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The ins and outs of Super Tuesday

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By Carol A. Clark

Super Tuesday takes place Feb. 5 – the day New Mexico and 21 other states hold Democratic caucuses and primaries to elect their candidate for president. Super Tuesday is the only opportunity for New Mexico Democrats to vote for president before the November general election.New Mexico Democrats will hold a primary June 3 for candidates running for other offices. Voters will go to their individual precinct locations. Democratic presidential candidates will not be on that ballot, said Los Alamos County Chief Deputy Clerk Sheryl Nichols.“This caucus is being handled completely by the Democratic Party,” she said, adding that absentee voting ended Monday.Los Alamos County Democrats will hold Tuesday’s caucus from noon-7 p.m. at Fuller Lodge, which is the sole polling place for every precinct in Los Alamos County.The 2008 Democratic Party Pre-Primary Nominating Convention is set for March 15 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. The Pre-Primary Nominating Convention is an event the Democratic Party of New Mexico is required to conduct by state law. It has significant consequences for candidates and campaigns because the results of this convention will determine who will be on New Mexico’s June 3 primary ballot. The Democratic Party of New Mexico will also consider a platform at the Convention. Adoption of the platform requires 60 percent of a non-secret vote.The New Mexico Caucus is expected to run some $250,000-$300,000, according to the New Mexico Democratic Party.While only registered Democrats will be able to vote on Super Tuesday, New Mexico Republicans will hold their pre-primary elections between Feb. 16-23. Counties may select any date during that week-long period to hold their pre-primaries. Los Alamos County Republicans chose Feb. 21 at Trinity-on-the-Hill Church. They will elect seven local delegates to go to the statewide pre-primary March 15 in Albuquerque.Candidates must receive at least 20 percent of delegate votes in order to be placed on the GOP’s June primary ballot. The Republicans will hold their primary for all candidates, including president, on June 3. Voters will go to their individual precinct locations.For more information, access the Los Alamos County Clerk’s office at 662-8010.