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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 16, 20182min691

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams ought to wear a sash; he and his staff seem to rack up awards like an Eagle Scout earns merit badges. The latest accolade, according to an announcement by the Secretary of State’s Office:

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office today received a prestigious award for its work in conducting a post-election audit that ensured election machines tabulated ballots the way voters marked them.

The award was presented to Colorado SOS staffer Dwight Shellman on behalf of Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his staff at the 2018 Election Verification Network conference in Miami. …

… Colorado received a Public Service Award for being the first state to complete a risk-limiting audit — a procedure designed to find an incorrect election outcome if one exists. The audit after the November 2017 off-year election attracted attention nationwide.

Read more details here.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirSeptember 18, 20174min547
Dwight Shellman’s job title — county support manager for the Elections Division at the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office — sounds wonkish enough to keep him toiling in the trenches of technocratic obscurity for the rest of his life. Yet, there he was, right in the middle of a national news report not long ago […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirSeptember 11, 20172min399

Noteworthy on Lynn Bartels’s blog last week: a piece by her fellow Secretary of State’s Office staffer, Julia Sunny, on a visit from an Alaskan delegation studying Colorado’s success with mail ballots. Alaska is considering a move to all-mail balloting, Sunny reports.

Included was this nugget:

Colorado is one of the top five states in the country for voter turnout, due in part to its mail-ballot system for elections.

…And this:

Secretary (of State Wayne) Williams, Colorado elections director Judd Choate, and county support manager Dwight Shellman, sat down with the Alaskan officials to discuss Colorado elections’ processes and what Colorado does to maintain the integrity of elections.

Shellman explained the innovative risk-limiting audits system Colorado will utilize in the next election. Colorado is the first state to implement statewide RLAs to elections, a new and better type of post-election audit.

Taken together, they could provide reassurance in the face of periodic concerns over voter participation as well as ballot security in the Centennial State. The misgivings come from across the political spectrum — typically around election time, of course — and range from worries that voter registration procedures could disfranchise some segments of the community, to concerns that mail ballots could compromise election integrity.

Sunny’s report reminds us Colorado’s election system is viewed as a template for other states. We must be doing something right.