Colorado GOP gearing up for February caucuses

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Colorado Republicans are wasting no time educating voters on party caucus plans.

The party has set up an Internet link for the statewide party caucuses, which will be held Feb. 7. The national election season kicks off today with caucuses in Iowa.

In a presidential election year, Colorado political parties may choose to hold their precinct caucus on the first Tuesday in February. The caucuses were previously scheduled for March 6. Republicans moved their state caucuses to early February to have a bigger role in this year’s presidential races.

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call said Tuesday the party is investing in new technologies to help caucus-goers find their caucus locations and pre-register.

Call said previously that party members worried if they wait until March, the nominations may have already been secured. Both parties have said Colorado, which chose Democratic President Barack Obama in 2008, could prove crucial in the 2012 presidential contest.

Colorado can make the change without penalty from the Republican National Committee because the caucus doesn’t determine delegates. That happens in a separate process in April; the results typically follow the caucus decisions, but delegates aren’t bound by them.

Plans by the Colorado Democratic Party were not available.

San Miguel County Republican Party Chair Cherrie Kell said there may be some confusion because precinct lines will not be finalized until Jan. 9 due to reapportionment and redistricting that occurs every 10 years.

“If your precinct location is not available now, it will be shortly after the 9th. If you choose to pre-register for your caucus, your location will be emailed to you as soon as it is updated in our system,” Kell told voters.

GOP participants must be registered Republicans as of Dec. 7 and precinct residents since Jan. 9.