Secretary Williams visits Baca County

Secretary Wayne Williams stand with Baca County officials in front of the county flag at the courthouse in Springfield. In the back row, left to right, are Baca County Commissioner Rick Butler, Secretary Williams and Baca County Commissioner Glen R. “Spike” Ausums. County Clerk Sharon Dubois and County Treasurer Susan Cochell are in the front. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams this week visited yet another county, checking in with Baca County Clerk Sharon Dubois on the very southern and eastern edge of the state.

They discussed efforts for the Nov. 6 general election, including 24/7 ballot drop boxes and Dominion elections equipment. During the visit Monday, Dubois said the office had already gotten back one military and overseas ballot. The deadline for sending them out was two days prior, on Sept. 22.

Williams toured the courthouse in Springfield and spent time with Baca County Commissioners Glen R. “Spike” Ausmus and Rick Butler.  Ausums and Williams are old friends, having served as county commissioners together for Baca and El Paso counties respectively a number of years ago. They discussed the how to best serve the people of Colorado.

“Most voters want services, they don’t care about what party you’re in, but do you do your job? They care about how long they wait, are the potholes patched? Is it an easy process to vote?” Williams said.

Baca County Clerk Sharon Dubois and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with the 24-hour ballot drop box outside the courthouse in Springfield.

Williams fit in perfectly with two commissioners, who hover around 6 feet 5 and could make up the tallest set of commissioners in the state, depending on who is elected to replace County Commissioner Peter Dawson this fall. Williams is 6 feet 4.

The secretary also met with Baca County Treasurer Susan Cochell, who has worked with Dubois on balancing procedures concerning DRIVES, the new motor-vehicle computer system that clerks have dealt with since it went online in August.

Clerks collect motor-vehicle registration fees, which are then distributed by the county to local governments and the state government. DRIVES replaced a decades-old system, and clerks are still dealing with glitches, including tallying registration fees so their treasurers can send out the money.

But Dubois was upbeat.

“Any problems we have, we just talk about it and come up with a solution… and so we haven’t had the problems a lot of other counties have had,” she said.

Dubois said that Williams and his staff really support her office and she was glad he stopped by with his administrative assistant, Chris Johnson.

A customer at Main Street Bistro in Springfield on Monday asked to have her picture taken with Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (SOS photo)

Williams and the county entourage also met with other Coloradans who happened to be in town for a funeral. They all had gathered at a local coffee shop, Main Street Bistro, which is owned by the daughter of one of Dubois’ employees.

Check out Williams visit last week to visit to southwestern Colorado, where he visited clerks in Alamosa, San Miguel and San Juan counties.

As for Baca County, it was formed in 1887 when the Colorado Legislature split the county of Las Animas. Today, it has a population of 3,615 and encompasses 220,000 acres of Comanche National Grasslands.