Secretary Williams talks to clerks about voter fraud

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Wednesday address county clerks on the state’s eastern edge, who were meeting in Sterling for training. (SOS photo)

Check out staffer Julia Sunny’s video on the visit with county clerks from the eastern regional. As Kiowa County Clerk Delisa Weeks says, “We’re small, but we’re fun.” YouTube video.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams addressed the issue of voter fraud when he spoke to county clerks on the Eastern Plains Wednesday, warning them that in the coming months his office could be asking about certain constituents suspected of voting twice in the 2016 election.

“Some of you are aware there were accusations that there was rampant fraud in the elections. Some said there was no fraud,” Williams said. “The answer is somewhere in between.”

Colorado is part of a national months-long check of voter histories that flags the names of voters who appeared to have voted more than once.

“I anticipate there will be some people in Colorado who voted in multiple states. There are not tens of thousands of them. It did not change the result of the election,” Williams said.

“But there are elections that decided by a single vote. I presided over those elections as a county clerk. So we care about that issue. The message from us isn’t that vote fraud never occurs, but we make it difficult to occur and we help prosecute people when we find out about it.”

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Secretary Williams addresses Colorado Social Legislation Committee

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, flanked by Denver elections director Amber McReynolds and Rep. Su Ryden, at the Colorado Social Legislation Committee lunch Monday. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, flanked by Denver elections director Amber McReynolds and Rep. Su Ryden, at the Colorado Social Legislation Committee lunch Monday. (SOS photo)

By Keara Brosnan

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams outlined his legislative agenda, explained why he supports a presidential primary bill and discussed the selection of Dominion as the state’s new voting vendor when he spoke this week to the Colorado Social Legislation Committee.

This topic at  the CSLC week’s lunch  concerned elections; the other two panelists were Amber McReynolds, Denver’s elections director, and Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora, who chairs the committee that hears most election measures.

Williams said he was warned before the 2016 session it would be difficult to get bills through a divided legislature in an election year. But so far things have gone well, he said, and one measure last week passed the Democratic-controlled House 65-0 and the Republican-controlled Senate 34-0.

“We’ve actually got some things done that needed to get done,” he said.

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Secretary Wayne Williams backs return to a presidential primary

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks about his support for a presidential primary at a news conference at the state Capitol Thursday. Behind him to the left are two lawmakers that support the idea, Reps. Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, and Tim Dore, an Elizabeth Republican. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks about his support for a presidential primary at a news conference at the state Capitol Thursday. Behind him to the left are two lawmakers who support the idea, Reps. Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, and Tim Dore, an Elizabeth Republican. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams outlined the reasons he backs a return to the presidential primary during a news conference at the state Capitol Thursday.

Williams said he still supports the caucus system because of the personal contact candidates have with voters. That chemistry isn’t the same, he said, with presidential candidates.

“To the best of my knowledge, neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz nor Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders personally knocked on doors in Colorado to say, ‘Let me talk to you about why I think I should be president,'” Williams said of the Republican and Democratic frontrunners.

Standing behind Williams were two Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City and Alec Garnett of Denver, and two fellow Republicans, Reps. Tim Dore of Elizabeth and J. Paul Brown of Ignacio, who support lawmakers this year voting to restore the presidential primary.

Coloradans in 1990 overwhelmingly voted to create a presidential primary. The measure was referred to the ballot by lawmakers and it changed election laws, not the state constitution. That flexibility allowed lawmakers 13 years later to cancel the primary, mostly because of budget problems.

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