All about U — Thanks, firefighters

The La Plata County clerk and recorder’s wooden U is a reflection of the county’s trying times.

La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Parker and her elections director Erin Hutchins were stumped on how to decorate their wooden U but, sadly, Mother Nature inspired them.

The 416 Fire has ravaged the Durango area and other parts of southwestern Colorado, burning more than 34,000 acres. Displaced La Plata County voters were told they could pick up their ballots at the post office. Rain helped slow the fire’s spread but now voters impacted by flooding also are being sent to the post office.

Hutchins’ husband, Denver Hutchins, handled the wood burning, including the official firefighters logo, the burn marks between the U legs, the name of the blaze, the  “416 fire” and the date it started, June 1.

“When the fire is out, Denver will inscribe that date on it, too,” Parker said.

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.

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. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.

All about U — and Broomfield

Today is the first day that clerks have to open voting service and polling centers. Broomfield Clerk Jim Canderlarie, left, staffer Daniel Misssap, holding the U he decorated, and staffer Michael Susek, right, along with election judges.

Broomfield Clerk and Recorder Jim Candelarie, staffers and election judges opted to show off their wooden U today, the first day that all clerks must open the minimum required number of Voter Service and Polling Centers.

VSPC’s, as they’re called, are where county residents can vote in person, get a replacement ballot, get a ballot of one wasn’t mailed to them and more. Most counties have a list of their voting center locations on their website.

Broomfield’s U.

Secretary of State 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.

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.

All about U — it’s their Forté

Forté Advertising is behind the Secretary of State’s UChooseCO campaign. Team members are holding the wooden U’s they decorated. Back row, left to right, owner Nancy O’Dorisio, Jason Marvin and Rachel Ann Howard. Front row, Dar Ewing and Rachel Goodson. (SOS photo)

Here’s to our wonderful partners, Forté Advertising, who helped Secretary of State Wayne Williams launch the UChooseCO campaign to help inform unaffiliated voters they now can automatically participate in primary elections but if they get both the Republican and Democratic ballots, they can only vote one.

If they vote both, neither one will count.

The campaign also includes the distribution of wooden U’s to decorate. Sen. Kerry Donovan’s cow is amazing. Eagle County Clerk Regina O’Brien’s U is a work of art. Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb played off his 1991 mayoral campaign with his shoe and a shoelace.

The wqoden U’s decorated by Forté Advertising.

The folks at Forté decorated two U’s. We gave them permission to use the state seal — it’s under the control of the Secretary of State’s office. The other U features all things Colorado on both sides: logos for the Broncos, Avs, Rockies and Nuggets, columbines, the state Capitol, Red Rocks and more.

The legislature authorized Secretary Williams to launch a campaign to educate unaffiliated voters amid concerns from county clerks, party officials and others that unaffiliated voters as well as Democrats and Republicans would be confused about the new voting process for the June 26 primary. Forté Advertising has targeted active unaffiliated voters with a mostly digital campaign, which has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.

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. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.

All about U — Eagle County’s work of art

Eagle County Clerk Regina O’Brien, her staffer Kelly Mundhenke and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. Mundhenke, who used to be a graphic artist, decorated the county’s wooden U distributed as part of the UChooseCo campaign. (SOS photo)
One side of Eagle County’s wooden U.
The other side of Eagle County’s wooden U.

The pictures don’t begin to do Eagle County’s wooden U justice, but then consider the source.

The U was decorated by Kelly Mundhenke, who works in the Motor Vehicle division for Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien. Mundhenke has Bachelor of Art degrees in graphic design and fine art and worked as a graphic designer for years.

“Our elections manager, Stacey Jones, told me to ‘Have fun and draw what I loved about Colorado’ so I immediately thought of our state flower and camping in our beautiful mountains,” Mundhenke said.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams is handing out the wooden 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. He got a first-hand look at Eagle County’s U when he visited O’Brien, whose office received a recording grant.

O’Brien loves her U, which she displays in her office.

“You should see what Kelly does at Halloween,” she said.

The UChooseCO campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.

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. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.

Secretary Williams makes his way to Weld County

Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes in Greeley Monday. (SOS photo)

Weld County Clerk Carly Koppes was excited to show Secretary Williams the county’s new elections office ballots processing center, which is in an old bank building, complete with a vault where the ballots will be stored.

Koppes says she is welcoming name suggestions for the processing center since “elections office ballots processing center” is a mouthful. Her favorite suggestion so far is the “Koppes Center.”

She thanked Williams for his visit to Greeley and praised the SOS staff.

“You guys are rock stars,” she told him. “You do a good job supporting us.”

This year is the first time Colorado will conduct a primary election where unaffiliated voters can automatically participate.

The door to the vault where Weld County’s ballots will be stored. (Weld County clerk photo)

Williams launched the UChoose campaign earlier this year to inform unaffiliated voters about the primary and emphasize that they can’t vote both the Democratic and Republican ballots they will receive. They have to pick just one or neither ballot will count.

The campaign also handed out wooden U’s to decorate. Weld county’s U is decked out in images of the county, which is located on the Wyoming border and is known for its agriculture.  There are also images of Uncle Sam encouraging “U” to vote.

Koppes says that they have received a few questions on why unaffiliated voters received two ballots. Republicans are the largest voting block of active voters in Weld County with 61,880 voters, but the unaffiliated are close behind with 61,669 voters. Democrats trail with 37,164 active voters, according to the latest registration data from the SOS.

“We are keeping track of the questions we receive,” she said. “That way we will be ready for 2020. You know, us elections geeks, always thinking ahead.”