From the Secretary of State’s office to South Africa

Lizzie Stephani, an intern with the Colorado Secretary of State, and Robert Miller, a former U.S. attorney, at the investiture for Jason Dunn on Dec. 7. (SOS photo)

One of the many joys of my soon-to-be-over job as communications director for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office is working with interns, including Lizzie Stephani, who ended her internship in December and then departed for South Africa.

I’ve known very few people who have her curiosity and sense of adventure.

Want to go to Colorado Common Cause’s banquet? The swearing-in for Colorado’s new U.S. attorney Jason Dunn? Will you blog about Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ visit with Baca County Clerk Sharon Dubois and Dolores County Clerk LaRita Randolph? Can you attend the Sabor Latino event with Secretary Wayne Williams? Sure. Yes. I would love to. That will be really interesting, thanks for inviting me.

“Sabor attendee: Secretary Williams cares about our community,” the headline on Stephani’s blog read.

Now Stephani is writing her own blog about her adventures in South Africa.

Julia Sunny and Lizzie Stephani Julia at the Young Catholic Professionals Christmas party in RiNo. (SOS photo)

“I made it to South Africa! After 3 layovers, passing through 3 continents, and a few new friendships along the way, I have arrived. Isn’t it funny how, when you get a new place, you start really thinking about the last one?” she wrote.

“I am so full of gratitude for the people God placed into my life during the past five months I spent in Denver. Thank you to every person who was excited for this trip and offered an encouraging word.”

Stephani also gave a shout out to her immediate supervisor, Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert, my assistant, Julia Sunny, and to me!

“Lynn always gave me interesting work to do and key blogging experience to support my new blog venture! ” she wrote.

All about U: Secretary Williams

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his decorated U. (SOS photo)

Memorial Day is the perfect day to highlight Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ wooden U because it is focused on family, faith and freedom.

Williams is handing out the U’s as part of its UChooseCO campaign, which stresses to unaffiliated voters that they can’t vote both the Democratic and Republican ballots they will receive. They have to pick just one ballot. If they vote two, neither will count.

This is the first time in state history that unaffiliated voters, now the largest voting block in Colorado, can automatically participate in primary elections.

Voters approved the change in 2016 when they supported Proposition 108. The legislature authorized Williams to launch the campaign to educate unaffiliated voters amid concerns from county clerks, party officials and others that unaffiliated voters as well as Democrats and Republicans would be confused.

The other side of Secretary Wayne Williams’ wooden U.

Already, Democrats and Republicans are asking how Proposition 108 impacts them for the primary — it doesn’t.

The Secretary of State’s office contracted with Forté Advertising to target active unaffiliated voters with a mostly digital “UChoose” campaign, although some voters are receiving mailers. The campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.

Every day between now and the June 26 primary we will highlight a wooden U or two.

Recipients were asked to consider their values when decorating or to just have fun. Some clerks highlighted their counties. Williams’ staff,  primarily Julia Sunny in communications, decorated his U.

Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.

Plain or à la mode, it’s another fun day at the Secretary of State’s office


The Colorado Secretary of State’s video on pie/pi.

Cherry. Apple. Pumpkin. Pecan. Banana cream. Secretary of State employees rattled off names of their favorite pies on Tuesday, national Pi Day, held on March 14 because the date 3-14 contains the first three first digits in Pi.

Julia Sunny, the social medial coordinator for the Colorado Secretary of State. (SOS photo)

Of course, Secretary of State Wayne Williams could rattle off the Pi forumula with ease — he was a Truman Scholar after all. But others struggled, as documented in the first video by the office’s new social media coordinator, Julia Sunny.

After his 15 minutes of fame, Williams dined on apple pie and cheesecake, provided by the office’s Employee Relations Committee.

“Our Employee Relations Committee does a great job of putting together activities to help make this a good place to work,” Williams said.

“They’re providing pie for all the employees today so I look forward to visiting with my colleagues and enjoying some good-tasting pie.”

Deputy Elections Director Hilary Rudy and Chief of Staff Gary Zimmerman both liked their grandmothers’ pies. Ben Schler, the legal and internal operations manager for the elections division, likes his crust made with lots of butter. Schler and HR technician Wyatt Ryder prefer cheesecake over pie.

If you like pecan pie, you might want to skip my reference to it.

A text, not an app. Who knew? Not me.

Global Mobile President Jim Snyder, left, and CEO Lee Durham, right, flank Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at today’s National Association of Secretaries of State conference. (SOS photo)

One of my more memorable moments as the press person for Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams came last summer when I asked my intern to proofread a proposed release with the headline, “There’s an app for that.”

Julia Sunny scanned the release and said, “But it’s not an app.”

What? Sure it was. Coloradans could simply text the word “Colorado” or “CO” to “2Vote” (28683) on their smartphones, and then open the link to the SOS’ online voter registration and election information site.

“It has to be an app,” I said. “We recorded Wayne in a video talking about an app.”

“It’s not an app,” Sunny repeated.

I was reminded of that unfortunate moment today when I met Lee Durham, the chief executive officer of Global Mobile, a Georgia-based company that developed the texting service. Global Mobile execs were at National Association of Secretaries of State, which is holding its winter conference in Washington, D.C.

Read moreA text, not an app. Who knew? Not me.