Dogs, desserts and primary ballots — unaffiliated voters, pick just one

A little girl, two Corgis, two delectable desserts and a stuffed donkey and elephant — no wonder a video from the Boulder County Clerk’s office reminding unaffiliated voters about the June 26 primary is so appealing.

The video, which helps promote the Colorado’s Secretary of State’s UChooseCo campaign, opens with the two dogs approaching Beatrix Alexander.

“You can only pet one,” says the narrator, Mircalla Wozniak, the spokeswoman for the Boulder County clerk’s office — and Beatrix’s mother.

Beatrix had to choose between the cupcake. And when it came to the elephant, the Republican, and the donkey, the Democrat, she could only pick one.

That message is a key part of UChooseCO, a campaign that Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams launched in March to help inform unaffiliated voters about their new rights and responsibilities when it comes to primary elections.

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Secretary Williams talks cybersecurity with Lockheed Martin system users

April 19, 2018
Rob Smith, a vice president at Lockheed Martin, and Secretary of State Wayne Williams after the secretary’s speech on cyber security at the firm’s Deer Creek facility last week. (Lockheed Martin photo)

Major credit card companies this month eliminated the need for customers to sign their receipts, but don’t except the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to adopt that policy any time soon for voters who turn in their ballots.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams explained how the ballot process works when he addressed a Lockheed Martin seminar at its Deer Creek facility last week during a conference on cybersecurity. He said a voter’s signature is a “critical part of the integrity of the process.”

“When you have a mail ballot sent to you, the way we know it’s you is you signed the envelope and we scan that envelope when it comes in and we compare your signature to the signature that’s on file,” he said. “I don’t see us stepping away from that until we get some other way to verify it actually is that person.”

The seminar at Lockheed was attended by users of  Radiant Mercury, a cross-domain intelligence sharing system that allows secure sharing of sensitive data between unclassified and classified security domains. The system was developed at the Deer Creek facility. Among those at the seminar were members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, and the intelligence community.

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Three Denver-area high schools receive voter registration award

Three Colorado high schools — KIPP Denver Collegiate, DSST Stapleton and Eaglecrest — were all awarded the Eliza Pickrell Routt award last week. The Eliza Pickrell Routt award is given to high schools where more than 85 percent of eligible seniors register to vote.

Colorado State Elections Director Judd Choate presented the awards to the three schools, which are in the Denver area.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office partners with Inspire Colorado, a nonprofit organization that helps young people register to vote.

KIPP Denver Collegiate High School

Hannah Sieben with Inspire Colorado, Art Curtis, 12th grade social studies teacher at KIPP, and Judd Choate, Colorado state elections director. (SOS photo)

Twelve-grade social studies teacher Art Curtis encouraged his students to register to vote and to participate in the voting process. He successfully registered 86 percent of eligible seniors to vote.

KIPP stands for “knowledge is power program.” KIPP Colorado Schools is a network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in both college and life, according to its website.

DSST: Stapleton High School

Judd Choate, DSST Stapleton senior Zak Flitter-Bilello, and Meghan Baucum with Inspire. (SOS photo)

Denver School of Science and Technology: Stapleton High School registered 87 percent of eligible seniors due to the hard work of two seniors, Zak Flitter-Bilello and Zach Biffinger.

Zak and Zach worked with Inspire to become “Inspired leaders” at their school.

Eaglecrest High School

Judd Choate with Eaglecrest senior Emma Lovato. (SOS photo)

Eaglecrest High School received their second Eliza Pickrell Routt award last Friday.

Senior Emma Lovato has registered almost 500 students throughout her high school career. By giving classroom presentations, she got 86 of her fellow seniors to register.

She is going to American University next year to study American Government.

“You’re going to be my boss someday,” Choate told her.

Pets, plants & politics: making it work in Mineral County

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Mineral County Clerk Eryn Wintz check out the map in her office in Creede. (SOS photo)

Eryn Wintz is one busy person.

She serves on the school board for the Creede School District, where she advocates for programs such as graphic design and auto mechanics.

She’s an EMT, which means her road gets plowed when it’s snowy, which is often when you live above 8,800 feet.

County Clerk Eryn Wintz’s dog Sadie sits between her and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in her SUV. (SOS photo)

And Wintz is the clerk and recorder in Mineral County, where the courthouse in Creede is about to be renovated and the operations moved to the mostly vacant Bulldog Mine office above town.

Not that Wintz hasn’t tried to find something right in the heart of Creede. Surely someone can accommodate her tiny, tiny, office for about, oh, 15 months. She worries that customers who need a new license plate or to file a document will find the new location inconvenient.

On top of this, Wintz takes a spin class in the mornings to help clear her mind.

As for the renovation, the library already has agreed to take her office plants during that time, although they’re not sure all of them will fit.

“We have more plants than people in this courthouse,” Wintz said.

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Hinsdale County: silver, suffragettes and a starving prospector named Alferd Packer

Hinsdale County Clerk Joan Roberts and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in front of her vault in her Lake City office. (SOS photo)

A famous murder trial. A dog. A county clerk. A local reporter and a former journalist. And a speech by Susan B. Anthony.

My first trip to the Hinsdale County Clerk & Recorder’s office on Tuesday featured some of of my favorite things.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams had visited before — although Joan Roberts was a staffer back then and not the clerk, a job she was appointed to last year.

Hinsdale County is tiny — its population in 2015 was 774.

And Roberts prefers it that way. She and her husband honeymooned in the area 30 years ago and liked it so much she cried all the back to California, where she had grown up in Thousand Oaks. They sold their house and moved to Hinsdale County without jobs or a place to live.

“I just love it here,” she said.

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