Secretary Williams talks to clerks about voter fraud

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Wednesday address county clerks on the state’s eastern edge, who were meeting in Sterling for training. (SOS photo)

Check out staffer Julia Sunny’s video on the visit with county clerks from the eastern regional. As Kiowa County Clerk Delisa Weeks says, “We’re small, but we’re fun.” YouTube video.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams addressed the issue of voter fraud when he spoke to county clerks on the Eastern Plains Wednesday, warning them that in the coming months his office could be asking about certain constituents suspected of voting twice in the 2016 election.

“Some of you are aware there were accusations that there was rampant fraud in the elections. Some said there was no fraud,” Williams said. “The answer is somewhere in between.”

Colorado is part of a national months-long check of voter histories that flags the names of voters who appeared to have voted more than once.

“I anticipate there will be some people in Colorado who voted in multiple states. There are not tens of thousands of them. It did not change the result of the election,” Williams said.

“But there are elections that decided by a single vote. I presided over those elections as a county clerk. So we care about that issue. The message from us isn’t that vote fraud never occurs, but we make it difficult to occur and we help prosecute people when we find out about it.”

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Colorado’s 64 county clerks, “out there on the front lines”

Colorado Secretary Wayne Williams, third from left in the back row, and county clerks who attended a regional meeting this week in Cañon City. (SOS photo)

By Lynn Bartels and Julia Sunny

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams told county clerks at a regional gathering this week that his office is reviewing how to implement voter-approved ballot measures, including one that changes signature gathering for ballot proposals.

Amendment 71 requires that any new constitutional amendment pass with 55 percent of the vote instead of a simple majority. In addition, a percentage of the signatures to put the measure on the ballot must be gathered in all 35 Senate districts, which will change how the state reviews petitions to determine whether backers collected enough valid voter signatures.

Williams addressed a variety of topics, from early-voting requirements to ballot drop boxes, when he spoke Wednesday to clerks from the state’s southern region at their conference in Cañon City.

“Our job is to help you and to help the voters,” Williams told the clerks. “You’re the ones out there on the front lines.”

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Elway, Webb, Suthers and others help “Raise the Bar”

The Colorado Farm Bueau hand painted campaign signs to promote Amendment 71, which makes it harder to amend the state constitution. (Brophy photo)
The Colorado Farm Bueau hand-painted campaign signs to promote Amendment 71, which makes it harder to amend the state constitution. (Brophy photo)

With the tidal wave of press calls over, I finally have time to digest the election results, and I’m stunned by the map of which counties supported the effort to make it harder to amend the constitution.

In case you weren’t aware, the election results that are posted on the Colorado Secretary of State web site includes maps for each candidate and issue to show how they fared on a county-by-county basis.

Amendment 71, or Raise the Bar as it was called, passed 56 percent to 44 percent. But I never knew until I clicked on the map late Wednesday that it passed in 60 of Colorado’s 64 counties. Only voters in  Boulder, Denver, Gilpin and San Miguel opposed it, and Gilpin’s vote was close.

Former state Sen. Greg Brophy, a Yuma Wray* Republican, teamed up with Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs, a Democrat, to put the measure on the ballot. They were joined by high-profile names on both sides of the aisle, including former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, Gov. John Hickenlooper and his predecessors, and others. The Farm Bureau put up signs in rural Colorado.

“And having John Elway didn’t hurt,” Brophy said, referring to Denver Bronco’ general manager and former Super Bowl quarterback. (For the record, the election was before the Kansas City Chiefs game.)

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