All about U — and Adams County

Adams County Clerk Stan Martin shows off the wooden U his staffer decorated.

It helps to have talented staffers — just ask Adams County Clerk Stan Martin. When his office got a wooden U to decorate, it was turned over to Jami Gaultney, the office’s Voter Service Polling Center and certification manager.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is handing out the U’s as part of the @UChooseCO campaign to educate unaffiliated voters. 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.

Hey, hey, Paula, the state’s elections office will be missing you

Paula Barnett's last day at the Colorado Secretary of State's office is Friday. She is going to work for Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell.
Paula Barnett’s last day at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office is Friday. She is going to work for Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell.

By Keara Brosnan

Paula Barnett, a much respected staffer with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, is taking her elections experience to Chaffee County in order to be near her family.

Barnett’s last day with the state is Friday. She’ll begin working for Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell on March 14.

“It will be fun to be with my daughter and her husband and her two beautiful daughters in the mountains,” said Barnett, who will live in Buena Vista and commute to Salida.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams understands her sentiment.

“As our first grandchild will be born later this month,” he said, “I certainly appreciate Paula’s desire to be near family.”

Barnett got her start in the Lincoln County clerk and recorder’s office’s,  and eventually was elected clerk.

“I sort of grew into it,” Barnett said. “Living in Hugo, which was a very small community and very grass roots, I got very involved in elections and the political process and caucuses.”

Read moreHey, hey, Paula, the state’s elections office will be missing you

Secretary Wayne Williams: “looking for better elections in Colorado”

The Teller County clerk got a visit Monday from Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Matt Masterson, a federal elections commissioner checking out Colorado counties testing new voting equipment. From left to right are: elections deputy Janice Hellman, Masterson, Williams, Clerk Krystal Brown and chief deputy clerk Stephanie Wise.
The Teller County clerk got a visit Monday from Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Matt Masterson, a federal elections commissioner checking out Colorado counties testing new voting equipment. From left to right are: elections deputy Janice Hellman, Masterson, Williams, Clerk Krystal Brown and chief deputy clerk Stephanie Wise.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visited Teller County today talking to Clerk and Recorder Krystal Brown, who is one of eight county clerks participating in a pilot program testing voting machines.

The state is looking toward going to as few as one voting system, instead of the patchwork system currently in operation throughout the state. The four companies involved in the pilot program are Dominion, Hart InterCivic, ES&S and Clear Ballot.

Williams last week visited other pilot counties as well as new clerks and recorders who took office in January in preparation for Election Day on Tuesday.

Reading glasses for Teller County voters.
Reading glasses for Teller County voters.

Stephanie Wise, the chief deputy clerk for Teller County, said elections are stressful, but the visit from Williams and Matt Masterson, a commissioner with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission was anything but.

“It was a nice visit,” she said.

She said Teller has two voter centers, one in Woodland Park and one in Cripple Creek, and the judges are “bored to tears.” That’s because, she said, most Coloradans mail in their ballots. All ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Williams said Teller offered a nice touch for voters: a pair of reading glasses for those that have hit that age.

Here are reports from Adams, Douglas, Morgan and Weld counties about the secretary’s visits:

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Christi Coburn, elections administrator for Adams County, and Adams County Clerk Stan Martin.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Christi Coburn, elections administrator for Adams County, and Adams County Clerk Stan Martin.

ADAMS COUNTY

Adams County Clerk Stan Martin said Williams toured the county’s election facility to get an idea of “a day in the life of a mail ballot.”  Williams also thanked Adams for being one of eight counties participating in the pilot program to test systems from four different companies.

“He said, ‘We’re looking for better elections in Colorado,”’ Martin reported.

Adams  and Gilpin counties are testing the Clear Ballot  ballot system.  Martin and Gilpin Clerk Colleen Stewart are big fans.

“The more I learn about the other systems, the more I like Clear Ballot,” Martin said. “I’m looking for three things: accuracy, effectiveness and transparency.”

Read moreSecretary Wayne Williams: “looking for better elections in Colorado”