The name is clunky — the Electronic Recording Technology Board. But its importance is hard to overstate — the board hands out grants to county clerks to update equipment that records property records, marriage licenses, mineral rights and more.
At Tuesday’s meeting at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, the board paid tribute to two outgoing members, Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane and Adams County Clerk Stan Martin.
Crane has served as the chairman since the enterprise operation was created through legislation in 2016. The measure also authorized clerks to charge a $2-a-document fee for five years to create a pool of money to help counties cover the cost of upgrades and purchases.
“It’s been fun to get this off the ground, considering where we were,” Crane said.
“I love my husband — we’ll be married 60 years next year. But I don’t know if I want to be home with him all the time,” said Faye Griffin, the outgoing clerk in Jefferson County.
“I’ll miss you all when I’m sitting on a beach next November,” said Hillary Hall, Boulder County’s term-limited clerk and recorder.
“Colorado is the leader in elections. I’m so proud of that,” said Bent County’s longtime clerk, Patti Nickell.
Most of the state’s departing county clerks gathered Saturday night at the Melting Pot in Louisville, where they were feted by the Colorado County Clerks Association. Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, president of the CCCA, read a letter to her outgoing colleagues.
“Your commitment and sacrifice to your office, staff and citizens of your county is what public service is all about. The county clerk is the hub of the community for connection to their government, and with that came challenges, wonderful memories and a front seat for history,” she said.
“Please remember you will always be a part of us — that our shared experiences and mutual understanding will never dissipate.”
It helps to have talented staffers — just ask Adams County Clerk Stan Martin. When his office got a wooden U to decorate, it was turned over to Jami Gaultney, the office’s Voter Service Polling Center and certification manager.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is handing out the U’s as part of the @UChooseCO campaign to educate unaffiliated voters. The campaign has a web page, Facebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.
At least every week day between now and the June 26 primary the Secretary of State’s office will highlight a wooden U or two. Check out more decorated U’s on Facebook and Twitter.
Four county clerk and recorders praised Secretary of State Wayne Williams and the Colorado Legislature for working on a solution to help rural counties replace obsolete equipment vital to recording important documents, including land transactions.
Williams said the second portion of their title, recorder, is often overlooked but keenly important.
“For most Coloradans, their biggest investment is the home, the ranch, that we own,” he said. “So making sure those property records are accurate is absolutely critical.”
He met with clerks Stan Martin of Adams County, Pat Daugherty of Cheyenne County, Susan Corliss of Kit Carson County and Corinne Lengel of Lincoln County in Lengel’s office in Hugo on Friday. They discussed the Electronic Recording Technology Board, an enterprise account created by the legislature in 2016.
The board announced Thursday that 15 rural counties will be the first recipients of grants it will be doling out.
Daugherty couldn’t be happier. “We don’t have any extra money,” she said.
“We really don’t want to be in a situation where somebody doesn’t get their vote counted because they didn’t have access to a ballot drop box and they weren’t able to drop by the time period that you’re open during business hours,” Williams said.
He also advised election officials attending the Colorado County Clerks Association summer conference this week in the metro area to be ready for a deluge of last-minute voters Nov. 8. Williams pointed to presidential primaries in Maricopa County, Arizona, and New Hampshire, where the volume of voters overwhelmed election officials.