Innovation in bellwether Larimer County

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visited with the Larimer County clerk and board of commissioners during a visit to Fort Collins last week. They are, left to right, Commissioners Tom Donnelly and Lew Gaiter, Williams, Clerk and Recorder Angela Myers and Commissioner Steve Johnson. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visited with the Larimer County clerk and board of commissioners during a visit to Fort Collins last week. They are, left to right, Commissioners Tom Donnelly and Lew Gaiter, Secretary Williams, Clerk and Recorder Angela Myers and Commissioner Steve Johnson. (SOS photo)

When Wayne Williams was elected El Paso County clerk and recorder in 2010, he visited the clerks in Larimer and Weld counties before he took office.

At the time, Williams was a county commissioner and had heard from the Larimer and Weld commissioners and their residents “about the quality of their clerks and the operations they ran,” he said.

Williams, now the secretary of state, returned to the Larimer County clerk’s office in Fort Collins last week as part of his goal to meet with clerks statewide to see what issues they face and how his office can help.

“We spoke about the quality of support from the secretary of state and his office,” Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers said. “It definitely feels like a partnership, and that is for the good of the entire state.”

Read moreInnovation in bellwether Larimer County

Logan County election official wins “Michele Burton” award

Logan County Clerk Pam Logan with her elections supervisor. Traci Griffee, and Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane, president of the Colorado County Clerks Association. Griffee today received an award from the organization.
Logan County Clerk Pam Logan with her elections supervisor. Traci Griffee, and Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane, president of the Colorado County Clerks Association. Griffee today received an award from the organization. (SOS photo)

Logan County’s election supervisor today received an award from the Colorado County Clerks Association that honors those who demonstrate “love and extra devotion to the election process.”

Traci Griffee was nominated by her clerk, Pam Bacon, who outlined what Griffee has done for the office since beginning work there in 2011.

“I am not only honored to nominate her for the Michele Burton award but I am also honored to have her on my team and right beside me in the election battle field,” Bacon said in her nomination letter. “I know I don’t say it enough but I would like to thank her for everything she does for me, the office and the citizens of our county.”

Michele Burton began her elections career in 1976 with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office and ended it as an Arapahoe County elections deputy. She and her husband Wayne died in a car accident in 2000 as they were traveling to Utah to watch their 14-year-old son play in a soccer tournament. The Grandview High student was not in the car, which collided with a deer.

The award was presented at the Colorado County Clerks Association summer conference at the Inverness Hotel in Arapahoe County. The conference ends Wednesday.

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Turnout varies in primary, but county, Colorado election officials busy

DenverElex1
The crew at Denver Elections and various Colorado Secretary of State staffers pose for a group shot after a visit Wednesday, June 22, by some state election staffers. The state was observing Denver using Dominion Voting Systems.

Fremont County Clerk Katie Barr isn’t sure whether her county is headed to its lowest primary election turnout in years or if there’s going to be a rush of ballots on Tuesday.

“It’s really slow,” she said. “I don’t know why people aren’t participating in the primary this year.”

Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers told the Loveland Herald Reporter what drives turnout is contested local races and this year there aren’t a lot of them in her jurisdiction.

It’s another story in Denver, where an open race for district attorney, an open seat on the University of Colorado board of regents and some open legislative racesare driving up Democratic turnout past 2012 and 2014 primary levels, said Denver elections director Amber McReynolds.

The  primary election is Tuesday. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his staff met with clerks and county election directors last week and will visit others on Monday in preparation for the election.

Read moreTurnout varies in primary, but county, Colorado election officials busy

Colorado shares ideas with Wyoming

Hilary Rudy, deputy elections director for the Colorado secretary of state's office, Renea Vitto, president of the Wyoming County Clerks Association and the clerk of Natrona County, and Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers.
Hilary Rudy, deputy elections director for the Colorado secretary of state’s office, Renea Vitto, president of the Wyoming County Clerks Association and the clerk of Natrona County, and Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers.

There aren’t any border wars when it comes to elections, just ask Colorado and Wyoming.

This week, Colorado’s deputy elections director, Hilary Rudy, and Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers met with Renea Vitto,  president of the Wyoming County Clerks Association and the clerk of Natrona County, in Cheyenne.

Wyoming asked to talk with Colorado about how the the state implemented mail ballots and Colorado was glad to oblige.

“It was fun presenting with Angela,” Rudy said. “We loved it when one of the clerks commented on how well we worked together.”

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray and his wife, Caren.
Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray and his wife, Caren.

Meanwhile, Wyoming’s secretary of state, Ed Murray, is learning new ideas at the National Association of Secretaries of State conference in Washington, D.C. Also in attendance is Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

The workshops have included a variety of topics, from elections to notaries to civil technology — where Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortez gave a shout out to Colorado’s awarding-winning app and business challenge, GoCodeColorado.

Murray said he hopes to learn new ideas for communicating with Wyoming voters.

My first tip? “Set up a Twitter account.”

My second tip? Remember whose account you are tweeting from. Yesterday, I retweeted something about a Bernie Sanders rally — from the Colorado Secretary of State’s account, not mine. Crikey!

 

Colorado county clerks call conferences “extremely rewarding”

San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference in Fort Collins this month.
San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference in Fort Collins this month.

By Keara Brosnan

Colorado county clerk and recorders say attending conferences with their back-to-back workshops can be taxing, but they are extremely rewarding.

“I have been to every one since being elected” in 2010, Clerk Kathleen Erie from San Miguel County said. “They play a huge role in keeping us all informed on best practices and law changes.”

The Colorado County Clerks Association hosts two statewide conferences annually. Clerks and their staffs also have the opportunity to attend regional training throughout the year sponsored the association and by Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office.

The clerks finished their winter conference in Fort Collins last week, which was hosted by Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers. The CCCA’s summer conference is in Arapahoe County Aug. 1-3 and will be hosted by Arapahoe Clerk Matt Crane.

Washington County Clerk Garland Wahl and Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey at the Colorado County Clerks Association meeting in Fort Collins.
Washington County Clerk Garland Wahl and Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey at the Colorado County Clerks Association meeting in Fort Collins.

“I have only been a clerk for about a year now, so this conference is valuable to network and learn so much from the other clerks,” said Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey

Other more seasoned county clerks had a similar response to the winter conference.

“I have been a clerk for 34 years now and I still learn so much new information coming to these conferences,” said Clerk Garland Wahl from Washington County. “Every conference is different and I always learn something new.”

The clerks also found time to compete in a lip sync competition.

Read moreColorado county clerks call conferences “extremely rewarding”