Secretary of State Wayne Williams wanders West

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Dolores County Clerk LaRita Randolph holding an antique ballot box. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams headed out to the westernmost part of the state to visit Dolores County Clerk LaRita Randolph as part of his effort to visit all 64 county clerks at least once every two years.

“I made the commitment that I was going to make an elections-related visit to every county, every two years,” Williams said. “I made a job commitment, not a political commitment.”

Like Williams, Randolph will be leaving office in January. The two discussed what lies ahead while reflecting on a successful midterm election.

“We were comparing notes about what life holds in the next few months, and of course, we talked about the election that we just went through and how we are glad Colorado is cutting edge and everything went smoothly,” Randolph said.

Randolph and her staff completed their risk-limiting audit yesterday with “flying colors,” according to Williams.

This was the first year Dolores County used Dominion Voting Systems. Randolph reported a seamless transition towards more tech-savvy election administration. She especially appreciated the Dominion adjudication feature, which allows for election judges to interpret ballots with unclear markings and digitally records the judge’s decision to count the ballot.

“It saves the judges so much work,” she said. “So I couldn’t be more pleased with the Dominion product.”

Dolores County had a turnout that rivaled the 2016 general election. Randolph was able to report the results 12 minutes after the polls closed on election night. The county had two contested local races, one of which was the clerk’s race.

Lana Hancock, municipal clerk for the town of Dolores, will take over as the Dolores County Clerk and Recorder in January.

“She will be fresh to this office. She will have a lot to learn, but she’s bringing a lot of experience with her just in the municipal clerk side,” Randolph said.

Randolph hopes that Hancock will continue to bolster the county’s election security and attend trainings like EPIC, which was held in September to prepare clerks for the upcoming midterms.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams heads way out West

Dolores County Clerk LaRita Randolph points to her great grandfather in this picture of Colorado's county commissioners at a 1941 conference. She found the photo at an antique shop in Springfield and instantly recognized her relative, the one with "big ears and a big nose."
Dolores County Clerk LaRita Randolph points to her great grandfather in this picture of Colorado’s county commissioners at a 1941 conference. Roy West was a Dolores County commissioner. Randolph found the photo at an antique shop in Springfield and instantly recognized her relative, the one with “big ears and a big nose.”

When Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams showed up in remote Dove Creek on Friday morning, folks asked him if he was running for office.

Yes, but not until 2018 when he is seeking a second term. Williams arrived in Dove Creek in 2016 to visit Dolores County Clerk LaRita Randolph and her two staffers as part of his effort to visit all county clerks in their offices.

Her office in the Dolores County Courthouse features a huge picture window and a view of the Abajo or Blue Mountains in Utah — the state line is only eight miles west. Visitors frequently comment on the sight, but there’s not much else to praise about the courthouse, which was constructed in 1953, Randolph said.

“It’s old enough to be crappy but not old enough to be cool looking,” she said. “It’s that mid-century yuck.”

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