The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office is committed to upholding all the laws the office is tasked with administering. As our office does not possess general investigative powers with respect to potential election offenses, complaints and allegations of inappropriate activity are referred to the District Attorney’s Office to determine whether an investigation is appropriate.
While our office cannot comment about the particulars of an on-going investigation, the citizens of El Paso County should know that our office has the integrity to refer any case appropriate for investigation regardless of a person’s current or past connection with this office or its staff. Furthermore, the citizens should know that a uniform standard is applied equally and fairly to all individuals about whom questions have been raised.
After Recounts, Harrison Election Decided by One Vote, Fountain Margin Increased
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 20, 2013] The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has completed the mandatory recounts for the Harrison School District and Fountain City Council elections and has certified the result for both races. With the recount complete, the final result for the remaining seat on the Harrison School District 2 Board of Directors was decided by one vote. The at-large seat on the Fountain City Council was decided by eight votes.
“I would like to thank the Elections staff, Election judges, and Clear Ballot for working to complete these recounts quickly and cost-effectively, while maintaining an open and transparent process,” stated Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams. “The exceedingly close margin of the Harrison School District Board of Directors race underscores the importance of every vote in our democratic process. If there was ever a question about one vote making a difference, this result provides a loud and clear answer.”
In the case of the at-large seat on the Fountain City Council, the recount process was observed by two different designated watchers for the Sam Heckman campaign. The watchers reported that they were satisfied with the recount process and found it to be fair.
The official results are as follows:
El Paso County Announces Final Results for 2013 Coordinated Election
Two Races Head to Recount
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 14, 2013] The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has completed the canvass for the 2013 Coordinated Election ahead of the November 19 deadline and now has official final results for most races. Two races still remain in question: one seat on the Harrison School District 2 Board of Directors and the at-large seat on the Fountain City Council both met the threshold for a mandatory recount.
Along with the canvass, the Clerk and Recorder’s Office completed the legally required post-election audit. The county’s voting equipment passed the audit with 100% accuracy.
The Clerk and Recorder’s staff worked with an extra effort to complete the canvass well in advance of the November 19 deadline because a recount cannot begin until the canvass is finalized. “We understand that it is important for our citizens to have the correct people will begin their elected service in a timely fashion,” stated Wayne Williams.
Under Colorado law, a mandatory recount is triggered only when the vote margin between candidates or an issue is .5% of the vote for the next closest candidate or issue. The final unofficial results posted the morning of November 6 showed that the vote difference between two candidates for the last slot on the Harrison School District 2 Board of Education fell within the .5% range for a mandatory recount and the at-large Fountain City Council seat was outside of the margin by 1 vote. Since the results posted on November 6 did not include all overseas and military ballots—that had until November 13 to arrive at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office— or ballots with signature or ID issues that have since been resolved, the earliest a canvass could be completed was today.
With the canvass completed, the pre-recount results for the races in question are as follows:
Bold indicates that candidates will head to a mandatory recount.
The final results include additional ballots from military and overseas voters, provisional ballots, and ballots that were counted after ID or signature issues were resolved.
In anticipation of the recounts, Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams worked with the company Clear Ballot to begin scanning all 150,000 ballots cast in the November 5 election so any ballots needed for a recount could be located quickly. Clear Ballot has provided their services to the county free of charge, and the services offered will save the taxpayers’ money as the recounts move forward.
“The amount of work completed by our Elections staff cannot be understated,” said Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams. “With a 30% increase in votes cast, they have been able to complete the canvass early to allow the recounts to proceed ahead of schedule. I also appreciate the services offered by Clear Ballot, their unique software will allow us to complete the recounts more efficiently and at a lower cost than before.”
Miles Dewhirst Kicks off Campaign for State Representative
Colorado Springs (November 8, 2013) - On Monday, Colorado Springs Businessman and conservative Republican Miles Dewhirst will be kicking off his campaign to represent the people of House District 20 at the Colorado Statehouse.
At 5:30pm, Monday, Miles Dewhirst will begin his campaign to Empower Individuals and Expand Freedom near downtown Colorado Springs. Dewhirst is stepping up to be the Republican standard-bearer as the party seeks its nominee in 2014.
This press conference will outline why Miles Dewhirst is best suited to replace term-limited State Representative Bob Gardner in Denver.
24-Hour Ballot Drop-Off Box Reopens at Centennial Hall
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 1, 2013] The Clerk and Recorder’s Office is pleased to announce that the emergency removal of the concrete slabs near the west entrance of Centennial Hall has concluded and the 24-hour ballot drop-off box will reopen today at 5:00 PM. The replacement 24-hour ballot drop-off box at the Colorado Springs Police Operations Center opened earlier also will remain available to voters in the downtown area.
“I would like to thank GE Construction and El Paso County Administration for their hard work that allowed the Centennial Hall ballot drop-off box to be re-opened quickly,” stated Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams. “I would especially like to thank the Colorado Springs Police Department for their flexibility in offering us a replacement location with such short notice. Their commitment to serving our community is an asset to voters in El Paso County.”
