CLASS ACT: learning provided by the Colorado County Clerks Association

Two Colorado Secretary of State staffers, Trevor Timmons, the chief information officer, and Rich Schliep, the chief security officer, talk with Prowers County Clerk Jana Coen about security breaches during the Colorado County Clerks Association conference in Snowmass Village last week. (SOS photo)

Think of it as a kind of summer school for county clerks and their staffs.

A seminar about a program that allows survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking to purchase homes and file those records with county clerks without revealing their location.

Workshops on the Russians and election security.

And a class on election costs and reimbursements.

That’s some of what the Colorado County Clerks Association summer conference offered to attendees at the Westin in Snowmass Village last week.

“I learned a lot,” said Otero County Clerk and Recorder Sharon Sisnroy.

The county will be getting a new system for Motor Vehicle records and will handle property records differently, in addition to needing to educate unaffiliated voters who will automatically receive ballots in the mail for next year’s primary election.

“There’s a lot going on next year so I guess I will be going out with a bang,” said Sisnroy, who has worked at the clerk’s office for 42 years and won’t seek re-election in 2018.

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Arapahoe County voter: “textbook perfect”

Chris Green praised Colorado's voting system after he had to change his registration.
Chris Green praised Colorado’s voting system after he had to change his registration.

Chris Green recently moved from Aurora to Centennial, changed his voter registration and left town for two weeks.

The 51-year-old said he had never moved so close to an election before so he was a little unsure how it would work out. But when he returned over the weekend he found his ballot in his mailbox, along with the “Blue Book” to help inform him how to vote on the ballot questions.

“I was also able to easily drive by a drop box at the Greenwood Village City Hall on my way to work this morning to submit my ballot in a matter of minutes,” he wrote in an e-mail Tuesday to the Colorado secretary of state.

Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane and his elections director, Jennifer Morrell, with one of their ballot envelopes.
Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane and his elections director, Jennifer Morrell, with one of their ballot envelopes.

“I am sure there will be numerous reports about issues with the system today. I wanted to take a moment to let you hear about an experience of one voter who thinks you got it right as you possibly could have for me.”

He called the situation “textbook perfect.”

“Nice to know things work like they are supposed to in spite of rumors to the contrary,” Green added.

It’s always nice to get positive feedback but the applause goes to Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane and his elections director, Jennifer Morrell.

Nevada’s secretary of state joins Wayne Williams for clerk tours

Arapahoe County Elections director Jennifer Morrell, takes Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske on a tour of the elections warehouse Monday. (SOS/Julia Sunny)
Arapahoe County Elections director Jennifer Morrell, takes Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske on a tour of the elections warehouse Monday. (SOS/Julia Sunny)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams teamed up with his counterpart from Nevada Monday to visit county clerks in Broomfield, Clear Creek and Arapahoe the day before the primary election.

Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske was interested in touring counties using the latest equipment from Dominion Voting Systems. Her state uses an older version. In all, 18 Colorado counties are using the new Dominion equipment this primary.

“It was fast but we got a lot in,” Cegavske said of the visit to the counties. “I’ve been making mental notes to myself of everything. We are grateful we were able to meet with the clerks and talk to them.”

On Sunday, Williams gave her a tour of one of his city’s most visited attractions — Garden of the Gods.

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Colorado county clerks call conferences “extremely rewarding”

San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference in Fort Collins this month.
San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference in Fort Collins this month.

By Keara Brosnan

Colorado county clerk and recorders say attending conferences with their back-to-back workshops can be taxing, but they are extremely rewarding.

“I have been to every one since being elected” in 2010, Clerk Kathleen Erie from San Miguel County said. “They play a huge role in keeping us all informed on best practices and law changes.”

The Colorado County Clerks Association hosts two statewide conferences annually. Clerks and their staffs also have the opportunity to attend regional training throughout the year sponsored the association and by Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office.

The clerks finished their winter conference in Fort Collins last week, which was hosted by Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers. The CCCA’s summer conference is in Arapahoe County Aug. 1-3 and will be hosted by Arapahoe Clerk Matt Crane.

Washington County Clerk Garland Wahl and Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey at the Colorado County Clerks Association meeting in Fort Collins.
Washington County Clerk Garland Wahl and Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey at the Colorado County Clerks Association meeting in Fort Collins.

“I have only been a clerk for about a year now, so this conference is valuable to network and learn so much from the other clerks,” said Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey

Other more seasoned county clerks had a similar response to the winter conference.

“I have been a clerk for 34 years now and I still learn so much new information coming to these conferences,” said Clerk Garland Wahl from Washington County. “Every conference is different and I always learn something new.”

The clerks also found time to compete in a lip sync competition.

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