El Paso County elections staff wins “Innovation Award”

The elections staff of the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder was honored with an "Innovations Award." County Clerk Chuck Broerman is in the front row on the left and elections manager Liz Olson is in the front right on the right.
The elections staff of the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder was honored with an “Innovation Award.” County Clerk Chuck Broerman is in the front row on the left and elections manager Liz Olson is in the front right on the right.

Here’s to the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s elections division, which recently was honored by the county with an “Innovation Award.

The El Paso County Board of Commissioners handed out three awards that recognized a new idea or process that resulted in a positive improvement in customer service.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the innovations our elections department implemented in 2015, which saved taxpayers $189,000 and improved the voter experience,” El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman said in a news release.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams served as the clerk and recorder before taking over the state post in 2015.

“I know first hand the great work done by the El Paso County elections staff,” Williams said. “I am delighted that the county has recognized their continued hard work.”

The elections staff was honored for:

  • Modifying the ballot layout and secrecy sleeve, which resulted in 543 fewer work hours and $5,500 in labor savings.
  • Making ballot instructions clearer, so that fewer ballots needs to be refilled out. The number of reproductions dropped from 1,663 in 2013 to 393 in 2015.
  • Changing the ballot delivery system, which reduced the election-counting completion time by five hours when compared to 2013.

The members of the El Paso County elections division are: Jeff Weston, Angela Leath, Brandi Bantz, Jace Richards, Brian McLellan, Michelle Stroup, Byron Linthicum, Stacey Peacock and Cynthia Fuller.

“We’re incredibly excited to receive this award,” elections manager Liz Olson said. “When we set out to improve our processes, we thought it would be good for the citizens of El Paso County as well as prudent preparations for the 2016 presidential election. We never thought we would receive this kind of recognition.

“In a world where you’re usually only recognized when something goes wrong, it is nice to be awarded for doing something right.”

This is the second award the Elections Department has received in recent years. When Williams was clerk, the department was recognized with the 2012 National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award in recognition of its work during the Waldo Canyon Fire. The fire jumped Queens Canyon on the day of the 2012 primary election, and burned homes close to the center in Colorado Springs where ballots were being countedprings.

Nominations for the Innovation Awards were made by county employees and submitted to a committee for evaluation.