The people of Puerto Rico have a special place in their hearts for Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams after Williams co-sponsored a resolution supporting the island’s effort toward statehood.
That’s the word from Puerto Rico’s secretary of state, Luis Rivera Marín, after the National Association of Secretaries of State voted in support of the resolution at its winter conference in Washington, D.C., this week.
The vote on Monday followed a debate where some secretaries said NASS had no business getting involved in Puerto Rico’s quest for statehood.
“I’m so grateful for Secretary Williams’ support for the people of Puerto Rico,” Marín said. “His support has been outstanding and all of the people of Puerto Rico are really grateful for that.”
The two secretaries of state waged a friendly bet beforehand: Each would make a $50 donation to a local food bank in the name of the winning team.
“Just make that check out in honor of Marshall Thundering Herd. Send photos — you’ll be a hero in Huntington,” Warner texted Williams afterward. “Then, even you can say, ‘We are all MARSHALL!’”
So Williams got a tiny taste of his own medicine. Two years ago at NASS’ winter conference in D.C., Williams showed up in a Denver Broncos T-shirt, fresh from watching the Super Bowl parade right outside his office in Denver. He wore some kind of Broncos paraphernalia for three straight days.
The secretary of state who had to grin and bear it was North Carolina’s Elaine Marshall. She and Williams also had made a food-bank wager.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his deputy, Suzanne Staiert, made media appearances as part of NVRD and some election offices, such as Arapahoe, El Paso and Denver counties, hosted registration events.
In all, 953 people registered to vote in Colorado on Sept. 26, according to Secretary of State data released Monday. Of that, 454 registered as unaffiliated, 285 as Democrat, 190 as Republican and the rest were third-party members. The five top counties with the most registrants were:
El Paso: 139
In addition, Boulder County registered 63 people and Adams and Douglas counties each registered 61.
The National Association of Secretaries of State in 2012 designated September as National Voter Registration Month with the fourth Tuesday in September set as National Voter Registration Day to encourage voter participation and increase awareness about state requirements and deadlines for voting.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams handed out tins of Enstrom Candies this week when visiting Taiwanese dignitaries as part of an international trade mission to Asia.
Williams is the western region vice president for the National Association of Secretaries of State. He was joined on the trip by three other secretaries of state: Tom Schedler of Louisiana, Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky and Mac Warner of West Virginia.
“The challenge with bringing Enstrom’s is that my fellow secretaries are tempted to eat it instead of giving it as a gift to our hosts,” Williams joked.
The Grand Junction-based company is known for its mouth-watering toffee. The candy is always a hit on Valentine’s Day at the Colorado Capitol.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams believes the hyper scrutiny over elections these days can actually be a good thing so officials have time to make changes before the next general election to increase voter confidence in the system.
“People need to have confidence that their election officials are doing everything they can to maintain the integrity of the election,” Williams said. “We have to be able to respond, to say, ‘We hear the problem, we’re addressing it. And we’re trying to make sure the process has that integrity so that people believe their vote is going to count.'”
Williams served as one of six members on a panel during the National Associations of Secretaries of State winter conference last week in Washington, D.C., that examined the public’s trust and confidence in elections.
“I can say without question this was the best run federal election I have ever seen,” said panelist David Becker, the executive director for the Center for Election Innovation and Research.