Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold revealed on Friday that she had officially certified the Republican and Democrat ballots for the 2024 presidential primary election. In a statement, Griswold announced, “Colorado’s 2024 Presidential primary ballot is certified. The United States Supreme Court has accepted the case, and Donald Trump will appear on the ballot as a result.”
The certification process ensures that voters affiliated with a major party, either Republican or Democrat, by Feb. 12 will receive a ballot from the party with which they are associated. Unaffiliated voters, on the other hand, will receive ballots from both parties but are allowed to cast their vote on only one, which will be counted.
This development comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to review a contentious ruling from Colorado’s highest court. The state court had declared Trump ineligible for the presidency, intending to exclude him from the primary ballot. This legal clash holds significant implications for the 2024 presidential election, prompting the Supreme Court to set a swift schedule for filings and schedule arguments for Feb. 8, with a potential decision shortly thereafter.
At the heart of the dispute lies the Constitution’s insurrection clause, a provision dating back to the Civil War era. This clause prohibits individuals who have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution and subsequently engaged in insurrection from holding public office.
The Colorado Supreme Court, in a divided 4-3 decision on Dec. 19, concluded that Trump’s involvement in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol disqualified him from serving as president. Consequently, they barred him from being listed on the state’s primary ballot. However, the state court temporarily halted its decision, allowing Trump and the Colorado GOP time to appeal.
Regarding the certification, Griswold stated, “The United States Supreme Court has accepted the case, and Donald Trump will appear on the ballot as a result.” This underscores the critical role the Supreme Court’s review will play in shaping the lineup of candidates for the 2024 Colorado presidential primary.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office provided additional information about the candidates who have submitted a statement of intent and filing fee to appear on the Colorado Presidential Primary Ballot. The Democratic Party candidates, in ballot order, include Jason Michael Palmer, Gabriel Cornejo, Frankie Lozada, Dean Phillips, Stephen P Lyons, Marianne Williamson, Joseph R Biden Jr, and Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato, along with a “Noncommitted Delegate.”
The Republican Party candidates, listed in ballot order, are Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, Ryan L Binkley, and Donald J. Trump. Additionally, there are Republican write-in candidates Rachel Hannah “Mohawk” Swift and Walter Iwachiw.
The Colorado Democratic Party has also submitted a request for a “Noncommitted Delegate” to appear on the 2024 Presidential Primary Ballot under the provisions of Colorado Revised Statutes 1-4-1204(3). This allows electors with no presidential candidate preference to register a vote for a noncommitted delegate to the political party’s national convention.
As the legal battle unfolds, important dates for the 2024 Presidential Primary Election in Colorado include the deadline to send ballots to registered military and overseas voters on January 20. February 12 marks the first day ballots can be mailed to registered Colorado voters (excluding military and overseas voters) and the last day for voters to change or withdraw their party affiliation to participate in a different party’s Presidential Primary.
February 16 is the deadline for mail ballots to be sent to registered eligible voters, and by February 26, the minimum number of required Voter Service and Polling Centers (VSPCs) must be open. The same day also serves as the deadline to submit an application to register to vote through various channels, including online, to receive a mail ballot. February 26 is also the last suggested day to return ballots by mail.
On February 27, the minimum number of required drop boxes must be open to accept mail ballots statewide, and it is suggested that voters submit their ballots at Voting Centers or drop boxes rather than by mail. Finally, March 5 is Election Day, and eligible voters must have submitted their ballot or be in line to vote by 7 p.m. for their ballot to be counted.
These dates and procedures are crucial for ensuring a smooth and fair electoral process, with the Supreme Court’s decision looming large over the entire 2024 presidential primary landscape in Colorado. The outcome of this legal battle could significantly impact the list of candidates that voters will find on their ballots come March 5.