General Information FAQs

Q1. What is the difference between a Primary and a General Election?

A1. The State of Colorado holds regularly scheduled state elections every two years; a state Primary Election in June and a General election in November.

On the June Primary Election Day, voters affiliated with a major party may cast a ballot for candidates of that party. If there is a minor party contest for an office those affiliated with that minor party may cast a ballot for those candidates. Unaffiliated electors may declare affiliation with one of the major or minor parties and cast that party’s ballot.

The nominated candidates from each party's primary ballot will be placed on the November General Election ballot. The winner of the November General Election will hold office.


Q2. What is a Coordinated Election?

A2. To be a coordinated, the election must:

  • Have more than one political subdivision (state, county, municipality, school district, or special district), holding an election,
  • Be on the same day in November, and
  • The eligible electors either are the same for each  election or live in overlapping subdivision boundaries.

When these requirements are satisfied, the county clerk and recorder will coordinate and conduct the elections on behalf of all political subdivisions.  The November odd-year election is generally referred to as the coordinated election. Coordinated elections are conducted by mail ballot.


Q3. Does Colorado hold a presidential Primary Election?

A3. No.  In 2003, Colorado passed a measure to eliminate the presidential primary. The estimated savings generated by cancellation of the presidential primary is $2.2 million.  Instead, Colorado uses a caucus process.


Q4. Where can I find information about caucus?

A4. Caucuses are held on the first Tuesday in March.  In a presidential election year, a political party has the option to hold its precinct caucuses on the first Tuesday in February. The persons receiving the highest number of votes at the precinct caucus are the delegates to the county assembly from the precinct.  Contact your political party for additional information relating to caucus and party rules.


Q5. What political parties are recognized in Colorado?

A5. A list of the current Colorado political parties is available online.


Q6. Where can I find Federal and State election laws?

A6. Federal and State election laws and the Secretary of State election rules are available on the Election Laws, Rules, & Resources page.  


Q7. Where can I find a list of all of the pertinent election dates?

A7. Please see the current election calendar online for all the pertinent dates for the election cycle and citations to the relevant Colorado law.