Our county clerks: “Because I knew you I have been changed for good.”

Four of Colorado’s departing county clerks share a laugh at a clerks party Saturday night in the metro area. They are, from left to right, San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie, Moffat County Clerk Lila Herod, Otero County Clerk Sharon Sisnroy, and Broomfield’s Jim Candelarie. (SOS photo)

They laughed.

“I love my husband — we’ll be married 60 years next year. But I don’t know if I want to be home with him all the time,” said Faye Griffin, the outgoing clerk in Jefferson County.

They envied.

“I’ll miss you all when I’m sitting on a beach next November,” said Hillary Hall, Boulder County’s term-limited clerk and recorder.

Longtime Jefferson County elected official Clerk Faye Griffin and her husband Walter at a party Saturday for departing clerks. (SOS photo)

They cried.

“Colorado is the leader in elections. I’m so proud of that,” said Bent County’s longtime clerk, Patti Nickell.

Most of the state’s departing county clerks gathered Saturday night at the Melting Pot in Louisville, where they were feted by the Colorado County Clerks Association. Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, president of the CCCA, read a letter to her outgoing colleagues.

“Your commitment and sacrifice to your office, staff and citizens of your county is what public service is all about. The county clerk is the hub of the community for connection to their government, and with that came challenges, wonderful memories and a front seat for history,” she said.

“Please remember you will always be a part of us — that our shared experiences and mutual understanding will never dissipate.”

Read moreOur county clerks: “Because I knew you I have been changed for good.”

Secretary Williams teams up with FBI, CU Denver for cybersecurity event

FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and CU Denver Chancellor Dorothy Horrell addressed elected officials, candidates and others today before the start of a cybersecurity training exercise. (FBI photo)

Another day, another exercise on cybersecurity for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, this time teaming up with the Denver FBI office and the University of Colorado Denver.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams joined with FBI Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers and CU Denver Chancellor Dorothy Horrell today in welcoming elected officials and candidates to a training event at the Tivoli Turnhalle. The half day seminar was designed to help them maintain a posture of awareness and protect themselves from cyber intrusion.

Among those at today’s cybersecurity event put on by the FBI and the Colorado Secretary of State’s office were Fremont County Deputy Clerk Dotty Gardunio and elections director Jami Goff. Behind them are the SOS’ chief information security officer Rich Schliep and Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (SOS photo)

“We have with us today candidates, parties, and others because cybersecurity isn’t just limited to the actual election process,” Williams said, in his introduction.

“For a lot of individuals, when they hear a report of a hack, they don’t distinguish between the ballot and information that might have been obtained about a candidate or a party. So I appreciate your willingness to be here, your willingness to participate and, frankly, your willingness to actually show leadership in this area.”

Among those at Monday’s exercise were Martha Tierney, the attorney for the Colorado Democratic Party, Pam Anderson, executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association, and Tom Lucero, a former member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents.

Read moreSecretary Williams teams up with FBI, CU Denver for cybersecurity event

Colorado’s county clerks contend with democracy and DRIVES

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams joined three members of the Arapahoe County Clerk’s office for a scenic photo outside the Salida SteamPlant where the Colorado County Clerks Association held its summer conference Aug. 20-22. From left to right, Williams, spokeswoman Haley McKean, Clerk Matt Crane and election manager Todd Davidson. (SOS photo)

Colorado’s county clerks gathered in Salida for their summer conference, combining educational workshops on various topics, such as election security, with lighthearted events, including visiting an arcade.

For some, the Colorado County Clerks Association conference was a bittersweet experience — more than one-fourth of the 64 county clerks will run their last election on Nov. 6. Some have decades of experience and have decided it is time to retire, others are term limited or choose not to stay in office.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, back row, left, mingles with county clerks at the opening night reception for the clerks summer conference in Salida Aug. 20-22. Front row: Lincoln County’s Corrine Lengel, Yuma County’s Bev Wenger, and Baca County’s Sharon Dubois. Back row, Williams, Logan County’s Pam Bacon and Adams County’s Stan Martin. (SOS photo)

“Working in the clerk’s office has been a wonderful, exciting ride,” said Moffat County Clerk Lila Herod, who began in 1989, eventually was elected clerk and now is term limited.

“I have been truly blessed to serve the citizens of Moffat County and to be in the company of the smartest, most dedicated, hardworking people in the world.”

Secretary of State Wayne Williams updated clerks on a variety of topics his office is handling.

“I served as El Paso County’s clerk and recorder so I understand what our clerks go through. They don’t just run elections. They record documents and register vehicles and more,” Williams said. “Our office is here to help them in any way we can.”

The clerks praised Williams and his staff for their efforts.

Read moreColorado’s county clerks contend with democracy and DRIVES

Secretary Williams honors Salida’s Elks Lodge before clerks play bingo

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams thanks the Elks Lodge in Salida for hosting the Colorado County Clerks Association summer conference for a night of bingo, and congratulates the organization on its 150th anniversary. With him are, left, Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, and right, Brandi Pugh, the exalted ruler of the Salida lodge. (SOS photo)

With snacks by their sides and daubers in their hands, the Colorado County Clerks Association was ready to play some bingo Tuesday night at the Elks Lodge in Salida.

But before the action began, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams took center stage with Brandi Pugh, the exalted ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge No. 808. Williams thanked the Elks for hosting the clerks for an evening of bingo, and he paid tribute to the Elks, which last month celebrated its 150th anniversary.

The Secretary of State’s office oversees bingos and raffles and charities.

“I admire your organization for its commitment to helping others,” said Williams, who read a letter listing the many ways the Elks contribute to their communities.

Pugh was equally complimentary.

“It was a great night,” she said. “Wayne is an awesome guy and everyone seemed to have a ton of fun.”

Among those enjoying himself was Dwight Shellman, the secretary of state’s county support manager, who offered his own brand of play-by-play via Twitter.

Read moreSecretary Williams honors Salida’s Elks Lodge before clerks play bingo

Hail to the “Chief,” Adams County’s Christi Coburn

Christi Coburn, second from right, the elections administrator for Adams County Clerk Stan Martin, right, this week received an award from the Colorado County Clerks Association. Also pictured are Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Pam Anderson, the executive director of the clerks group, state elections director Judd Choate, and Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, president of CCAA. The backdrop features a picture of the Steam Plant in Salida. (SOS photo)

Christi Coburn’s election experience spans five secretaries of state and five county clerks, and this week she was honored by the Colorado County Clerks Association for her efforts.

Coburn received the Michelle Burton Excellence in Elections Service Award. She was nominated by her boss, Adams County Clerk Stan Martin.

“Christi has shown time again her dedication to the voters, to the integrity of the entire elections process  and to my staff,” Martin said. “She has been instrumental in transforming our organization for the better and improving staff morale and our organization processes.”

Her colleagues, he said, call Coburn “Chief.”

The Michelle Burton award honors “those who demonstrate love and extra devotion to the election process.” The other finalists were Jami Goff from Fremont County and Jenny Thomas from Routt County. Both run their county’s elections.

Read moreHail to the “Chief,” Adams County’s Christi Coburn