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Efficiency in government? Denver clerk’s office recognized for innovation

Author: Adam McCoy - July 14, 2017 - Updated: July 14, 2017

Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson talks about mail voting on Sept. 22, 2015, in Denver's Civic Center Park. The Denver Elections Division was honored by the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies for innovations involving using electronic tablets to sign petitions and register to vote in December 2016. (Photo by Ernest Luning)Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson addresses mail voting in Denver’s Civic Center Park in 2015. (Photo by Ernest Luning)

Who’s ever heard of an innovative bureaucracy?

Denver’s Clerk and Recorder Office was recognized this week for just that, receiving a pair of awards from an international government association.

Clerk Debra Johnson received the innovator award for unique achievements and best practices from the International Association of Government Officials.

“We continue to look for ways to serve our customers quicker and better. We’ve worked hard to change the stodgy, bureaucratic perception of local government,” Clerk Johnson said in a statement Wednesday. “And we think we’re succeeding.”

The office said it has cut customer wait times significantly — from 48 minutes to less than 30 seconds — streamlined its website and digitized millions of records for public access, making more services available online.

Deputy Denver Clerk and Recorder Juan Guzman also received the excellence in county government award — recognizing leadership, ingenuity, excellence and integrity.

“Every day, Juan looks for ways to better serve Denverites and all Colorado residents,” said Johnson. “Juan has led the way in technological innovations — when they make sense for our staff and our customers. The focus on our customers means we want to serve our residents and allow business to thrive in Denver.”

The office said Johnson and Guzman were also at the forefront of the fight for marriage equality in Colorado in 2014.

Furthermore, they helped pass recording legislation which ensured all Colorado counties have up-to-date electronic recording equipment. The office noted the legislation had little benefit for the city, but helped maintain efficiency and integrity of recording in the state.

They also authored legislation closing loopholes in Colorado’s proxy marriage laws, ensuring marriage can’t be used for sex trafficking or to bring people into the country illegally.

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy covers Denver-area politics for Colorado Politics.


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