. Voters only vote for the specific district in which they reside. So if you live in CD7, you will only see the candidates for that district on your ballot. In Presidential years, the congressional assemblies become conventions and National Delegates are elected.
Jefferson County is in the 1st Judicial District. The Assembly is usually held in conjunction with the County Assembly. All delegates to the County Assembly are automatically the delegates to the 1st Judicial District Assembly.
Any candidate who receives at least 30% of the assembled Delegates’ votes is automatically placed on the Primary ballot. Any candidate receiving less than 30% but more than 10% of the Delegates’ votes will only be placed on the ballot if able to obtain a minimum number of signatures on a petition to nominate that candidate for office. These signatures must come from the qualified registered voting constituency and the number required varies with the office. Any candidate receiving less than 10% of the vote is not eligible to run in the Primary race. This is true for every assembly.
More specific information can be found at the Colorado Secretary of State's page on Voting and Elections.