Douglas County program: “A shining example to the rest of the state”

Douglas County Clerk Melvin Klotz, his predecessor, Jack Arrowsmith, Douglas County elections director Sheri Davis, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Douglas County School Board President Meghann Silverthorn at a board work session Tuesday night in Castle Rock. The election officials presented the board with an award for allowing high schools to partner with elections. (SOS photo)
Douglas County Clerk Melvin Klotz, his predecessor, Jack Arrowsmith, Douglas County elections director Sheri Davis, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Douglas County School Board President Meghann Silverthorn at a board work session Tuesday night in Castle Rock. The election officials presented the board with an award for allowing high schools to partner with elections. (SOS photo)

The Douglas County School District’s impressive program that uses high schools as voting centers and students as election judges grew out of frustration with the 2006 election.

That year, voters in Douglas — and Denver County — stood in long lines for hours or skipped voting.

Jack Arrowsmith, sworn in as Douglas County clerk and recorder in 2007, said a review of what went wrong determined in part the county needed better polling locations and a variety of election judges.

“Sometimes out of adversity, really good things happen,” Arrowsmith told the Douglas County Board of Education at its work study session Tuesday night.

Arrowsmith was part of a delegation of officials that presented the Board of Education with a NASS Medallion award from the National Association of Secretaries of State for “its leadership and determination in making available facilities for polling places.”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams told the board that one county clerk wanted to install a ballot drop box outside a state-owned community college, but was turned way.

“They response they got was, ‘That’s not part of our mission,’” he said. “So I’m here to say, ‘Thank you for recognizing it is part of your mission.’”

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