Yuma County Clerk Bev Wenger is headed to Kansas in January to testify at the trial of Lincoln Wilson, who has admitted voting in Yuma County in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and in Sherman County, Kan., in the same elections.
A Colorado DA declined to prosecute Wilson, saying because he voted in Yuma County first he did not commit voter fraud, but the Kansas secretary of state has filed charges against the 65-year-old Republican. The case prompted Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams to successfully push for legislation that allows Colorado to prosecute an errant voter, no matter where the first ballot was cast.
Wenger discussed the case with Williams on Friday when he visited her office in Wray to check on readiness for the Nov. 8 election. Yuma County has a spacious building across the street from the courthouse that it uses for its election operations — and to store its award-winning Christmas tree made with license plates.
“I’m so appreciative that the secretary has taken time to visit and to listen to our concerns,” she said.
Among them: Can’t the Secretary of State’s office do something about the number of people who run for president every four years? This time around there are 21 candidates and their running mates, leading to a lengthy ballot.
Williams showed her a humorous story from Fox 31 TV reporter Joe St. George about the number of people running for president, including a Colorado resident who doesn’t want people to actually vote for him.
Wenger has been the Yuma County clerk for 14 years.
At the suggestion of a Yuma County resident, a few years ago she started putting her staffers’ voter affiliation on their name tags. So far, that adds up to two unaffiliateds, no Democrats and five Republicans. One of those unaffiliated staffers is Pam Zuege, who in January will celebrate her 33rd anniversary of working in the clerk’s office. During that time, she’s only worked for four clerk and recorders.
After their meeting, Wenger and Williams drove to Yuma, where Yuma High School was honored because 96 percent of the senior class registered to vote during the last school year. Williams and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Yuma grad, addressed the students.