Colorado election officials shone at the Election Center’s 33rd national conference, winning several prestigious awards and gaining certification or re-certification as election administrators.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams, as well as members of various clerks’ offices, attended the conference in Garden Grove, Calif., which ended Wednesday.
“Colorado’s county clerks have one of the highest participation rates in the Election Center and it was exciting to see Colorado’s clerks win awards and their staffers graduate at this year’s national conference,” Williams said. “Colorado won three of the 10 awards that were handed out.”
El Paso and Denver counties, and the Colorado County Clerks Association were recognized for their work in serving their voters with professional best practices.
Colorado’s county clerks and their staffs learned about election security and costs, Motor Vehicle registration kiosks and privacy vs. public access from a stakeholder’s viewpoint at their conference in Snowmass Village this week.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams addressed the Colorado County Clerks Association on Tuesday, outlining legislation his office advocated for, the state’s leading status when it comes to voter turnout and registration, and future training to learn about election audits.
“Let me tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to work with you and how much I and my staff appreciate your … commitment to ensuring that our elections are run with integrity,” Williams said.
Pam Anderson, the former Jefferson County clerk and the executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association, said 54 of the state’s 64 county clerk offices sent representatives to the summer conference.
County clerks have a variety of responsibilities, from elections to motor vehicles to recording documents, such as marriage licenses and titles.
The titles of the conferences over the three-day workshop reflected that: “Creative Solutions for Long Lines,” “Election Integrity in the Current Political & Media Environment” and a “History of Paper & Demographics.”
Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, the president-elect of the clerks association, said she and her staffers learned plenty at the seminars. “They were really well done,” she said.
A state senator on Monday praised Colorado’s 64 county clerks, saying they’re the reason Colorado is a “beacon of how elections should be done.”
“I really believe the county clerks are the rock stars of democracy,” said Denver Democrat Lois Court. “I know you all work your little tails off … and I salute you for everything you do.”
Court was one of three lawmakers honored by the Colorado County Clerks Association, which is holding its summer conference in Snowmass Village. The association also honored Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose, and Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, and presented an award to Logan County Attorney Alan Samber, for his work on a bill that involved land title registrations.
The Colorado County Clerks Association today honored an elections administrator known to greet challenging tasks with an “OK boss, we’ve got this” mantra.
Erin Hutchins was nominated for the Michelle Burton Excellence in Elections Service Award by her boss, La Plata County Clerk and Recorder Tiffany Parker.
“Erin’s passion for elections is profound. She loves the challenge and is always willing to take on more,” Parker wrote in her nominating letter to Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon, president of the clerks association.
The award honors “those who demonstrate love and extra devotion to the election process.” The other finalists were from Weld and Larimer counties.
“This year we are implementing a new recording system, election system and redistricting,” Parker wrote. “Erin is involved with all of these projects. She never complains about working additional hours or skipping lunch. She will say, ‘OK boss, we’ve got this!'”
The presentation was made at the Colorado County Clerks Association’s summer conference in Snowmass Village, which ends Wednesday.
An emotional Parker accepted the award for Hutchins, who was too busy to attend the conference.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams urged county clerks to voice their opinions next month after they view proposed regulations for allowing unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections without any restrictions.
The Secretary of State’s office earlier asked some clerks for their ideas on drafting rules to deal with Proposition 108, which voters approved last November. It allows unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections without affiliating with a party. The Secretary of State’s office is working on proposed regulations to be sent to clerks in May.
“When you get the draft regulations, please review them,” Williams said. “Please let us know if something works or if something doesn’t work. I need both of those.”
Williams on Friday spoke to clerks and their staffs who gathered at the western region clerks’ conference in Rifle.