When it comes to elections, El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman can now boast opening the first 24-hour vehicle registration kiosk in the state and installing the largest ballot-drop box in Colorado – and possibly the country.
The kiosk opened one week ago today and someone took advantage of it at 1:50 a.m. the next day. Broerman joked that he’s not sure if a customer wanted to see if the kiosk truly was a 24-7 operation, or if he or she was doing some bar hopping and realized the car tags were expired.
As for what is Broerman is calling The MOAB— The Mother of All Ballot Boxes — it was a custom built and is 68 percent larger by volume than the largest industry box. That’s a whole lot box but it was needed for a whole lot of customers. Broerman said the 24-hour ballot box at East Library in Colorado Springs was so heavily used it had to be emptied four or five times a day.
When he talked with Fort Knox Ballot Box Co. he was told that the box at the library already was the biggest one the company makes. The company came up with a couple of custom designs.
“They offered to make an even bigger box than the one we selected but it was so massive I thought we were going to have to have an FAA-approved landing light on it,” Broerman said, with a laugh.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams has been on the speaking circuit in recent weeks, answering questions about voter lists, election security and how it will work next year when unaffiliated voters get mailed a Democrat and a Republican ballot for the primary.
Williams is scheduled to address Colorado Mesa University’s political club on Friday, and he will appear with Sen. Angela Williams — no relation but they joke about being brother and sister — at a town hall in Denver on Nov. 2. He or his deputy have spoken to two chapters of the League of Women voters, and the Broomfield Democrats and the Jeffco Republicans.
“I grew up in a community in Virginia where there was no school board election, they were appointed. I grew up in a community where you didn’t get to vote on tax increases, on ballot questions.
“You have the right to vote here and Coloradans treasure that right.”
This fall’s coordinated election is Nov. 7. There is no statewide ballot measure, but voters will consider school board races, City Council races in some jurisdictions and local tax measures. Clerks could mail ballots starting Monday.
“One of the hardest working people I’ve ever known,” former state Sen. Linda Newell tweeted after Haskins’ death. “Her level of detail literally saved kids’ lives in my bills. Beautiful spirit.”
News of Haskins’ death stunned her family, friends and the Capitol community, which is its own kind of family.
“Not many people outside the Capitol know who Debbie Haskins is, but you can bet that over the past 34 years, not a single piece of important Colorado legislation got passed without Debbie’s eyes on it,” Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman said in a statement.
“She was one of the important conductors who made sure the trains ran on time, and it was thanks to her that new legislators and staffers could easily learn how the law-making process works.”
Lynn Waring has wowed colleagues at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office with her Halloween costumes so it came as a bit of surprise that she picked Friday to retire, just weeks away from impressing co-workers with another fun ensemble.
There was the tea bag, the web site, the melted crayon.
But Waring is going to miss something else, too — what could be metro Denver’s first snowstorm on Monday.
“It’s probably the first time I’ve heard the weather report and not panicked and thought, ‘Oh, dear,” Waring said today.
Waring began at the Secretary of State’s office in 2011, and for the past two years has handled bingo-and-raffle reports. She previously worked for Boulder County, including a stint as chief deputy to the public trustee, Sandy Hume.
The Secretary of State’s office today feted Waring with cake, cookies, a $100 gift card, a retirement letter from Gov. John Hickenlooper and a flag flown over the Capitol.
Many wondered what the office was going to be like without Waring, who was known to slip a breakfast bar or some other treat on her co-workers’ desks. I’m sad to see her go. She reminded me of a milder version of Pat Worley, the former legislative staffer aide who made the state House such a fun place to work.
Waring could be counted on to remind her colleagues of some activity hosted by Employee Relations Committee, of which she was a member.
The committee helped collect donations and gift cards for the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office during unprecedented flooding in Baton Rogue, and items for the Colorado Food Bank as part of a Super Bowl bet with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office. Waring donned a chef’s hat when she and other members flipped pancakes for the all-you-can-eat employee breakfasts.
Waring was especially known for arranging the tours and treats for Take Your Kids to work day, where she loved to introduce her two grandkids.
Waring and her husband, Russ, a surveyor, plan to sell their home in Arvada and move to their home in Estes Park, where they have loved spending weekends and holidays. She refers to him as “The Professor” because he taught “Surveyor 101” for 15 years at Arapahoe Community College.
The Professor was known to help out now and then, such as delivering pies to serve on Pi Day.
Members of the Employee Relations Committee, including Abbas Montoya, said Waring will be missed.
“Lynn’s enthusiasm was infectious,” he said, “and she made us all excited to do things, like Pi Day.”