Colorado county clerks, staffs hear moving tribute by a true hero

Medal of Honor recipient Salvatore Giunta signs books for attendees at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference Tuesday,
Medal of Honor recipient Salvatore Giunta signs books for attendees at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference Tuesday,

The first living recipient of the Medal of Honor in almost four decades held county clerks and their staffs “spellbound” Tuesday when he talked to them about his journey as a “sandwich artist” working at a Subway in Iowa to a mountainside in Afghanistan to a ceremony at the White House.

Former Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta touted the men who were with him that fateful day in 2007 that claimed the lives of two men, including a close friend.

“We Americans do not go to war to fight because we … hate our enemies. We go to war and we fight because we love our homes, we love this country so much it’s worth leaving everything and preserving what we have here,” he said.

His speech — filled with honor, humility and humor — was a high point of the Colorado County Clerks Association conference, which began Monday and ended today.

“I was absolutely spellbound,” said Tina Fry, Routt County’s chief deputy clerk.

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Secretary Wayne Williams to honor election-training veterans

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Archuelta County Clerk June Madrid.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Archuelta County Clerk June Madrid during a visit in March. Madrid is one of 48 clerks and election staffers who began election training a decade ago and will be recognized next week.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office this year celebrated its 10th anniversary of training election officials to ensure uniformity in administering elections and interpreting laws and rules.

To commemorate the occasion, the 48 people who completed their certification that year and still maintain their status and work in elections will be recognized next week at the Colorado County Clerks Association summer meeting. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams will present 10-year pins to the recipients.

The Colorado Election Official Certification program began shortly after the passage of the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA. Then-Secretary of State Donetta Davidson recognized the need for better training and education of Colorado election officials.

“Our program keeps getting better,” SOS Deputy Elections Director Hilary Rudy said. “We’ve really upped the bar to make it a good, effective, professional program. And that’s largely from the feedback we’ve received over the years from the clerks and their staffs who attend the training.”

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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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Jon Keyser’s term limits pledge

The GOP U.S. Senate ballot in the June 28 primary election.
The GOP U.S. Senate ballot in the June 28 primary election.

A phrase under Jon Keyser’s name on the primary ballot for Republican U.S. Senate candidates is causing consternation among some voters.

It reads: “Signed declaration to limit service to no more than 2 terms.”

“Pretty blatant campaigning ON THE BALLOT,” one voter remarked to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

“Electioneering,” one woman complained to the elections staff.

“No,” she was told. “We’re just following the constitution.”

Coloradans in 1998 approved a constitutional amendment allowing candidates who want to choose voluntary congressional term limits to declare so on the ballot and on their election materials.

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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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