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Switch to presidential primaries could cost counties $50,000 — or more

Elise Thatcher

  As primaries continue across the country, Colorado legislators are mulling whether to return to that method or stick with just caucuses. As Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher reports, election officials in the Roaring Fork Valley area have estimated how much more a primary would cost.

Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Teak Simonton supports Colorado adding a presidential primary, but pointed out it could cost county taxpayers between $30,000 and $50,000. Clerk and Recorders for Garfield and Pitkin Counties estimate they would also spend about that amount, with Pitkin on the higher side. That county could pay as much as $75,000.

Pitkin and Garfield officials are more hesitant to take a position on the matter. Garfield Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico said factors like mail-in ballots, rules for registered independents and other details are important to consider.

Colorado used to have both caucuses and presidential primaries. The state legislature voted to drop the primaries in time for the 2004 election in order to save tax dollars.

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