Our View: GOP right about caucuses

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At last week's Republican Party assembly, some members of the local GOP wanted to do away with the caucus process.

The members said having precinct caucuses where voters choose delegates to send to the party assembly was an outdated process that needed to change.

But the 88 voting delegates at the assembly disagreed.

Overwhelmingly, the Republicans on hand at last week's assembly voted in favor of the caucus process.

We think they made the right decision.

Caucuses are a chance for residents to take an active role in local politics.

Voters often get to meet face to face with candidates to find out where the candidates stand on issues affecting Northwest Colorado.

Voting in the primary and general elections is a necessary part of the electoral process, but caucuses give voters a chance to be involved from beginning to end.

The resolution that the Republicans voted down Saturday asserted that all candidates should petition their way onto the primary ballot.

Under current law, if candidates don't want to participate in the caucus process, they don't have to. One Republican commissioner candidate and one Republican sheriff candidate are already petitioning onto the ballot this year.

We think that's fine. If candidates want to meet with constituents one on one, explaining their platform, that is their decision. Petitioning is another way to use the system to accomplish the same goal.

Candidates who choose to petition their way onto the ballot need hundreds of signatures, which is actually more than the 300 people who participated in the caucuses last month. So, either way, candidates are garnering a substantial amount of community support for their campaign.

We support the caucus process, but we don't think it is perfect.

The opponents of the caucus process said Saturday that fewer people participate in the political process in part because caucuses are time-consuming.

It's true, community participation does take time.

But residents offering time and effort is what makes communities strong.

The more people are active in the electoral process, the better off we'll be because we'll end up with candidates who represent the people of Moffat County and what we believe in.

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