- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

DENVER (AP) - The Latest on Tuesday’s Colorado caucuses (all times local):

10:30 p.m.

Colorado’s Democratic Party urged those waiting in line to get into the presidential caucuses to be patient. But hundreds of voters were turned away in Boulder County.

The chair of the county’s Democratic Party tells the Daily Camera that Colorado Democrats might better be served by a primary election.

Lara Lee Hullinghorst said it was ludicrous that people couldn’t participate Tuesday. The Camera says (http://bit.ly/1QKm5tj ) that hundreds were turned away around Boulder County.

Colorado’s political parties used to hold primaries. They changed to caucuses after the 2000 election to save an estimated $3 million per primary.

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9:15 p.m.

Bernie Sanders has defeated Hillary Clinton in Colorado’s Democratic presidential caucuses.

Colorado’s straw poll is nonbinding. But Sanders’ win gives him an important boost in a battleground state in his quest for the Democratic nomination.

The Vermont senator generated an impressive turnout among young adults at Tuesday’s precinct caucuses - and he drew thousands at a February appearance at Denver’s Convention Center.

Most of Colorado’s Democratic Party establishment endorsed Clinton, and most expect her to eventually win the nomination.

Her campaign launched its caucus organizing back in September. Clinton spoke out on local Colorado issues including gun control and protecting women’s abortion rights.

Colorado Democrats officially select their presidential delegates at a state convention in April.

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8:40 p.m.

Several dozen voters are waiting outside Boulder High School nearly two hours after getting in line for the Democratic caucuses.

Celeste Landry of the Boulder County Democratic Party says party officials are trying to ensure everyone gets a chance to vote before the caucuses close at 9 p.m.

Some voters told Landry they got in line 15 minutes before the caucuses opened at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Landry says about 20 Democratic precincts were holding caucuses at the high school.

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8:05 p.m.

Hundreds of people have lined up outside Boulder High School for the Democratic caucuses.

Many, but not all, are students at the University of Colorado.

Alayna Bell is a 22-year-old political science major who is caucusing for Bernie Sanders. She says Sanders has shown that Americans are looking for an independent-minded president not bound to the establishment.

Retiree Raymond Dakko says Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who can bring people together.

Hundreds of caucus-goers were waiting to be admitted to the school an hour after caucusing officially began Tuesday.

Celeste Landry is a Boulder County Democratic Party treasurer who says the crowds show a lot of excitement about a hot presidential race and a Supreme Court vacancy.

Republicans in Congress vow to take no action on anyone President Barack Obama nominates to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

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7:45 p.m.

Supporters of Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are turning out in force at some Denver and Boulder precincts.

Molly Ison sat in a camping chair in an around-the-block line waiting to caucus for Sanders at a central Denver middle school.

Ison says she likes Sanders’ focus on economic equality.

Cole Kauffman, a 32-year-old nurse, was also caucusing for Sanders. But he had no illusions about the Vermont senator’s chances of winning the nomination.

He says he’s supporting Sanders in the hope that it pulls Clinton to the left.

Kauffman’s wife, Elena Harman, is one of the few in the liberal neighborhood wearing a Clinton sticker. She says she doesn’t believe Sanders is prepared to be commander in chief.

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7:20 p.m.

Some Republicans gathering in Colorado are frustrated that the party chose not to hold a presidential caucus.

First-time caucus-goer Doug Schuck of Cherry Hills Village says the presidential contest got him interested in the first place. The Donald Trump supporter says he is disappointed that he won’t be able to cast a vote.

Even Republicans who don’t mind the party’s decision say the presidential race brought them out.

June Fuller of Englewood says she wants to get a sense of where the GOP is going as a whole. She is a Trump opponent and says party members must band together to stop “this terrible tsunami.”

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5:25 p.m.

These have been long weeks for Jacob Lawrence-Simon, who’s volunteered for the Bernie Sanders campaign on a 9 a.m.-to-2 a.m. schedule.

Lawrence-Simon is a software developer for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden. On Tuesday, he was hanging notices on doors, reminding voters to caucus.

Lawrence-Simon says he supports Sanders because of his views on gay rights, a higher minimum wage and his “desire to not go to war.”

Lawrence-Simon was busy later Tuesday helping coordinate about 20 volunteers and about a half dozen paid staff. They were at Sanders’ Denver headquarters in an unassuming strip mall that includes a barber shop and an Ethiopian restaurant.

Volunteers were busy calling voters to remind them to caucus. The campaign had a hotline to answer questions about the process.

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2:45 a.m.

Colorado may provide Bernie Sanders his best chance yet to win in the West. But a sustained push by Hillary Clinton has the state’s Democrats unsure who will prevail in Tuesday’s caucuses.

The Democratic presidential contest is the top draw.

That’s because Colorado Republicans are not taking straw poll votes for president. They broke from recent tradition in response to national GOP rules that could have left their delegates voiceless at the national convention.

Colorado plays a relatively minor role in nomination contests in either party. Its caucuses are basically thousands of neighborhood straw polls, where small groups of party members start choosing delegates for county or congressional-district gatherings.

It’s just the first step toward sending party members to the national conventions.

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This story has been corrected to show that Celeste Landry’s title is Boulder County Democratic Party treasurer.

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