The Centennial Hall 24-hour ballot drop-off box was closed after an inspection revealed a significant risk with the large concrete slabs over the box and lower entrance. The inspection was undertaken after one of the 2,000 pound slabs fell last week.
New Ballot 24-Hour Drop-Off Location Announced to Replace
Centennial Hall Box Closed Due to Construction
[Colorado Springs, Colo. - October 31, 2013] The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office opened a new 24-hour ballot drop-off location at the Colorado Springs Police Operations Center at 705 S. Nevada Avenue in Colorado Springs. Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams added the new 24-hour ballot drop-off location to replace the drop-off box that was closed at Centennial Hall due to imminent safety issues. Access is still possible through other entrances to the ballot drop-off box and voting site in the lower level of Centennial Hall.
"We opened the first 24-hour drop-off at our main office in 2012. To further improve customer service, we constructed four additional sites this year, including at Centennial Hall. When the safety of our voters caused the closure of that box, we sought other alternatives," noted El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams. "We'd like to thank the Colorado Springs Police Department and Chief Pete Carey for their quick response and willingness to make it even easier for our citizens to cast their ballots." When asked for his assistance, Chief Carey stated that he respected the democratic process and was happy to make the Police Operations Center available for easy access for our citizens. This is a positive way to highlight the partnership CSPD enjoys with El Paso County.
The Police Operation Center 24-hour ballot drop-off location will be available starting at 4:00 PM today through 7:00 PM on Election Day, November 5.
The Centennial Hall 24-hour box was closed after inspection revealed a significant risk with the large concrete slabs over the 24-Hour ballot box and lower entrance to Centennial Hall. The inspection was undertaken after a 2,000 pound concrete slab fell last week. The Clerk and Recorder's Office is working with County Administration to re-open the Centennial Hall 24-hour ballot drop-off box-along with the west facing entrance to the Motor Vehicle Department- as quickly as possible.
While there is no requirement for 24-hour drop off boxes, the Clerk's Office added these as part of an ongoing effort to provide citizen-focused customer service. The replacement site gives voters in El Paso County an unprecedented five 24-hour ballot drop-off locations:
1. Main Office at the Citizens Service Center; 1675 West Garden of the Gods Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.
2. Colorado Springs Police Operations Center; 705 S. Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.
3. North Branch Office; 8830 North Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80920.
4. Southeast Branch Office; 5650 Industrial Place, Colorado Springs, CO 80916.
5. Charles C. "Chuck" Brown Transportation & Environmental Complex; 3275 Akers Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80922.
There are a total of 14 locations at which ballots may be dropped off, seven of which are full-service Voting Service and Polling Centers. The nine additional locations and hours of operation can be found at http://car.elpasoco.com. (Please note that the original location in Cascade has been changed to Marcroft Hall, Chipita Park Chamber of Commerce, 9105 Chipita Park Rd, Chipita Park, Colorado 80809 due to the unavailability of the originally scheduled school.
Voters Reminded of Deadline to Return Ballots
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 1, 2013] Voters who plan to return their ballot for the 2013 Coordinated Election by mail are cautioned to be aware of the time it takes for the postal service to return a ballot by the deadline. All ballots must be received by the Clerk and Recorder’s Office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 5. Ballots that are postmarked, but not received, by the deadline will not be counted.
Also, voters should be sure to affix the correct amount of postage. This is usually 66 cents, unless the voter is required to insert additional documents which will increase the required postage.
There are numerous locations throughout the county, including the Voter Service and Polling Centers, where voters simply may drop-off their ballot to ensure it is received on time. Five of those locations have a 24-hour ballot drop-off box where voters can easily drive up and deposit their ballot at any time, any day. The 24-hour drop-offs are secured and under video surveillance.
A voter also can verify that the Clerk and Recorder’s Office received their ballot by visitingwww.GoVoteColorado.com " target="_blank"> www.GoVoteColorado.com and click “Manage My Registration.”
“We appreciate the cooperation of the many facilities which have ballot drop-off boxes for the election, or are serving as Voter Service and Polling Centers,” said Wayne Williams, Clerk and Recorder. “The willingness of the offices such as the Colorado Springs City Clerk, Colorado Springs Police Department, Fountain Police Department, Town of Monument, and more, shows their community service and commitment to ensure all our citizens have the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote.”
On Election Day, all Voter Service and Polling Centers and ballot drop-off locations will be open 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. to give voters ample time to handle registration or election transactions, vote, or deposit their ballot.
A complete listing of the Voter Service and Polling Centers and other ballot drop-off locations are on the Clerk and Recorder’s website,http://car.elpasoco.com" target="_blank"> http://car.elpasoco.com. Further information is available by contacting the Election Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 575-VOTE (8683).
