Colorado election staffer witnesses historic Armenian election

Steve Bouey and his observation team partner, Magda, from Poland. (Steve Bouey photo)

Steve Bouey, the campaign finance manager for the Colorado Secretary of State, just completed travel to his 74th country.

Bouey felt right at home in Armenia. The altitude in the capital city of Yerevan is only 1,000 feet lower than that of Denver’s famous Mile High mark. And Armenia’s landscape is filled with mountains and picturesque forests.

As an observer for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Bouey has traveled abroad dozens of times and met hundreds of foreigners who are passionate about establishing and maintaining free and fair elections.

This was the first election of its kind in Armenia. A constitutional referendum approved in December 2015 changed the government from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary system.

Read more

Colorado Secretary of State staffer observes Ukraine elections

The scene in Kiev. (Bouey photo)
Maidan Square in central Kiev, site of the Euromaidan revolution in 2014. The placards to the right are memorials to protesters who were killed in the square. (Steve Bouey photo)

By Keara Brosnan

Colorado’s Secretary of State’s campaign finance manager Steve Bouey traveled across the world to witness Ukraine’s first local elections in five years.

Previously, political parties appointed local officials.

“Ukraine is obviously an interesting place,” Bouey said. “The whole eastern half of the country is under rebel control and they want to secede and join Russia and Crimea. There’s a lot going on politically.”

Bouey was selected to be a part of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe.  Bouey, a seasoned traveler who has worked for the Secretary of State’s office for more than six years, toured the country in October as part of his OSCE mission.

Stephen Bouey, with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, and his translator, Vlad, during Ukraine's local elections in October. (Bouey photo)
Steve Bouey, right, who is with Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, and his translator, Vlad, during Ukraine’s local elections in October. (Bouey photo)

With the ongoing civil war in Ukraine, the Euromaidan 2014 revolution, the recent annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbass, traveling to Ukraine might seem  dangerous.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this is Ukraine, it’s a dangerous place, there’s an ongoing civil war,’” Bouey said, “But I didn’t feel any danger or threat to my safety… I was in Afghanistan back in June and that was obviously a dodgy place, but I felt safe in Ukraine.”

Read more