The Facebook Effect in Colorado

The graphic Facebook showed on users’ news feeds. (SOS photo)

If you have been on Facebook in the past month, there’s a good chance the above graphic showed up on your news feed.

Facebook reminded users of the upcoming primary election on June 26 and encouraged users to register to vote or share that they are registered.

The impact was significant —

“More people registered and more people updated their registration on Tuesday, June 12th than did so on Election Day,” said Judd Choate, the state election director for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

This was the first year unaffiliated voters were allowed to automatically participate. Secretary Williams launched the UChooseCO campaign to inform voters about the new process. Williams handed out wooden U’s for people to decorate and help spread the word. The UChooseCO campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.

Elections guru praises Colorado’s methods

David Becker, right, with the center for Election Innovation and Research, was in Colorado one week ago for the primary election. In January, Becker attended the Colorado County Clerks Association Conference with Dwight Shellman, left, of the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, and Jennifer Morrell, formerly the election director at the Arapahoe County Clerk’s office and now a consultant with Democracy Fund. (SOS photo)

Colorado received high praise from election security guru David Becker, who was in Colorado to observe the primary election one week ago.

Becker, the founder and director of Election Innovation & Research, wrote about what he observed in his blog.

“It was a great opportunity to watch professionals in their environment and see how their work isn’t static,” Becker said. “They are constantly seeking improvements in security and efficiency.”

This was the first time in Colorado history that unaffiliated voters were allowed to automatically participate.

“David asked to observe Colorado’s primary election to get a better sense of the security protocols we utilize and see our election in practice, Judd Choate, Colorado state elections director said. “We were happy to host him.”

Becker spent the day between the Secretary of State’s office and Denver Elections. He observed how a ballot is received and tabulated in Denver, and noted how calm the process is because most Coloradans vote by mail.

At the Secretary of State’s office, Becker witnessed information sharing about potential cyber threats throughout the day.

“Colorado and Denver County are at the leading edge of blending efficiency, convenience, and security for voters,” he said. “Even in the face of significant threats from foreign countries and others, thanks to examples like those in Colorado and Denver County – and many other places – election cybersecurity is improving substantially and will continue to improve through 2018 and 2020.”

All eyes on U — and Montrose County

The various U’s decorated by the Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder’s office as part of the UChooseCO campaign. Top left, Andrea Martinez, top right, Jerri Frizzell, bottom left, Kelly Codner, bottom right, various U’s.(Kim Percell photos)

Montezuma County Clerk Kim Percell and her staff took it upon themselves to decorate some “U’s” in a way that represented Montezuma County and the changes for unaffiliated voters for the primary election.

“This was a great opportunity for all of us to do something FUN!”  Percell said. “I wanted them to display them at their desk so customers would ask about all of the decorated U’s giving the clerk the opportunity to explain the UChoose campaign. The names of those who participated were thrown into a hat and they won a $20 gift card.”

Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell holds her U, which is covered in eyes and questions. (Kim Percell photo)

Percell’s U is decorated with sets of different sized eyes that are all asking if they get to choose.

“My thought with the U was that we all had the blessing to be able to make a choice,” Percell said. “The entire primary election process is up to each of us to decide what candidate we want on our ballots.”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams handed out Wooden U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to help inform unaffiliated voters that for the first time they could participate in Colorado’s primary election. Percell’s staff went and got their own U’s to decorate.

The campaign also reminded unaffiliated voters who got both the Republican and Democratic ballot in the mail to only vote one. If they voted both, neither counted. Clerks continue to process ballots, although the election ended at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The UChooseCO campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter and this blog.

All about U — Cheyenne County

Cheyenne County’s U. (Cheyenne County photo)

Cheyenne County Clerk Patricia Daugherty’s artistic talent is clear in the U she decorated.

“I wanted to represent our area,” she said. “I painted the blue and clouds, then added wheat fields, cows, oil wells, sunflowers, and a family, things that make up Cheyenne County.”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is handing out the wooden U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to help educate unaffiliated voters that they can participate in the primary election Tuesday, but they can only vote one ballot. If they turn in both the Republican and Democratic ballot neither will count. The campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.

Colorado’s county clerks have done an amazing job decorating their U’s. La Plata County, faced with fierce wildfires, thanked firefighters.  Logan County took it’s U around the county for various photo ops. Montrose County kept the U plain but surrounded it with amazing scenery.  Like Cheyenne County,  Weld County went with local images.

All about U — and DIA

Oh, Denver International Airport, you did not disappoint when we sent you a wooden U to decorate. Go ahead and click on this and you’ll see what we mean:

Secretary Wayne Williams is handing out the U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to educate unaffiliated voters that they can participate in the June 26 primary election, but they can only vote one ballot. The campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.

“We’re proud to support #UChooseCO,” DIA’s communications manager Emily Williams said in an e-mail.

“The design is thanks to our fabulous graphic designer, Brian Page, who wanted to include some of the iconic architectural and artistic elements that people love about DEN (like the Jeppesen Terminal tents and Blue Mustang), a few words that define us, and our personality -– which is obviously multicolored and fun😊.”

At least every week day between now and the June 26 primary the Secretary of State’s office will highlight a wooden U or two. They’ve been decorated by lawmakers, county clerks, a former mayor and a former governor. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.