Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams credited an attorney in private practice with a commitment to public service and a government official willing to listen for turning the office into a national model.
Williams said it wasn’t until he was sworn into office in January and then started meeting with secretaries of state across the country that he realized just how much further ahead Colorado is.
He presented awards from the National Association of Secretaries of State to attorney John Moye and former Secretary of State Donetta Davidson in a ceremony that saw former and current elected officials show up to pay tribute. The NASS Medallions are given to those who make a difference.
“John, I couldn’t have shared this day with anybody any better than you,” Davidson said.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams squeezed in a visit with Pitkin County Clerk Janice Vos Caudill and her staff when he attended an elections seminar in Aspen sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Pew convened a bipartisan group of about 20 current and former secretaries of state to discuss challenges and opportunities to improve election administration in 2016 and beyond.
“The overall goal of Pew’s Election Initiatives team is to help election officials improve the cost-effectiveness, efficiency, accuracy, and convenience of elections,” said David Becker, director of elections initiatives for Pew. “We will be following up with several states about ways we can help them consider new technologies and ways in which better data may assist their efforts.”
Williams said that sharing “challenges and solutions” with both Republican and Democrat secretaries of state is “beneficial and interesting.”
Williams, who took office in January, headed for Aspen on Monday and left Tuesday with three secretaries of state whose flights out of Aspen had been canceled because of a snowstorm. Before taking off, he talked to the Pitkin County commissioners and the clerk’s office.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams today thanked the eight counties that served as “guinea pigs” and tested new equipment in the Nov. 3 election — equipment the state is considering selecting before the 2016 presidential election.
“I wanted to say ‘thank you’ to a lot of folks because this has not been an easy project,” Williams said.
“I wanted to say thank you to … all the clerks and their staffs who said, ‘Yes, we will be guinea pigs.’ And it was not an easy thing to say, ‘We’re running an election and we’re going to try out completely new stuff and we’re going to have all these people watching us,'” Williams said.
“It’s important fiscally for the counties that have to make these purchases that we make good selections. (The machines) don’t just serve us today, but serve us in the future as well.”
He also thanked his staff and members of the Pilot Election Review Committee prior to presentations from county clerks and their staffs. The county workers all made a pitch for the committee to recommend to the secretary to select the equipment they tested during the election, although they also discussed weakness they spotted and features that need to be improved.