A soldier’s story: Colorado leads when it comes to military voting

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Army Major Eric Lintelmann at Colorado Springs’ Armed Forces lunch on May 17.

You can’t blame Secretary of State Wayne Williams for beaming when a solider at an Armed Forces lunch praised Colorado’s process for overseas and military voters.

And then  Army Major Eric Lintelmann followed up with an e-mail to the state’s top election official.

“Sir,” the soldier began.  “As a native Coloradan, I am extremely proud of our state’s voting process.”

Lintelmann explained that when he was stationed in Iraq in 2016 mail was taking anywhere from one to three months to arrive.  At the time, he was the voting assistance officer.

“I had voters from Mississippi, Illinois, California, Texas, and mostly Colorado,” he wrote. “The people from the non Colorado states had much more trouble getting help voting … However, all Colorado voters who wanted to vote were able to vote. I had soldiers from Teller, El Paso, Douglas, Elbert and Denver counties.”

With Memorial Day just around the corner, when America honors those who died in active military service, it’s important to note that Colorado has 8,086 military voters. Nearly one-third are registered to vote in El Paso County, home to five military installations, including Peterson Air Force Base, where Lintelmann is stationed.

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Armenians interested in Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ take on presidential politics

Colorado Secretary of State met with a group of international visitors from Armenia Thursday in his office in Denver. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams met with a group of international visitors from Armenia Thursday in his office in Denver. He is holding a gift he received. (SOS photo)

By Julia Sunny and Lynn Bartels

A group of Armenian officials who met with Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams Thursday were interested in a variety of topics, including overseas Americans participating in elections back home to the upcoming presidential contest.

Williams explained Colorado is a “swing” state that sometimes votes Republican and sometimes Democrat for president. He stunned the delegation when he told them that Hillary Clinton spoke in Denver on Tuesday and Donald Trump would be here  Friday.

“Seriously? Here?” one Armenian asked.

One visitor said he if were able to vote in the election he would choose Bernie Sanders.

The Armenians’ visit is part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Williams has met with other IVLP visitors before, including a group from the Middle East in March. Those visitors asked about marijuana and the “messy” precinct caucuses they had just observed.

The six-member Armenian delegation is traveling across the country. It will meet with the Cleveland Council on World Affairs in Ohio next week.

The presidential election is being closely observed overseas, and Williams was asked his thoughts.

Read moreArmenians interested in Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ take on presidential politics