Two Colorado counties receive election awards

Denver Clerk and Recorder Deb Johnson and Denver elections director Amber McReynolds rack up another award, this one from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. (Photo by Alton Dillard)

Two Colorado counties — Denver and El Paso — recently received awards for some of the best practices in election administration nationwide.

The annual “Clearie” awards recognize outstanding innovations in election administration that can serve as examples for other officials and jurisdictions to emulate.

This year’s award categories celebrate excellence in election innovations, voting accessibility and recruiting, training and retaining election workers, according to the Election Assistance Commission’s website.

Denver County Clerk Deb Johnson received the award for “Outstanding Innovations in Election Administration” for the launch of eSign, the first-in-the-nation mobile petition signing application, which interfaces with a voter database and keeps a running tally of signatures.

El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman speaks to voters through an interpreter during an open house at the Independence Centerin 2016 to show options for voters with disabilities. (El Paso County Clerk’s office)

El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman  received the award for “Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities” for its partnership with the Independence Center to host an open house for voters with disabilities to practice on accessible voting machines, provide etiquette training to over 200 election judges, and use a highly accessible center as a voter service and polling center.

“Once again, Colorado’s election officials are being recognized for their outstanding and innovative efforts when it comes to elections,” Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said. “I’m proud of them.”

Prior to the development of eSign, Denver candidates had to collect signatures on paper petitions, turn them into the Denver Elections Division and wait for them to be verified. Historically, 30-35 percent of those signatures were invalid, compared to just 1-3 percent of signatures collected using eSign.

“We are truly honored to receive the Clearie Award from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for our continued commitment to innovation,” said Amber McReynolds, director of elections for the City and County of Denver. “We continue to find new and creative ways to make elections processes more convenient for our customers and are grateful to the EAC for this recognition.”

Read moreTwo Colorado counties receive election awards

El Paso County leads in same-day voter registration

El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman talks to a solider waiting to vote at Fort Carson on Election Day. (EPC photo)
El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman talks to a solider waiting to vote at Fort Carson on Election Day. (EPC photo)

More Coloradans took advantage of Colorado’s same-day registration law in El Paso County than any other county in the state although Denver was close behind.

In all, 17,876 Coloradans registered to vote on Nov. 8. Of that, 2,587 were from El Paso County and 2,465 were from Denver County, according to data from the Colorado Secretary of State.

“We’re extremely happy that people were passionate enough to come out on Election Day,” said El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman.

He said El Paso County experienced long lines on Election Day and he and his staff distributed cookies, water and pizza to voters, some of whom didn’t get to cast their vote until around 10 p.m.

Read moreEl Paso County leads in same-day voter registration

El Paso County elections staff wins “Innovation Award”

The elections staff of the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder was honored with an "Innovations Award." County Clerk Chuck Broerman is in the front row on the left and elections manager Liz Olson is in the front right on the right.
The elections staff of the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder was honored with an “Innovation Award.” County Clerk Chuck Broerman is in the front row on the left and elections manager Liz Olson is in the front right on the right.

Here’s to the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s elections division, which recently was honored by the county with an “Innovation Award.

The El Paso County Board of Commissioners handed out three awards that recognized a new idea or process that resulted in a positive improvement in customer service.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the innovations our elections department implemented in 2015, which saved taxpayers $189,000 and improved the voter experience,” El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman said in a news release.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams served as the clerk and recorder before taking over the state post in 2015.

“I know first hand the great work done by the El Paso County elections staff,” Williams said. “I am delighted that the county has recognized their continued hard work.”

Read moreEl Paso County elections staff wins “Innovation Award”