Open Primary

Proposition 108 was passed by voters in 2016. It allows unaffiliated voters to vote in primary elections. It seems like a good measure for Colorado.

Over a third of registered voters have chosen not to affiliate with any party. 1.2 million Coloradans have had no say over which candidates appear on the ballot in the general election until this year. Many of these unaffiliated voters are 18 to 30 years old, a group that is already less likely to vote than other age groups. If some of these younger voters have a say in choosing the candidates, they may be more engaged and knowledgeable when it is time to vote in the general election.

In 2014, about 55 percent of voters actually voted. While that put Colorado in third place for voter participation, it still means 45 percent of the people sat the election out. Colorado could see a significant increase in turnout this year because of Proposition 108.

Over 50 percent of Colorado's unaffiliated voters identify as moderate. Party politics are increasingly polarized. In recent years, moderate candidates — ones who promote compromise — can't get the backing of the extreme voices that dominate party affiliated-voters. Independent voters might just have the power to pull politicians toward the middle ground. That would be good for Colorado and for the nation as a whole.

Nobody knows for sure how these election changes will affect our state. I am looking forward to finding out.

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