Wayne Williams’ rock-star reception

Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks with elections judges working the Colorado Springs municipal election. To his left is Marguerite Terze. (SOS photo)

No one wonder Secretary of State Wayne Williams wanted to say “hi” to the folks working the upcoming Colorado Springs municipal election.

When Williams walked through the door of the room where the election judges were handling ballots, cries of “Hey, Wayne,” “Wayne!” and “Look who’s here!” greeted the Colorado Springs resident Wednesday.

Williams served as the El Paso County clerk and recorder for one term before being elected secretary of state in 2014.

Many of the local residents who work as election judges in county and state elections also volunteer to work in municipal elections, which is why there were so many familiar faces.

Judge Rich Schwarz also complimented Williams on the ease and transparency of the Secretary of State’s website and filing system. Schwarz  works with the bingo operation for the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale; the secretary of state oversees bingo.

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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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Secretary Wayne Williams visits Rio Grande County clerk

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visits with the Rio Grande County clerk and recorder's office. From left to right: Megan Gallegos, Williams, Michelle Montoya, Kathy Gonzales, Clerk Cindy Hill, Sherryl Steving, Matilda Quintana and Jake Mikeljack. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visits with the Rio Grande County clerk and recorder’s office. From left to right: Megan Gallegos, Williams, Michelle Montoya, Kathy Gonzales, Clerk Cindy Hill, Sherryl Steving, Matilda Quintana and Jake Mikeljack. (SOS photo)

By Keara Brosnan

Some county clerks struggle to find enough election judges, but Rio Grande County Clerk and Recorder Cindy Hill told Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams she isn’t one of them.

“Farmers’ wives make up a lot of the judges, which works out nicely because elections in the fall are different from harvest time,” Hill said.

Williams visited Del Norte this week and met with Hill and her staff as part of his goal to regularly check in with all 64 county clerks in their offices.

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