Logan County: A cool clerk and courthouse

Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon and Secretary of State Wayne Williams outside the courthouse in Sterling on Thursday. (SOS photo)
Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon and Secretary of State Wayne Williams outside the courthouse in Sterling on Thursday. On the first day of fall, leaves were coming down. (SOS photo)

Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon is lucky to work in one of the most beautiful courthouses in Colorado.

When Secretary of State Wayne Williams stopped by her office in Sterling Thursday, the staff was preparing ballots to take to nursing homes. Election workers already had sent ballots to Logan County’s military and overseas voters.

Bacon, who will come president of the Colorado County Clerks Association in January, serves on Williams’ Bipartisan Election Advisory Committee looking at possible legislation for next year.

Both Bacon and Williams support reducing the number of voting polling service centers each county must open during an election. Bacon said Logan County voters don’t use the two centers much, preferring instead to drop off their ballots in a box outside the courthouse, visit the courthouse itself or mail their ballots.

“All (centers do) is make me short staffed on Election Day and cost me money,” she said.

Bacon agreed the big courthouse is stunning. She said during a renovation of the courthouse the carpet was ripped up and the fake ceilings were taken down. Huge windows let in plenty of sunlight.

“We’re pretty lucky to work here,” she said.

Secretary Williams visits with county clerks on the eastern plains

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, wearing the Denver Broncos shirt and standing in the back row, talks to county clerks and their staffs at the Colorado County Clerks Association eastern region Sept. 8 in Limon. That happened to be the same day as the Broncos home opener. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, wearing the Denver Broncos shirt and standing in the back row, talks to county clerks and their staffs at the Colorado County Clerks Association eastern region Sept. 8 in Limon. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams assured county clerks and election officials that the goal of his office this time of the year is to “make sure you’re ready for the election.”

Williams attended the Colorado County Clerks Association eastern region conference in Limon on Sept. 8. The SOS’ election director, Judd Choate, also spoke at the event.

During the morning session Thursday, the secretary urged clerks to take advantage of the office’s offer to help pay for ballot drop boxes so voters don’t have to mail their ballots. Regardless of when a ballot is mailed, it must be received by the clerk at 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to count.

“I want a drop box in every county,” Williams said.

Baca County Clerk Sharon Dubois said she found the two-day conference “very informative,” noting “it’s a lot easier to understand the details when you are talking about them instead of just reading the rule book.”

“And I loved that Wayne Williams was there,” she added.

Read moreSecretary Williams visits with county clerks on the eastern plains

Logan County election official wins “Michele Burton” award

Logan County Clerk Pam Logan with her elections supervisor. Traci Griffee, and Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane, president of the Colorado County Clerks Association. Griffee today received an award from the organization.
Logan County Clerk Pam Logan with her elections supervisor. Traci Griffee, and Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane, president of the Colorado County Clerks Association. Griffee today received an award from the organization. (SOS photo)

Logan County’s election supervisor today received an award from the Colorado County Clerks Association that honors those who demonstrate “love and extra devotion to the election process.”

Traci Griffee was nominated by her clerk, Pam Bacon, who outlined what Griffee has done for the office since beginning work there in 2011.

“I am not only honored to nominate her for the Michele Burton award but I am also honored to have her on my team and right beside me in the election battle field,” Bacon said in her nomination letter. “I know I don’t say it enough but I would like to thank her for everything she does for me, the office and the citizens of our county.”

Michele Burton began her elections career in 1976 with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office and ended it as an Arapahoe County elections deputy. She and her husband Wayne died in a car accident in 2000 as they were traveling to Utah to watch their 14-year-old son play in a soccer tournament. The Grandview High student was not in the car, which collided with a deer.

The award was presented at the Colorado County Clerks Association summer conference at the Inverness Hotel in Arapahoe County. The conference ends Wednesday.

Read moreLogan County election official wins “Michele Burton” award

Colorado county clerks: thinking outside the box regarding the box

Logan County has gone to drive-by voting, with Clerk and Recorder Pam Bacon installing a new ballot drop box that allows voters to pull up and drop off their ballots.

Logan County Clerk and Recorder Pam Bacon demonstrates how the new drop box can be closed and locked for times when there are deadlines for official documents, like ballots or tax payments. (Photo courtesy of Sara Waite / Sterling Journal-Advocate)
Logan County Clerk and Recorder Pam Bacon demonstrates how the new drop box can be closed and locked. (Photo courtesy of Sara Waite / Sterling Journal-Advocate)

Bacon also got the OK from Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office to make it a “multi-use box” so that county residents can drop off their motor-vehicle registrations.

Other county clerks also use 24-hour ballot boxes, which under secretary of state rules must be monitored by surveillance cameras with the data being preserved for 25 months.  It is illegal to drop off more than 10 ballots at a time, and the outside of the envelopes must be signed by the voter in order to  be counted, state  elections director Judd Choate said.

According to the Sterling-Journal Advocate, Bacon also reached out to the other county departments, with Treasurer Patty Bartlett believing the box would be useful for receiving tax payments. Bacon said residents can drop off correspondence for any county office, such as a letter to the county commissioners.

“Whatever is in there,'” Bacon told the newspaper, “we’ll make sure it gets to whatever county office it needs to.”

Here’s a look at ballot-box practices in some other counties, per their clerks or election officials:

Read moreColorado county clerks: thinking outside the box regarding the box