“A large swath of the U.S. viewed the totality of the solar eclipse last year, and here at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, our accomplishments in 2017 eclipsed all previous years,” Johnson said in news release issued today.
“With the incredible growth in Denver, we’ve seized opportunities to lead the way in elections, records preservation, marriages and bringing our services directly to you.”
How do you come up with costumes when the theme of your conference is the nebulous “change?”
Well, the Pitkin County clerk and recorder’s office focused on the changing seasons in one of the most picturesque locales in Colorado. For that effort, Pitkin County Clerk Janice Vos Caudill and her staff Thursday night won a costume contest at the Colorado County Clerks Association’s winter conference.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams joined the Pitkin staff in modeling hats based on the five seasons.
Yes, five. Williams wore the hat for “mud” season, you know, “the window of time between when the ski resorts close and when the summer activities pick up again.” With melting snow, there’s lots of mud.
There even was a brief wardrobe malfunction. The string on Williams’ hat broke before the contest started, and Vos Caudill enlisted a project manager with the Colorado Department of Revenue to fix it.
“I told Wayne’s wife (Holly), ‘I hope you don’t mind us dragging him through the mud — season,'” Vos Caudill said. “Wayne was so much fun.”
Maria Elena Ramirez was, in her own words, “a welfare mom” who lived in public housing and received food stamps and a variety of other government benefits.
Until one day when she decided it was time to go in a different direction. She applied for a job with the state of Colorado, and interviewed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office on July 14, 1999.
That was the same day Secretary of State Vikki Buckley, another welfare mom who worked herself out of poverty, died of a heart attack.
Ramirez began working for the Secretary of State on Aug. 2, 1999.
“I learned I could support me and my kids,” Ramirez said. “I became independent.”
Countless calls — and six secretaries of state later — she is calling it quits. Today is her last day. Ramirez has four children, ages 31 to 24, and five grandchildren, but she’s not stepping down to spend more time with them, at least not right away.
“I turned 50 last year,” she said. “It’s time to do something for me. So I’m heading to the East Coast.”
The Colorado Secretary of State’s office this year celebrated its 10th anniversary of training election officials to ensure uniformity in administering elections and interpreting laws and rules.
To commemorate the occasion, the 48 people who completed their certification that year and still maintain their status and work in elections will be recognized next week at the Colorado County Clerks Association summer meeting. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams will present 10-year pins to the recipients.
The Colorado Election Official Certification program began shortly after the passage of the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA. Then-Secretary of State Donetta Davidson recognized the need for better training and education of Colorado election officials.
“Our program keeps getting better,” SOS Deputy Elections Director Hilary Rudy said. “We’ve really upped the bar to make it a good, effective, professional program. And that’s largely from the feedback we’ve received over the years from the clerks and their staffs who attend the training.”
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams has been elected to serve on the executive committee of the National Secretaries of State.
Williams took over as the western region vice president at NASS’s summer conference this month in Nashville. At the same time, Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill became president of the association, the nation’s oldest nonpartisan professional organization for state officials. Her term ends next July.
“Secretaries of State ensure that our nation’s voters and businesses can easily participate in our political process and our economy,” Williams said. ” As a new secretary of state, I’m honored to serve as vice president and I look forward to continuing to share Colorado’s ideas with my colleagues and to continue to learn from them.”
Williams wasn’t the only Colorado secretary of state staffer taking the oath of office in Nashville.
Deanna Maiolo was elected secretary-treasurer of the Administrative Codes and Registers, or ACR, which is a section of NASS.
And Judd Choate, state elections director for Colorado, is president-elect of the National Association of State Election Directors, or NASED. He oversaw the NASED meeting in Nashville because the president, from New York, was unable to attend.