Go Code Colorado: “This is the epitome of how we should be thinking”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with the Durango High School team that advanced to Go Code Colorado’s mentor weekend in Boulder. Left to right, Noah Clements, Anthony Parker, Cord Arnold, Jarvie Arnold, the secretary of state, Georgia Witchel and Claudia Luthy. (SOS photo)

By Lynn Bartels and Julia Sunny

The Colorado Secretary of State’s data-to-app contest, Go Code Colorado, attracted a variety of entrepreneurs, coders, Google bigwigs and others to its mentor weekend, which kicked off Friday night in Boulder.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who had been in Rifle earlier that morning at a regional clerks training seminar, braved rain, snow, fog and a detour on eastbound Interstate 70 to make it the event, held at Google’s headquarters in Boulder. He noted that some members of the Durango High School challenge team were missing their prom to attend mentor weekend.

State Sen. Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat, heaped praise on the Secretary of State’s office and its award-winning Go Code Colorado program.

“This is, in my opinion, the epitome of how we should be thinking about government moving forward,” Fenberg said. “We should be thinking about how to take the assets and the innovation of the new industries that are popping up around tech and see how that expertise and that talent solves some of the problems that maybe government can’t do on its own.”

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Secretary Wayne Williams tells clerks in Rifle he knows they’re always busy

Secretary of State Wayne Williams with county clerks who attended regional training in Rifle last week. Back row, left to right: Pam Phipps, Clear Creek, Kathy Neel of Summit, Michelle Nauer of Ouray, the secretary of state, Tressa Guynes of Montrose and Boots Campbell of Rio Blanco. Front row, Sara Rosene of Grand Junction, Teri Stephenson of Delta, Kathleen Erie of San Miguel, Colleen Stewart of Gilpin, Janice Vos Caudill of Pitkin, and Ladonna Jaramillo of San Juan. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams urged county clerks to voice their opinions next month after they view proposed regulations for allowing unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections without any restrictions.

The Secretary of State’s office earlier asked some clerks for their ideas on drafting rules to deal with Proposition 108, which voters approved last November. It allows unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections without affiliating with a party. The Secretary of State’s office is working on proposed regulations to be sent to clerks in May.

“When you get the draft regulations, please review them,” Williams said. “Please let us know if something works or if something doesn’t work. I need both of those.”

Williams on Friday spoke to clerks and their staffs who gathered at the western region clerks’ conference in Rifle.

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SIPA: helping government go digital

Marybeth Van Horn accepted a $1,000 micro grant on behalf of the town of Moffat at an event Tuesday in Denver. With her are, left, Irv Halter, the director of the Department of Local Affairs, and to her right, Secretary of State Wayne Wiliams and state Sen. Dom Coram, R-Montrose. (SOS photo)
Jill Jolton, enterprise content management coordinator for the city of Arvada, and Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale. (SOS photo)

Government agencies big — the University of Colorado — and small — the town of Moffat, pop. 116 — rejoiced Tuesday night when accepting grants designed to help them put more information and services online.

CU received $3,000 to scan historic maps of the state published between 1880 and 1907 and put them online, and another $6,500 to digitize the state House and Senate journals back to the 1800s and make them available to the public.

The town of Moffat, located in Saguache County, received $1,000 to help update and maintain the town’s website.

“We are excited to use this SIPA grant to help increase communications, educate our citizens and create accessibility in our small rural community,” said Marybeth Van Horn of Moffat.

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Club 20 unexpectedly welcomes Wayne Williams

Garfield County Commissioner John Martin and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at Club 20 on Friday in Grand Junction. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams wasn’t scheduled to appear at Club 20’s meeting this weekend, but he apparently crashed the executive board’s session at just the right time.

The influential Western Slope organization on Friday debated the rules to follow when it hosts next year’s September debate for governor, the 3rd Congressional District and other candidates in the region. In the past, third-party candidates have been upset at being shut out; others have been unhappy that third-partiers have been included.

Williams, who had just popped in to say “Hi,” was invited to sit down and answer some questions. He said he believes there are better factors to use for determining debate participation than voter registration, including polling results.

Williams served two terms as an El Paso County commissioner so has a county commissioner so he knows plenty of Club 20 members. One of the first ones he ran into at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction was Garfield County Commissioner John Martin, who is serving his sixth term. Club 20 in 2013 presented the prestigious Dan Noble Award to Martin for his “outstanding service to western Colorado.”

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House committee unanimously passes Colorado election petition bill

Last-minute negotiations on an elections bill took place last week right before it was heard by the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee. Left to right, Tim Griesmer, legislative liaison for the Secretary of State’s office; Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, D-Adams County; Martha Tierney, attorney for the Colorado Democratic Party; and Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (SOS photo)

Colorado’s election drama last year over forged petition signatures and the failures of some petition candidates to initially make the ballot is being addressed by the Colorado legislature.

A House committee voted 9-0 in favor of a bill by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, that allows the Secretary of State’s office to conduct signature verification on candidate petitions, similar to what is done with mail ballots, and provides a signature cure process. It also allows petition circulators to cure administrative deficiencies in their circulator affidavits.

Members from organizations such as America Votes and Common Cause, along with Secretary of State Wayne Williams last Thursday testified in favor of HB17-1088.

“Allowing us to work with a candidate to fix (problems) improves the process and increases the integrity of the election,” Williams told the House State Affairs, Veterans & Military Committee.

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