[A]ll new money raised by Amendment 66 must be placed in the newly created State Educational Achievement Fund, where it can ONLY be used for “Implementing educational reforms and programmatic enhancements.” To be certain there is no question as to what qualifies as “educational reforms and programmatic enhancements,” lawmakers defined them in 19 categories in Senate Bill 213. As a further protection, Amendment 66 requires an annual state audit “to ensure compliance” that new money is only spent on education reforms and program enhancements. That’s why we say the money is “constitutionally and statutorily prohibited from ever being used directly to fund PERA."
Come Learn about the Upcoming School Board Elections at Citizens Project's Election Education Forums!
School Board Election Education Forums
Informed and engaged voters are essential to the democratic process, so come join us at one of our school board forums to learn more about the candidates in your district!
October 15 at 5:30 pm, District 2 Forum, Harrison High School
October 16 at 5:30 pm, District 49 Forum, Vista Ridge High School
October 21 at 6:30 pm, Disticrt 11 Forum, Carnegie Room, Penrose Library
October 23 at 5:30 pm, District 3 Forum, Mesa Ridge High School
Additionally, check our website for information on other community forums (for District 20 and on Amendment 66) being hosted by different organizations!
Don't forget about our upcoming Get Out the Vote events! Visit our website for more details.
Clerk and Recorder Announces Final Senate District 11 Recall Results
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – September 20, 2013]
With the deadline for receiving military and overseas ballots passed, all possible remaining legal votes in the Senate District 11 Recall Election have been collected and tabulated. The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office announces the official final result of the election as follows:
The final results include an additional 76 ballots from military and overseas voters and 22 polling place provisional ballots that were counted after signatures were verified. The official results were certified by a bi-partisan Canvas Board consisting of representatives from the Democratic and Republican Party.
The new results also detail how write-in votes were cast. Libertarian candidate Jan Brooks was the only official write-in candidate. Brooks received 12.6% (226 out of 1,796) of the cast write-in votes. Votes for other individuals who did not register could not be legally counted. Examples of these invalid write-in votes range from votes cast for current and former local elected officials to fictitious characters like Harry Potter.
The above official results have been certified by El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams, and will be certified by Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Following the certifications the results will be transmitted to the Colorado State Senate, which will be responsible for coordinating the transfer of the Senate seat and oath of office being administered to Senator-elect Bernie Herpin on October 3, 2013.
“This office worked hard to ensure that the voters of Senate District 11 had the opportunity to express their will through the democratic election process,” stated Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams. “Despite seven different sets of procedures, we had more residents of Senate District 11 vote in this recall election than voted in the November 2011 election. We worked hard to make voting accessible, and every voter was within seven minutes of a voting site. For most of the 49 hours of voting, walk-up voting was available at all of the seven sites,” Williams said.
Williams noted that the election was successful based on the efforts of many individuals. “I would like to thank my staff, the Election Judges, and the staff members from Arapahoe, Douglas, and Denver counties and the Secretary of State’s Office who helped ensure this election went smoothly despite the many changes to election procedures,” he stated. “Most importantly, I want to thank the citizens of Senate District 11 for their understanding during the preparations for the election, and the members of the media that helped our office provide the community with the most up-to-date information about the election. Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to the many groups and organizations that engaged my office with a dialogue that helped us conduct this election in a way we can all be proud.”
Scott Gessler Announces Candidacy for Governor
(Denver, CO) –Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has confirmed widespread speculation by formally announcing that he will seek the Republican nomination for Governor in 2014. Joined by his family and hundreds of supporters at the Cable Center in Denver, Gessler touted his leadership and accomplishments as Secretary of State, and spoke of his vision for the future of Colorado.
“Our great state is off track and instead of leadership, our Governor’s vision is ‘To Be Determined’! That’s the opposite of leadership. I am running for Governor to ensure that Colorado voters have a clear choice between a proven problem solver, and more of the same lackluster, directionless policies we’ve seen for the past three years”, said Gessler.
He continued, “In three short years as your Secretary of State, I brought 21st century innovation to state government. We streamlined services, reduced administrative fees, and made a once antiquated office a model of efficiency that is recognized nationwide. I pledge to do the same as Governor.”
On the controversial topic of gun control legislation signed into law earlier this year by Governor John Hickenlooper, Gessler said, “Here on Constitution Day, I commit to you that there will be no more blatantly unconstitutional gun grabs under a Gessler Administration!”
Gessler joins State Senator Greg Brophy and former Congressman Tom Tancredo as declared candidates in the Republican primary. Gessler said, “I consider Greg and Tom friends. We all want what’s best for the future of Colorado. The fact is that I’m the only declared candidate who has defeated a Democrat incumbent and won a statewide election. And I’m prepared to do it again in 2014.”
About Scott Gessler: Scott is a former federal prosecutor and small businessman who was elected Colorado’s 37th Secretary of State in 2010. He is a United States Army veteran, and a graduate of Yale, Michigan and Northwestern Universities, earning a BA, a law degree, and an MBA, respectively.
Scott resides in Denver with his wife, Kristi, and their daughter Sofia.