Nevada’s secretary of state joins Wayne Williams for clerk tours

Arapahoe County Elections director Jennifer Morrell, takes Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske on a tour of the elections warehouse Monday. (SOS/Julia Sunny)
Arapahoe County Elections director Jennifer Morrell, takes Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske on a tour of the elections warehouse Monday. (SOS/Julia Sunny)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams teamed up with his counterpart from Nevada Monday to visit county clerks in Broomfield, Clear Creek and Arapahoe the day before the primary election.

Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske was interested in touring counties using the latest equipment from Dominion Voting Systems. Her state uses an older version. In all, 18 Colorado counties are using the new Dominion equipment this primary.

“It was fast but we got a lot in,” Cegavske said of the visit to the counties. “I’ve been making mental notes to myself of everything. We are grateful we were able to meet with the clerks and talk to them.”

On Sunday, Williams gave her a tour of one of his city’s most visited attractions — Garden of the Gods.

Wayne Thorley, deputy Nevada secretary of state for elections, Joel Judd, Colorado state elections director, Broomfield County Clerk Jim Candelarie, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, Broomfield Council member David Beacon and Mike Susek with Broomfield elections on Monday, the day before the primary election.
Wayne Thorley, deputy Nevada secretary of state for elections, Judd Choate, Colorado state elections director, Broomfield County Clerk Jim Candelarie, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, Broomfield Council member David Beacon and Mike Susek with Broomfield elections on Monday.

Cegavske returned to Nevada Monday afternoon, but her deputy secretary of state for elections, Wayne Thorley, stayed behind and will hang out Tuesday at Denver Elections, another Dominion user and a model for cutting-edge election practices.

Judd Choate, the state election director, said both secretaries of staff were in for a treat Monday when they visited with Broomfield Clerk Jim Candelarie and his staff.

Broomfield did not process any ballots on Friday so that the visitors on Monday could see the process from beginning to end — pulling ballots out of drop boxes, checking signatures, scanning the ballots and so on.

“This was an incredibly generous thing for him to do because he left his team more work on Monday and Tuesday,” Choate said.

Candelarie replied he was able to hold off ballot processing for one day because turnout has been “terrible.” Republicans have a slight voter registration advantage, but Democrats have turned in more ballots, likely because of the contested race for district attorney, he said. The GOP has the only contested statewide race, for U.S. Senate.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams signs in at Clear Creek County' clerk's office.

Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske signs in at Clear Creek County's election office.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, left, and Nevada SOS Barbara Cegavske, right, sign in at Clear Creek County’s election office.

The entourage then visited Clear Creek County Clerk Pam Phipps in Georgetown and checked out her voter set up.

“I really enjoyed it,” Phipps said. “It was Wayne’s first visit to our office and he talked to everyone.”

At Arapahoe County’s election warehouse in Littleton, Cegavske and her deputy checked out election judges checking in ballots and other parts of the facility.

“I tried really hard to get them to vote by mail,” elections director Jennifer Morrell joked.

Colorado mails its ballots, for both the primary and the general. Nevada does not have an all-mail ballot system.

For additional photos by Julia Sunny, a Colorado State University student interning at the Secretary of State’s office, check out the official SOS  Facebook page later tonight.