Bent County Clerk Patti Nickell and her crew braved an 18-month renovation of the courthouse, which meant no heat and at times no water.
“We got to be good friends with the Loaf ‘n Jug across the street,” she said, with a laugh.
The other courthouse operations were moved to different locations in Las Animas, but Nickell and her staff stayed put so it’s understandable how proud she is of Colorado’s oldest functioning courthouse and one so stunning it looks “Old Main” on some college campuses.
The $3.6 million renovation project that Nickell lived through won Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation in 2010.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams helped two county clerks on Wednesday celebrate the opening of ballot drop boxes in their communities, saying it’s another step in making it easier for Coloradans to vote.
Voters in Bent County received their ballots on Tuesday and Clerk Patti Nickell was tickled to see 12 ballots in the box by Wednesday morning. Bent County Commissioner Bill Long admitted that at first he couldn’t see why Nickell was so intent on getting the box until Williams explained that voters love the service because they can drop off their ballots after work or on a Sunday.
“We hope to have another box next year in in the east end of the county, at McClave,” Nickell said. “I’m so glad Wayne is pushing this.”
Nickell said another 16 ballots were in the box Thursday morning.
Pueblo County on Wednesday celebrated the opening of its fourth round-the-clock ballot drop box, at the Patrick A. Lucero Library on the city’s eastside.
“What the heck is this?” a young boy called out when he spied the big white metal box covered with decals. “This is for Pueblo?” another asked. And a third wanted to know whether Williams was supporting Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.