Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold reacted late this afternoon to the dismissal of a lawsuit by a group of Colorado Republicans to stop allowing unaffiliated voters from participating in the major parties’ primary elections, as mandated by a 2016 ballot initiative.
The initiative is the reason why unaffiliated voters will receive two ballots, one for Democratic candidates, the other for Republican candidates, prior to this year’s June 28 primary election, giving them the choice to select candidates from either party, but not both parties. They must return only one ballot.
“Coloradans strongly support unaffiliated voters’ participation in the party primary of their choice, and as Secretary of State, I will always protect the right to vote of all Colorado voters,” said Griswold in a statement. “I welcome the Court’s decision affirming Colorado’s current primary system and the rights of so many voters across the state,”
One of the lawyers representing the Republicans who filed the lawsuit was John Eastman, a former visiting professor at the University of Colorado’s Benson Center for Conservative Thought. Eastman is seen as a central architect of Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In its news release reacting to the dismissal of the Eastman’s lawsuit, the Secretary of State’s office pointed to a statement in Judge Kane’s order to dismiss the lawsuit: “the Party itself is not beholden to every member’s preference, so the State can hardly be charged with a constitutional violation when the party makes a choice that leaves some members dissatisfied.”
Under Colorado law, the Republican Party has the right to exclude unaffiliated voters from participating in its primary election process, but Republicans would have to select candidates not in a primary election, which involves mail-in ballots and wider voting, but via the caucus process, which is a series of obscure meetings and votes that are usually sparsely attended.