Secretary Wayne Williams tells clerks in Rifle he knows they’re always busy

Secretary of State Wayne Williams with county clerks who attended regional training in Rifle last week. Back row, left to right: Pam Phipps, Clear Creek, Kathy Neel of Summit, Michelle Nauer of Ouray, the secretary of state, Tressa Guynes of Montrose and Boots Campbell of Rio Blanco. Front row, Sara Rosene of Grand Junction, Teri Stephenson of Delta, Kathleen Erie of San Miguel, Colleen Stewart of Gilpin, Janice Vos Caudill of Pitkin, and Ladonna Jaramillo of San Juan. (SOS photo)

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.

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Secretary Williams talks to clerks about voter fraud

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Wednesday address county clerks on the state’s eastern edge, who were meeting in Sterling for training. (SOS photo)

Check out staffer Julia Sunny’s video on the visit with county clerks from the eastern regional. As Kiowa County Clerk Delisa Weeks says, “We’re small, but we’re fun.” YouTube video.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams addressed the issue of voter fraud when he spoke to county clerks on the Eastern Plains Wednesday, warning them that in the coming months his office could be asking about certain constituents suspected of voting twice in the 2016 election.

“Some of you are aware there were accusations that there was rampant fraud in the elections. Some said there was no fraud,” Williams said. “The answer is somewhere in between.”

Colorado is part of a national months-long check of voter histories that flags the names of voters who appeared to have voted more than once.

“I anticipate there will be some people in Colorado who voted in multiple states. There are not tens of thousands of them. It did not change the result of the election,” Williams said.

“But there are elections that decided by a single vote. I presided over those elections as a county clerk. So we care about that issue. The message from us isn’t that vote fraud never occurs, but we make it difficult to occur and we help prosecute people when we find out about it.”

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Colorado’s 64 county clerks, “out there on the front lines”

Colorado Secretary Wayne Williams, third from left in the back row, and county clerks who attended a regional meeting this week in Cañon City. (SOS photo)

By Lynn Bartels and Julia Sunny

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams told county clerks at a regional gathering this week that his office is reviewing how to implement voter-approved ballot measures, including one that changes signature gathering for ballot proposals.

Amendment 71 requires that any new constitutional amendment pass with 55 percent of the vote instead of a simple majority. In addition, a percentage of the signatures to put the measure on the ballot must be gathered in all 35 Senate districts, which will change how the state reviews petitions to determine whether backers collected enough valid voter signatures.

Williams addressed a variety of topics, from early-voting requirements to ballot drop boxes, when he spoke Wednesday to clerks from the state’s southern region at their conference in Cañon City.

“Our job is to help you and to help the voters,” Williams told the clerks. “You’re the ones out there on the front lines.”

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Secretary Williams addresses county clerks, pledges support

Secretary of State Wayne Williams is flanked by Huerfano County Clerk Nancy Cruz and Baca County Clerk Sharon Dubois. (SOS photo)
Secretary of State Wayne Williams is flanked by Huerfano County Clerk Nancy Cruz and Baca County Clerk Sharon Dubois at the Colorado County Clerks Association winter conference in Colorado Springs. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams received a round of applause from county clerks and their staffs when he said he opposed the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to classify election systems as “critical infrastructure.”

“While we appreciate the support and the assistance we receive, I join many secretaries of state in saying that is not something the federal government needs to take over,” Williams said, in his his address to the Colorado County Clerks Association at its winter conference in Colorado Springs last week.

Denver Clerk Deb Johnson and Gary Zimmerman, chief of staff for the Colorado Secretary of State's office. (SOS photo)
Denver Clerk Deb Johnson and Gary Zimmerman, chief of staff for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams received a round of applause from county clerks and their staffs when he said he opposed the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to classify
He referred to a DHS decision in the waning days of President Obama’s administration because of security concerns over elections.

The secretary discussed a variety of topics, from 24-hour ballot boxes to repeated hacking claims raised during the 2016 election to two voter initiatives that will change how Colorado conducts primary elections and presidential primary elections. He urged clerks to keep in touch with their lawmakers, as elections issues will be debated during the ongoing session.

“We will continue to provide the support you need to make sure your elections go off well,” Williams said. “That’s my commitment to you as your secretary.”

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Logan County’s Pam Bacon to lead county clerks association

The clerks who are about to be sworn in as members of the Colorado County Clerks Association board enjoy a light-hearted moment. They are, left to right, Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, president elect; Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane; past president; Otero County Clerk Sharon Sisnroy, treasurer; Adams County Clerk Stan Martin, vice president; Pitkin County Clerk Janice Vos Caudill, secretary; Park County Clerk Deb Green, Southern region chair; Lincoln County Clerk Corinne Lengel, Eastern region chair; and El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman, Central regional chair. (SOS photo)
The clerks who are about to be sworn in as members of the Colorado County Clerks Association board enjoy a light-hearted moment. They are, left to right, Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane, Otero County Clerk Sharon Sisnroy, Adams County Clerk Stan Martin, Pitkin County Clerk Janice Vos Caudill, Park County Clerk Deb Green, Lincoln County Clerk Corinne Lengel and El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman. (SOS photo)

Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon will lead the Colorado County Clerks Association for the year, assisted by fellow clerks who will serve on CCCA board.

She took the oath of office from her predecessor, Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane, at the association’s winter conference in Colorado Springs last week.

Arapahoe County Matt Crane, right, administers the oath of office to Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon. (SOS photo)
Arapahoe County Matt Crane, right, administers the oath of office to Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon. (SOS photo)

“I accept the position of president of the CCCA with humility because I am sure it is not an easy task and I am certain that despite my best efforts, I will disappoint some of you sometimes,” Bacon said in her acceptance speech.

“My door is always open and I am only a phone call or e-mail away so feel free to reach out to me,” she said. “I recently told a clerk that we are all on the same team just in different zip codes and I do believe that. Our association is great at lending that helping hand or ear to a fellow clerk but we have to know your dilemma before we can extend that help.”

Bacon’s presidency comes as clerks and the legislature grapple with the implementation of two election-related ballot measures that voters passed in November.

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