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Voting in the presidential primary: What you should know

Holding its first presidential primary since 2000, Colorado is among 11 states to make the switch back from the caucus system. 

Colorado’s presidential primary is March 3, and the Durrell Center at Colorado State University will have a polling center open Feb. 24-28 and March 2 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Feb. 29 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and on election day from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. 


Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Angela Myers said all ballots must be by 7 p.m. on election night or they will not be counted. If voting in person, votes will count as long as someone is in line at 7 p.m. 

At the polling center, Myers said election judges operate in bipartisan teams to ensure the integrity of the election. 

“We do everything everything in Larimer County in our election process in bipartisan teams,” Myers said. “No single party ever works alone. The folks are teamed up in such a way that they are on different parties, and their lanyards clearly show that so anyone who’s around them can say, ‘Wait a minute, you guys are not in a bipartisan team.’”

In Colorado, which is an open primary state, this includes Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters. 

Gary Schwartz, an election judge supervisor at the Durrell polling center, said the center has the ability to register new voters, update voter registration information and provide voters with paper or electronic ballots.

Schwartz said that when students come in to vote, they typically need to update their address first because that often gets overlooked when living in a different residence hall or apartment each year. 

Unaffiliated or new voters simply need to tell an election judge which party ballot they would like to complete, and the judge will print the paper ballot or help them access the electronic ballot on specific machines in the polling center, Schwartz said. 

In Loveland in this last November election, we had a race decided by three votes. So, that should put everyone in Larimer County on notice that every single vote matters.” -Angela Myers, Larimer County clerk, recorder

Any United States citizen can apply to be an election judge, although Myers said those wishing to do so should ensure they can fully commit. 

“I wanted to do some volunteer work, and I wanted to be involved in something that was interesting and educates me,” Connee McAllister, an election judge, said.


Many retired community members, like McAllister, become an election judge to learn more about the process, engage with new people or express their passion for the election system. 

“I’m really glad I did (it) for various reasons because I was always the one dropping (the ballot) off at the grocery store, and I had no idea it was so involved, and I had certainly no idea of the whole integrity of the process,” said election judge Jill Hynes. “When you work here, you get a good feel for all the effort that goes in just to ensure the integrity of the election, plus you get to meet some really interesting people that have the same interests of doing civic duty.”

Kevin Pickett, another election judge, said his interest in elections started when he saw people in Iraq first vote in 2005. Pickett said he has lived in many states across the U.S., and he believes Colorado is the “cream of the crop” when it comes to providing residents with different opportunities to vote. 

Myers said that unaffiliated voters must only fill out one primary ballot. Otherwise, their vote will not be counted. 

“In Loveland in this last November election, we had a race decided by three votes,” Myers said. “So, that should put everyone in Larimer County on notice that every single vote matters.”

Ballot drop-off locations and other polling centers in the county can be found through the Larimer County website

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect more accurate information about ballot drop-off in Larimer County. A previous version incorrectly stated that ballots must be dropped off or mailed in by 7 p.m. on election night. Ballots must be dropped off or received by 7 p.m. on election night. 

Serena Bettis can be reached at or on Twitter @serenaroseb.

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About the Contributor
Serena Bettis, Editor in Chief
Serena Bettis is your 2022-23 editor in chief and is in her final year studying journalism and political science. In her three years at The Collegian, Bettis has also been a news reporter, copy editor, news editor and content managing editor, and she occasionally takes photos, too. When Bettis was 5, her family moved from Iowa to a tiny town northwest of Fort Collins called Livermore, Colorado, before eventually moving to Fort Collins proper. When she was 8 years old, her dad enrolled at Colorado State University as a nontraditional student veteran, where he found his life's passion in photojournalism. Although Bettis' own passion for journalism did not stem directly from her dad, his time at CSU and with The Collegian gave her the motivation to bite down on her fear of talking to strangers and find The Collegian newsroom on the second day of classes in 2019. She's never looked back since. Considering that aforementioned fear, Bettis is constantly surprised to be where she is today. However, thanks to the supportive learning environment at The Collegian and inspiring peers, Bettis has not stopped chasing her teenage dream of being a professional journalist. Between working with her section editors, coordinating news stories between Rocky Mountain Student Media departments and coaching new reporters, Bettis gets to live that dream every day. When she's not in the newsroom or almost falling asleep in class, you can find Bettis working in the Durrell Marketplace and Café or outside gazing at the beauty that is our campus (and running inside when bees are nearby). This year, Bettis' goals for The Collegian include continuing its trajectory as a unique alt-weekly newspaper, documenting the institutional memory of the paper to benefit students in years to come and fostering a sense of community and growth both inside the newsroom and through The Collegian's published work. Bettis would like to encourage anyone with story ideas, suggestions, questions, concerns or comments to reach out to her at

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