Honoring Douglas County’s Sheri Davis

Judd Choate, elections director at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, Sheri Davis with the Douglas County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, and Secretary of State Wayne Williams. Davis, who used to see oversee elections, was recognized by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday for 20 years of service. (SOS photo)

Sheri Davis celebrated 20 years of service as a Douglas County clerk and recorder employee in a ceremony Tuesday that attracted a ring of admirers, including Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

During her tenure, Davis worked in recording, then elections and now is overseeing Motor Vehicles.

Williams told the Douglas County Board of Commissioners that when he served as the El Paso County clerk and recorder his office often turned to Davis, the elections manager, “to find out what made sense, what looked like it was going to work.” That partnership continued when he became secretary of state in 2015.

Sheri Davis, who has worked for Douglas county government for 20 years, and her current boss, Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz. (SOS photo)

“Thank you Sheri for all of your work. Thank you for making it so that I never had to worry, so that I could just call and say ‘Hey, had a question about this,’ and to know that when you said, ‘Yes, things are going fine,’ that that meant they absolutely were,” Williams said. “I appreciate your great work.”

Douglas County commissioners recognize employees’ years of service in five-year increments. It was Davis’ first time to appear before the board during her recognition.

“Wow, my head just really grew,” Davis told those gathered at the Douglas County board room. “I have a passion for serving the citizens of Douglas County and I hope to be able to continue to do that for a few more years. I do appreciate all the support I’ve received over the years.”

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$52 per vote? County clerks explore changing early-voting requirements

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams addresses the Bipartisan Election Advisory Commission on Tuesday, which discussed early-voting requirements. Seated at the table are other commission members, including from left to right Aurora City Clerk Karen Goldman, Sen.-elect Dominic Moreno, D-Commerce City, and Steve House, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams addresses the Bipartisan Election Advisory Commission on Tuesday, which discussed early-voting requirements. Seated at the table are other commission members, from left to right, Aurora City Clerk Karen Goldman, Sen.-elect Dominic Moreno, D-Commerce City, and Steve House, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. Behind Moreno is Douglas County Clerk Merlin Klotz. (SOS photo)

Colorado’s county clerks want some leeway when it comes to providing early-voting locations during general elections because of costs, the turnout and the difficulty in securing locations and judges.

Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane said the data suggests the first week could be eliminated – his county spent $52 per vote over those six days. But he said one option for Arapahoe might be reducing locations for that first week from 11 to just the clerk’s office and the four Motor Vehicle offices.

Martha Tierney, the attorney for the Colorado Democratic Party and a commission member, opposed the reductions.

“We saw two- and three-hour lines (on Election Day),” she said. “Let’s not forget that.”

The discussion about polling centers was the lone topic of discussion Tuesday at the fourth meeting of the Bipartisan Election Advisory Commission, which was created by Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with support from legislators and others concerned with elections. The goal of the commission is to come up with solutions to fix election problems identified by Williams, his staff and others.

Williams told the group that he believes the data “clearly shows” that the present number of sites is excessive, but he doesn’t think the first week should be eliminated.

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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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