All about U — Thanks, firefighters

The La Plata County clerk and recorder’s wooden U is a reflection of the county’s trying times.

La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Parker and her elections director Erin Hutchins were stumped on how to decorate their wooden U but, sadly, Mother Nature inspired them.

The 416 Fire has ravaged the Durango area and other parts of southwestern Colorado, burning more than 34,000 acres. Displaced La Plata County voters were told they could pick up their ballots at the post office. Rain helped slow the fire’s spread but now voters impacted by flooding also are being sent to the post office.

Hutchins’ husband, Denver Hutchins, handled the wood burning, including the official firefighters logo, the burn marks between the U legs, the name of the blaze, the  “416 fire” and the date it started, June 1.

“When the fire is out, Denver will inscribe that date on it, too,” Parker said.

Secretary Wayne Williams is handing out the U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to educate unaffiliated voters that they can participate in the June 26 primary election, but they can only vote one ballot. The campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.

At least every week day between now and the June 26 primary the Secretary of State’s office will highlight a wooden U or two. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.

La Plata elections director wins county clerks’ award

With county clerks standing behind her, La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Parker reads her letter nominating her elections director, Erin Hutchins, for an award from the Colorado County Clerks Association. (SOS photo)

The Colorado County Clerks Association today honored an elections administrator known to greet challenging tasks with an “OK boss, we’ve got this” mantra.

Erin Hutchins was nominated for the Michelle Burton Excellence in Elections Service Award by her boss, La Plata County Clerk and Recorder Tiffany Parker.

“Erin’s passion for elections is profound. She loves the challenge and is always willing to take on more,” Parker wrote in her nominating letter to Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon, president of the clerks association.

Erin Hutchins.

The award honors “those who demonstrate love and extra devotion to the election process.” The other finalists were from Weld and Larimer counties.

“This year we are implementing a new recording system, election system and redistricting,” Parker wrote. “Erin is involved with all of these projects. She never complains about working additional hours or skipping lunch. She will say, ‘OK boss, we’ve got this!'”

The presentation was made at the Colorado County Clerks Association’s summer conference in Snowmass Village, which ends Wednesday.

An emotional Parker accepted the award for Hutchins, who was too busy to attend the conference.

Read moreLa Plata elections director wins county clerks’ award