Thanks, Judd Choate, for your service

Two Colorado Secretary of State staffers, county support manager Dwight Shellman and elections director Judd Choate, at the National Association of State Election Directors conference Sunday. Choate is the outgoing president. (SOS photo)

The National Association of State Election Directors on Sunday thanked its outgoing president, Colorado’s election director Judd Choate.

The tribute came as NASED gathered in Washington, D.C., for its winter conference.

The association’s goal is to promote accessible, accurate and transparent elections across the country and U.S. territories. The role of NASED, pronounced “NASS ed,” has grown increasingly more important as concerns mount over cyber security and foreign meddling.

“It has been an extraordinary year,” Choate said. “NASED is an amazingly important organization, and it has been my honor to lead it this past year.”

Judd Choate, Colorado’s election director, received gifts from the National Association of State Election Directors which he led for the past year. (SOS photo)

Choate, who has served on the group’s executive committee the past five years, received a baseball glove and ball signed by the NASED board. He’s a baseball fanatic who was a scout with the Kansas City Royals in the 1990s.

The group also gave him a bobblehead replica of himself in a seersucker suit.

NASED met at the Fairmont Hotel where the National Association of Secretaries of State also was holding its winter conference. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams serves NASS’ executive committee.

“Judd’s leadership of NASED has helped Colorado by giving us additional insights and opportunities,” Williams said. “I think he’s done a great job leading this important organization.”

Secretary Williams addresses “this new primary we’re all so worried about”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is flanked by Pam Cirbo and Carol Waller before the start of the Cherry Creek Republican Women’s lunch on Tuesday. (SOS photo)

For the first time ever, county clerks will mail primary ballots to unaffiliated voters, a measure that is causing consternation statewide and keeping Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams busy on the speakers’ circuit.

In December, he spoke to the League of Women Voters in La Plata County.

Last week, Williams addressed the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s legislative committee about the impacts of Proposition 108, which voters approved in 2016. He’ll be back at the chamber next week speaking to a larger group on the same topic.

On Tuesday, he spoke to the Cherry Creek Republican Women. When member Mary Wenke introduced Williams, she said he was going to talk about “this new primary we’re all so worried about.”

Read moreSecretary Williams addresses “this new primary we’re all so worried about”

Denver clerk eclipses previous records

Celebrating 2017 National Voter Registration Day at Civic Center Park were, from left to right, Alton Dillard, spokesman for Denver Elections; former Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson; Suzanne Staiert, deputy secretary of state; and Debra Johnson, Denver clerk and recorder. They were in front of Denver’s new mobile voting center, listed as one of the office highlights for last year. (SOS photo/Julia Sunny)

Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson commandeered last year’s eclipse to highlight her 2017 annual report that looks at elections, marriage licenses and other clerk functions.

“A large swath of the U.S. viewed the totality of the solar eclipse last year, and here at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, our accomplishments in 2017 eclipsed all previous years,” Johnson said in news release issued today.

“With the incredible growth in Denver, we’ve seized opportunities to lead the way in elections, records preservation, marriages and bringing our services directly to you.”

Read moreDenver clerk eclipses previous records

El Paso County commissioners honor retiring elections manager Liz Olson

Liz Olson, the retiring elections manager for the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, with four of the five county clerks she  served. From left to right, Pat Kelly, Wayne Williams, who now serves as Colorado’s secretary of state, Bob Balink and the current office holder,  Chuck Broerman. (EPC photo)

Five county clerks. Eleven general elections. Twenty-one years of efficient and excellent service.

And one big retirement party for Liz Olson, the elections manager of the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, who is as respected across the state as she is in El Paso County.

“For more than two decades Liz Olson has set the standard for election officials,” said Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

The El Paso County Board of Commissioners honored Olson last week with a proclamation and plenty of praise.

“I’ve worked really hard. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished,” Olson said at the end of the ceremony. “I very often put my work before my personal life and I don’t have any regrets. I felt like that’s what the job required. But I do want to tell my family how much I appreciate their support.”

Read moreEl Paso County commissioners honor retiring elections manager Liz Olson

Secretary Wayne Williams: “We make it easy to do business in Colorado”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, and two Trinidad City Council members, Carlos Lopez and Rusty Goodall, at the Capitol Thursday. (SOS photo)

Secretary of State Wayne Williams shared the story of a couple in rural Pueblo County trying to get a loan when he talked with movers-and-shakers outside the metro area at the state Capitol on Thursday.

“They had just received a call from their bank indicating that the records of the business they were purchasing were not in order and based on that the loan they needed was in jeopardy,” Williams said.

Not knowing what to do, the couple called the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

“The agent in the Service Center reviewed the record and provided instructions on how to fix the record issue through our website and online filing options. Using the wife’s phone while the agent listened in, they were able to update the record and relay that information to the bank. Once the bank received that information, they were told that the loan would be approved,” Williams said.

“The couple told the agent that the business they were purchasing was part of their lifelong dream, and that they could not believe all their issues could be fixed online and real-time from a truck in the middle of a field.”

Read moreSecretary Wayne Williams: “We make it easy to do business in Colorado”