Peruvian Marita Gutilla finally gets to call herself an American.
The 31-year-old was one of 56 people from 29 countries — ranging from Nepal to France to Mexico — who officially became citizens of the United States during a naturalization ceremony Wednesday in Centennial.
Citizenship caries many rights as well as responsibilities, which the new Americans said they looking forward to.
“I get all the privileges everyone else has,” said Yulia Aleksandrovna Penny, a 33-year-old Russian native who lives in Highlands Ranch. “I get the right to vote!”
Lewis died last week of an enlarged heart. He died on his 8th birthday.
Donovan on Sunday sent a letter to her “Capitol friends” informing them of Lewis’ death. Condolences poured in.
“I am so sad to hear of little Lewis’ passing,” lobbyist Benjamin Waters wrote on his Facebook page. “Sen. Kerry Donovan from Vail kept this wonderful little pup in her office and whenever the days became contentious and long during the 2015 legislative session, this little guy made everyone feel better. RIP Lewis.”
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams today thanked the eight counties that served as “guinea pigs” and tested new equipment in the Nov. 3 election — equipment the state is considering selecting before the 2016 presidential election.
“I wanted to say ‘thank you’ to a lot of folks because this has not been an easy project,” Williams said.
“I wanted to say thank you to … all the clerks and their staffs who said, ‘Yes, we will be guinea pigs.’ And it was not an easy thing to say, ‘We’re running an election and we’re going to try out completely new stuff and we’re going to have all these people watching us,'” Williams said.
“It’s important fiscally for the counties that have to make these purchases that we make good selections. (The machines) don’t just serve us today, but serve us in the future as well.”
He also thanked his staff and members of the Pilot Election Review Committee prior to presentations from county clerks and their staffs. The county workers all made a pitch for the committee to recommend to the secretary to select the equipment they tested during the election, although they also discussed weakness they spotted and features that need to be improved.
Colorado’s county clerks on Friday will share their views on four voting machines companies that are vying to be selected to provide new equipment as the state attempts to move to a universal system.
The clerks will appear before the Pilot Election Review Committee, which has been studying the issue of new machines since 2013. Eight counties tested equipment from four different companies for the Nov. 3 election. Already, the companies — Clear Ballot, Dominion, ES & S and Hart — have appeared before PERC. Now it is the clerks’ turns.
Among those who observed elections among the eight pilot counties was Matt Masterson, a commissioner with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. He called Colorado’s approach “a national model” as other states look to replace their aging equipment.
Colorado’s Secretary of State’s campaign finance manager Steve Bouey traveled across the world to witness Ukraine’s first local elections in five years.
Previously, political parties appointed local officials.
“Ukraine is obviously an interesting place,” Bouey said. “The whole eastern half of the country is under rebel control and they want to secede and join Russia and Crimea. There’s a lot going on politically.”
“I thought, ‘Wow, this is Ukraine, it’s a dangerous place, there’s an ongoing civil war,’” Bouey said, “But I didn’t feel any danger or threat to my safety… I was in Afghanistan back in June and that was obviously a dodgy place, but I felt safe in Ukraine.”