Chief U.S. District Court Judge Philip Brimmer has dealt a blow to Colorado Republicans, handing down a decision that rejects their request for a preliminary injunction barring unaffiliated voters from participating in the state’s June 25 primary election.
Since 2018, the state’s Republican party has been trying (unsuccessfully) to turn back the state’s voter-approved Proposition 108, which allows unaffiliated voters to pick one or the other major party primary (not both) to vote in during the state’s primaries.
Unaffiliated voters are now the largest voting bloc in the state, and have become a key decision-making voting group in Colorado elections. Republicans see allowing them to vote in GOP primaries as an impediment to their party being to able to select the candidate actually preferred by Republicans and was a constitutional issue.
The judge’s ruling noted that the party failed to show that allowing unaffiliated voters to vote in Republican primaries violated GOP constitutional rights, and further that allowing their votes actually made candidates moderate their views or change their policies.
The GOP can appeal, but with the primaries set for June 25, there might not be enough time for the appeal to be heard.