Wayne Williams’ rock-star reception

Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks with elections judges working the Colorado Springs municipal election. To his left is Marguerite Terze. (SOS photo)

No one wonder Secretary of State Wayne Williams wanted to say “hi” to the folks working the upcoming Colorado Springs municipal election.

When Williams walked through the door of the room where the election judges were handling ballots, cries of “Hey, Wayne,” “Wayne!” and “Look who’s here!” greeted the Colorado Springs resident Wednesday.

Williams served as the El Paso County clerk and recorder for one term before being elected secretary of state in 2014.

Many of the local residents who work as election judges in county and state elections also volunteer to work in municipal elections, which is why there were so many familiar faces.

Judge Rich Schwarz also complimented Williams on the ease and transparency of the Secretary of State’s website and filing system. Schwarz  works with the bingo operation for the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale; the secretary of state oversees bingo.

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Colorado Springs city clerk elected vice chair of national elections board

Colorado Springs’ city clerk, Sarah Ball Johnson, has been elected vice president of a national elections group that makes recommendations to the Election Assistance Commission to help it carry out its mandates.

Colorado Springs City Clerk Sara Ball Johnson.
Colorado Springs City Clerk Sara Ball Johnson.

Johnson’s election occurred earlier this month when the Board of Advisors, a permanent advisory committee established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, met in Chicago for its annual meeting.

“It’s a really great group, a really good group,” Johnson said. “because it’s made up of election officials and different activists from the different appointing authorities … so it’s a really varied board.”

Johnson, 46, was nominated to serve on the board almost a decade ago by Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who now is the Senate majority leader. She said she worked for him “years and years ago” before being hired by the Kentucky State Board of Elections for 17 years, seven as the executive director.

She has served as as the city clerk in Colorado Springs for four years. As such, she serves as custodian of city records, processes business licenses, runs city elections and helps staff City Council meetings.

She worked closely with Secretary of State Wayne Williams when he served as El Paso County’s clerk and recorder.

“Sarah has been a great addition to Colorado,” Williams said. “Working together, we made voting easier for our citizens and ensured the integrity of the process while keeping costs down.”

HAVA mandates that the EAC test and certify voting equipment, maintain the National Voter Registration form, conduct research and administer a national clearinghouse on elections that includes shared practices, information for voters and other resources to improve elections, according to a news release from the organization.