Almost 1,000 Coloradans sign up as part of National Voter Registration Day

Celebrating National Voter Registration Day at Civic Center Park were, from left to right, Alton Dillard, spokesman for Denver Elections; former Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson; Suzanne Staiert, deputy secretary of state; and Debra Johnson, Denver clerk and recorder. (SOS photo by Julia Sunny)

More than 900 Coloradans signed up to vote one week ago today, National Voter Registration Day, and almost half of them chose to be unaffiliated.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his deputy, Suzanne Staiert, made media appearances as part of NVRD and some election offices, such as Arapahoe, El Paso and Denver counties, hosted registration events.

In all, 953 people registered to vote in Colorado on Sept. 26, according to Secretary of State data released Monday. Of that, 454 registered as unaffiliated, 285 as Democrat, 190 as Republican and the rest were third-party members. The five top counties with the most registrants were:

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams appears on “Good Morning Colorado” with anchors Megan Kelly and Kirk Yuhnke to talk about voter registration and participation. (SOS photo)

El Paso: 139

Denver: 128

Arapahoe: 113

Larimer: 100

Jefferson: 81

In addition, Boulder County registered 63 people and Adams and Douglas counties each registered 61.

The National Association of Secretaries of State in 2012 designated September as National Voter Registration Month with the fourth Tuesday in September set as National Voter Registration Day to encourage voter participation and increase awareness about state requirements and deadlines for voting.

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Arapahoe County voter: “textbook perfect”

Chris Green praised Colorado's voting system after he had to change his registration.
Chris Green praised Colorado’s voting system after he had to change his registration.

Chris Green recently moved from Aurora to Centennial, changed his voter registration and left town for two weeks.

The 51-year-old said he had never moved so close to an election before so he was a little unsure how it would work out. But when he returned over the weekend he found his ballot in his mailbox, along with the “Blue Book” to help inform him how to vote on the ballot questions.

“I was also able to easily drive by a drop box at the Greenwood Village City Hall on my way to work this morning to submit my ballot in a matter of minutes,” he wrote in an e-mail Tuesday to the Colorado secretary of state.

Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane and his elections director, Jennifer Morrell, with one of their ballot envelopes.
Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane and his elections director, Jennifer Morrell, with one of their ballot envelopes.

“I am sure there will be numerous reports about issues with the system today. I wanted to take a moment to let you hear about an experience of one voter who thinks you got it right as you possibly could have for me.”

He called the situation “textbook perfect.”

“Nice to know things work like they are supposed to in spite of rumors to the contrary,” Green added.

It’s always nice to get positive feedback but the applause goes to Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane and his elections director, Jennifer Morrell.

Colorado county clerks, staffs hear moving tribute by a true hero

Medal of Honor recipient Salvatore Giunta signs books for attendees at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference Tuesday,
Medal of Honor recipient Salvatore Giunta signs books for attendees at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference Tuesday,

The first living recipient of the Medal of Honor in almost four decades held county clerks and their staffs “spellbound” Tuesday when he talked to them about his journey as a “sandwich artist” working at a Subway in Iowa to a mountainside in Afghanistan to a ceremony at the White House.

Former Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta touted the men who were with him that fateful day in 2007 that claimed the lives of two men, including a close friend.

“We Americans do not go to war to fight because we … hate our enemies. We go to war and we fight because we love our homes, we love this country so much it’s worth leaving everything and preserving what we have here,” he said.

His speech — filled with honor, humility and humor — was a high point of the Colorado County Clerks Association conference, which began Monday and ended today.

“I was absolutely spellbound,” said Tina Fry, Routt County’s chief deputy clerk.

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Secretary Wayne Williams to honor election-training veterans

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Archuelta County Clerk June Madrid.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Archuelta County Clerk June Madrid during a visit in March. Madrid is one of 48 clerks and election staffers who began election training a decade ago and will be recognized next week.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office this year celebrated its 10th anniversary of training election officials to ensure uniformity in administering elections and interpreting laws and rules.

To commemorate the occasion, the 48 people who completed their certification that year and still maintain their status and work in elections will be recognized next week at the Colorado County Clerks Association summer meeting. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams will present 10-year pins to the recipients.

The Colorado Election Official Certification program began shortly after the passage of the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA. Then-Secretary of State Donetta Davidson recognized the need for better training and education of Colorado election officials.

“Our program keeps getting better,” SOS Deputy Elections Director Hilary Rudy said. “We’ve really upped the bar to make it a good, effective, professional program. And that’s largely from the feedback we’ve received over the years from the clerks and their staffs who attend the training.”

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Jon Keyser’s term limits pledge

The GOP U.S. Senate ballot in the June 28 primary election.
The GOP U.S. Senate ballot in the June 28 primary election.

A phrase under Jon Keyser’s name on the primary ballot for Republican U.S. Senate candidates is causing consternation among some voters.

It reads: “Signed declaration to limit service to no more than 2 terms.”

“Pretty blatant campaigning ON THE BALLOT,” one voter remarked to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

“Electioneering,” one woman complained to the elections staff.

“No,” she was told. “We’re just following the constitution.”

Coloradans in 1998 approved a constitutional amendment allowing candidates who want to choose voluntary congressional term limits to declare so on the ballot and on their election materials.

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