All about U — and Mesa County’s Sheila Reiner

The wooden U from the Mesa County clerk’s office was decorated by Rose Tafoya, left, from the recording division. To her right is Clerk Sheila Reiner. #COpolitics
A closer look at the Mesa County clerk’s wooden U.

Here’s to Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner, whose office was the first to decorate a wooden U and the first to host a UChooseCO event, complete with an 8-foot yellow U.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams handed out the wooden U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to help inform unaffiliated voters that for the first time they can participate in Tuesday’s primary election, and to remind them they can only vote one ballot. If they vote both, neither will count.

Like so many other clerks, scenery inspired how the Mesa County wooden U was decorated. Rose Tayofa in the clerk’s recording division decorated the U.

Here are some — but not all — of the wooden U’s from other county clerks:

Adams County Clerk Stan Martin
Broomfield Clerk Jim Candelarie
Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell
Cheyenne County Clerk Pat Daugherty
Eagle County Clerk Regina O’Brien
La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Parker
Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon
Moffat County Clerk Lila Herold
Montrose County Clerk Tressa Guynes
Routt County Clerk Kim Bonner
Summit County Clerk Kathleen Neel
Weld County Clerk Carly Koppes

The UChooseCO campaign has a web pageFacebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter and this blog.

Here come the unaffiliated voters

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams listens to questions Friday in Grand Junction as part of the UChooseCO campaign, intended to help unaffiliated voters learn their new role in the primary election. To his right is an inflatable 8-foot “U.” Participants were asked to write on it something that represented their values. Williams later penned, “Community.” (SOS photo)

GRAND JUNCTION — Bob Cook’s an unaffiliated voter in Mesa County who was asked to speak at the kickoff for a  campaign designed to help educate unaffiliated voters about their new role in the primary election.

He’s also the pastor of the Victory Life Church in Fruita, which is why minutes before the news conference on Friday he pretended to pull a speech from his jacket and said, “He is risen.”

Pastor Bob Cook is an unaffiliated voter in Mesa County. (SOS photo)

That got some laughs but Cook saved that sermon for today and instead dealt with the ballot measure Coloradans passed in 2016. Proposition 108 allows unaffiliated voters to automatically participate in primary elections without having to declare membership in either the Republican or the Democratic party. But they must choose between the Republican or Democratic ballot.

Cook was joined by Secretary of State Wayne Williams, clerks from three counties and several Mesa County elected officials to launch the UChooseCO campaign.

The goal is to let unaffiliated voters know they can now participate in primary elections, that they can choose whether they want to receive a Republican or a Democratic ballot and those who don’t will get both ballots but can only vote one.

“I hope that unaffiliated voters will do exactly what this campaign is designed to do: Take advantage of the chance to participate but just don’t mail in both the Republican and the Democratic ballots because that wipes out your vote,” Cook  said.

Read moreHere come the unaffiliated voters

Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner raves about Dominion after Tuesday’s municipal elections

(An earlier video from the Mesa County clerk’s office about Dominion.)

After tabulating the results of four municipal elections Tuesday night, Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner has even more good things to say about Dominion Voting Systems.

“In 2012 and 2014 we tabulated and tested for the same four municipalities but didn’t pull out of the parking lot until nearly midnight,” she reported in an e-mail. “Last night we were skipping out of the door — OK, maybe not skipping but walking out with heads held high — at 9:15 p.m.!”

In a number of counties, the smaller municipalities conduct their own elections but utilize the county clerk’s election team for ballot programming, printing-and-tracking mail ballot packets and ballot tabulation.

Read moreMesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner raves about Dominion after Tuesday’s municipal elections

BREAKING — Secretary Wayne Williams talks to, oh, just about everyone

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with two Durango Herald editors, city editor Sue McMillin and senior editor Amy Maestas.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with two Durango Herald editors, city editor Sue McMillin and senior editor Amy Maestas.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams saw a familiar face when he visited The Durango Herald newsroom Friday: the new city editor, Sue McMillin, used to work at the Colorado Springs Gazette.

McMillin’s career at the Gazette spanned more than 30 years, and she served as new director when she left in December. Williams, who lives in Colorado Springs, frequently appears in the newspaper.

He served two terms as an El Paso County commissioner and one term as the El Paso clerk and recorder before being elected secretary of state in 2014.

“A lot of times I told reporters to call Wayne Williams’ office,” McMillin recalled.

Read moreBREAKING — Secretary Wayne Williams talks to, oh, just about everyone

Secretary of State Wayne Williams visits Eagle, Mesa counties

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams joined Mesa County elected officials for their quarterly luncheon today in Grand Junction. They are: Commissioner Scott McInnis, Surveyor Patrick Green, Treasurer Janice Rich (the former county clerk), Williams, Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner, Commissioner Rose Pugliese, Sheriff Matt Lewis, Assessor Ken Brownlee and Commissioner John Justman.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams joined Mesa County elected officials for their quarterly luncheon Wednesday in Grand Junction. They are: Commissioner Scott McInnis, Surveyor Patrick Green, Treasurer Janice Rich (the former county clerk), Williams, Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner, Commissioner Rose Pugliese, Sheriff Matt Lewis, Assessor Ken Brownlee and Commissioner John Justman.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams hit the road Wednesday, visiting with Eagle County Clerk Teak Simonton and elected officials in Mesa County.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visited with Eagle County Clerk Teak Simonton and her staff Wednesday in Vail. From left to right: Jenny Thompson, administrative technician; Karen Sepp, election deputy; Stacey Jones, election manager; Williams and Simonton.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visited with Eagle County Clerk Teak Simonton and her staff Wednesday in Vail. From left to right: Jenny Thompson, administrative technician; Karen Sepp, election deputy; Stacey Jones, election manager; Williams and Simonton.

“It’s great to get away from the Front Range and visit my friends on the Western Slope,” Williams said. “Hearing what’s going on their communities helps me make better decisions as the Colorado secretary of state.”

Williams toured Eagle County’s election division in the morning, before new equipment from Dominion Voting Systems arrived in the afternoon. It was tested today.

Simonton served on the committee that reviewed four election firms that piloted their equipment in eight counties in the November election. The committee unanimously chose Dominion as its top choice, and Williams chose Dominion so Colorado could move to a single-voting system.

“Dominion has been really terrific to work with,” Simonton said. It’s been a really easy process.”

In Grand Junction, Williams joined Mesa County elected officials who meet quarterly for lunch.