Godspeed, Jerome Lovato. The Colorado SOS will miss you.

Aspen County Clerk Janice Vos Caudill, left, and her elections applications administrator, Greg McPherson, right, flank Jerome Lovato, with the Colorado Secretary of State’s election staff during training in Rifle in April. Today is Lovato’s last day with the Secretary of State’s office. (SOS photo)

A decade ago, Jerome Lovato entered into a two-week contract to retest voting systems for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. That turned into a career in the Elections Division that will take another twist Monday when he begins work with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

“Professionally,” Lovato said, “it’s a great opportunity.”

But uprooting the family from his native Colorado to Maryland is a bit unsettling, he said. So is leaving the the folks he has worked with at the Secretary of State’s office, particularly Danny Casias, Jessi Romero and Dwight Shellman.

“It was the best team I have ever worked with and I am grateful to have been a part of this team,” Lovato wrote in an e-mail today, his last day, to the entire SOS staff. “I am blessed to have been able to work here, and am proud of what we have accomplished over the past 10 years. Thank you to all who have contributed to my personal and professional development. God bless.”

The feeling is mutual, as you can tell by these tweets from Shellman, the SOS’ county support manager:

Read moreGodspeed, Jerome Lovato. The Colorado SOS will miss you.

Colorado election officials stand out at national conference

Colorado’s election officials racked up the awards at this year’s Election Center conference, which was held in California. From left to right: Arapahoe County Elections Director Jennifer Morrell, Denver Elections’ Amanda Beach, the voter records manager, Amber McReynolds, director of Denver Elections, El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman and Denver County Clerk Debra Johnson.

By Lizzie Stephani

Colorado election officials shone at the Election Center’s 33rd national conference, winning several prestigious awards and gaining certification or re-certification as election administrators.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams, as well as members of various clerks’ offices,  attended the conference in Garden Grove, Calif., which ended Wednesday.

“Colorado’s county clerks have one of the highest participation rates in the Election Center and it was exciting to see Colorado’s clerks win awards and their staffers graduate at this year’s national conference,” Williams said. “Colorado won three of the 10 awards that were handed out.”

El Paso and Denver counties, and the Colorado County Clerks Association were recognized for their work in serving their voters with professional best practices.

Read moreColorado election officials stand out at national conference

Hard work, hackers & hikers — Here’s to the Colorado clerks conference

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks to Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico and Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers at the Colorado County Clerks Association Conference in Snowmass Village. (SOS photo)

By Lynn Bartels and Julia Sunny

Colorado’s county clerks and their staffs learned about election security and costs, Motor Vehicle registration kiosks and privacy vs. public access from a stakeholder’s viewpoint at their conference in Snowmass Village this week.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams addressed the Colorado County Clerks Association on Tuesday, outlining legislation his office advocated for, the state’s leading status when it comes to voter turnout and registration, and future training to learn about election audits.

“Let me tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to work with you and how much I and my staff appreciate your … commitment to ensuring that our elections are run with integrity,” Williams said.

Top officials with the Colorado County Clerks Association include Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, the president-elect, executive director Pam Anderson, and Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon, the CCCA president. (SOS photo)

Pam Anderson, the former Jefferson County clerk and the executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association, said 54 of the state’s 64 county clerk offices sent representatives to the summer conference.

County clerks have a variety of responsibilities, from elections to motor vehicles to recording documents, such as marriage licenses and titles.

The titles of the conferences over the three-day workshop reflected that: “Creative Solutions for Long Lines,” “Election Integrity in the Current Political & Media Environment” and a “History of Paper & Demographics.”

Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, the president-elect of the clerks association, said she and her staffers learned plenty at the seminars. “They were really well done,” she said.

Read moreHard work, hackers & hikers — Here’s to the Colorado clerks conference

Colorado’s state elections director rises to NASED president

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his elections director, Judd Choate, in Washington, D.C. (SOS photo)

Colorado’s state elections director, Judd Choate, was sworn in Thursday night as president of the National Association of State Election Directors.

When administering the oath, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talked about Choate’s unrelenting commitment to his beloved University of Kansas basketball team. Williams assured onlookers that Choate would apply that same passion toward his leadership of the organization and its goal for elections excellence.

Among those in the crowd: Matt Masterson, one of three commissioners with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

“Thanks to the leadership of Secretary Williams and Judd Choate,  Colorado is a national leader in elections,” Masterson said. “As president of the State Election Directors, Judd will have a platform to lead and share the great work done in Colorado.”

The organization, referred to as Nass-ed, holds its winter conference in Washington, D.C., at the same time the National Association of Secretaries of State meets.

“Election directors can adopt policies to increase voter turnout,” Choate said. “I hope to use my year as president to encourage the adoption of these policies.”

Wayne Williams in Washington: senators, space & secretaries of state

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, visits Wednesday with Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, at Bennet’s office in D.C. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams participated in a variety of events today, including a visit with U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, as the National Association of Secretaries of State winter conference kicked off in Washington, D.C.

Williams, who is NASS’ vice president for the Western region, was part of a panel mentoring secretaries of state elected in November. Williams has been paired  with Maggie Toulouse Oliver of New Mexico.

Williams on Friday will participate in a NASS panel looking at voter trust and confidence in elections.

“It is always good to meet with my counterparts across the nation to share ‘lessons learned,’ particularly after the closely watched 2016 presidential election,” Williams said.

Read moreWayne Williams in Washington: senators, space & secretaries of state