SIPA: helping government go digital

Marybeth Van Horn accepted a $1,000 micro grant on behalf of the town of Moffat at an event Tuesday in Denver. With her are, left, Irv Halter, the director of the Department of Local Affairs, and to her right, Secretary of State Wayne Wiliams and state Sen. Dom Coram, R-Montrose. (SOS photo)
Jill Jolton, enterprise content management coordinator for the city of Arvada, and Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale. (SOS photo)

Government agencies big — the University of Colorado — and small — the town of Moffat, pop. 116 — rejoiced Tuesday night when accepting grants designed to help them put more information and services online.

CU received $3,000 to scan historic maps of the state published between 1880 and 1907 and put them online, and another $6,500 to digitize the state House and Senate journals back to the 1800s and make them available to the public.

The town of Moffat, located in Saguache County, received $1,000 to help update and maintain the town’s website.

“We are excited to use this SIPA grant to help increase communications, educate our citizens and create accessibility in our small rural community,” said Marybeth Van Horn of Moffat.

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Secretary Wayne Williams finds future and past in Little Rock

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in front of the iconic Little Rock Central High School.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams often tells the story of how the high school he attended once shut done rather than integrate, and during a technology conference in Arkansas this week he got to see where the public showdown first began.

At the conference, Williams also got to ride in a self-driving vehicle and heard from the “Elliot Ness of cyber crime.”

As for the school, a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling ordering the integration of public schools was met with hostility. In Little Rock, nine black students were denied entrance to all-white Central High School, forcing a very public conflict between President Eisenhower and the Arkansas governor.

Wayne Williams in high school.

At Warren High School in Virginia, where Williams graduated in 1981, the school board decided to close the school rather than allow blacks to attend, which is why there was no graduating Class of 1959.

Williams said the area was still mired in backward thinking when he first attended school, which created an economic decline in the town, which is why he first got involved in politics.

“When I was 17 years old I gathered a group of friends together and we passed out literature to everyone walking into a polling place,” Williams often tells young leaders. “And through that we were able to change the power in my area from one party to my party. So I understand the importance of youth involvement.”

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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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County clerks help Republicans, Democrats, tally assembly ballots

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams joins Elbert Clerk Dallas Schroeder, former Douglas Clerk Jack Arrowsmith, Arapahoe Clerk Matt Crane, Williams, Montrose Clerk Tressa Guynes and Weld Clerk Carly Koppes.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams joins Elbert Clerk Dallas Schroeder, former Douglas Clerk Jack Arrowsmith, Arapahoe Clerk Matt Crane, Williams, Montrose Clerk Tressa Guynes and Weld Clerk Carly Koppes.

El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman had plenty of help from fellow county clerks and his staff when counting ballots at the two-day Colorado Republican Party assembly.

It was Broerman who took the stage Saturday with GOP chairman Steve House, when House announced the stunning results of the U.S. Senate race. Of the eight candidates trying get on at the assembly by getting at least 30 percent of the delegate vote only one person, only El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, made it. Glenn kept everyone else off the ballot by getting 70 percent of the vote.

Nearly 14,500 ballots were processed during voting on Friday and Saturday for delegates, the U.S. Senate, CU regent and more.

The ballot for the Colorado Democratic assembly.
The ballot for the Colorado Democratic assembly.

Colorado Democrats are doing things differently when they meet this Saturday in Loveland.

Denver Elections has already  prepared the ballots for the party, but staffers won’t be in Loveland doing the counting. The ballots will be tabulated back at the main office site and the results released Monday by the Colorado Democratic Party, elections director Amber McReynolds said.

Democrats don’t have a scramble for a Senate candidate. The incumbent, Michael Bennet, is running again.

Denver also handled the election last year for the contentious race for chair of the state Democratic Party.

“County clerks provide support to ensure this important process is conducted properly,” said Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

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