Steamboat Springs The Routt County Republican Party will stick with tradition today as people gather in homes, churches, schools, town halls and community centers throughout the county to nominate candidates for office.
The Routt County Democratic Party, however, will break with tradition and hold all of its caucuses in one location.
Democratic Party chairman Ben Beall has said the traditional caucus system is not working for the county party, which will hold a 6 p.m. assembly today at Olympian Hall to nominate its candidates.
A vote drive at the assembly will offer newcomers the chance to register to vote. People from both parties, as well as independents, are invited to the assembly for an ice cream social and a chance to speak out on issues that concern them.
The traditional caucus system begins at the local level, in which neighborhood groups in each of the county precincts meet at residences and other community buildings to nominate delegates to vote for candidates.
Because parties hold caucuses at the same time on the same day, prospective candidates might have difficulty visiting all 20 precincts.
After the caucuses, delegates and other party members gather at an assembly to cast their votes.
The Republican Party will hold its assembly at 2 p.m. May 5 at the Colorado Mountain College gymnasium in Bristol Hall.
Routt County Republican Chair Olive Morton said the traditional caucus system gives a voice to people in smaller rural areas who might not be as willing to participate if they had to drive to Steamboat.
At each of their caucuses, Routt County Republicans will elect two committee people to serve on the Routt County Republican Central Committee that meets at noon on the first Wednesday of every month.
Those who attend one of the Tuesday precinct caucuses will elect delegates to attend the May 5 assembly.
Morton said the county assembly provides a forum to discuss current issues that may be brought to the state assembly.
"The issues discussion is the grassroots of all platforms put together by the party," she said.
It is important for the platform of the party to reflect the thinking of all Republicans, she said.
As of mid-March, 5,305 people in Routt County were registered with the Republican Party, compared with 4,138 Democrats. Almost 7,000 registered voters are not affiliated with any party.