Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirNovember 7, 20173min596

Remember Natalie Meyer? Who could forget Colorado’s longest-serving secretary of state? The Republican was elected to the first of her three terms in 1982 — it was before term limits — and served through 1994. In her time in office she was widely respected across the partisan divide for keeping a steady hand on the tiller through thick and thin, smoothly navigating one election after another. Some say she even set a new standard for subsequent secretaries of state to meet.

And even though the job usually isn’t attended by a lot of publicity or a very high profile, the secretary of state sure earns his/her keep. It isn’t easy being the chief elections official for the entire state alongside a range of other responsibilities, from bingo oversight to business registration. Just ask the office’s current occupant, Wayne Williams.

Which gives Williams all the more appreciation for Meyer’s 12-year tenure at the helm. So much so, he presented Meyer this week with an NASS Medallion Award from the National Association of Secretaries of State (or NASS), recognizing her long-standing contributions to Colorado’s democratic process.

Williams and staff decided to have a little fun with the award presentation. From a press release issued by Williams’s office:

The award came as a surprise to Meyer, who had been invited to Denver Elections on the guise of welcoming municipal clerks who were there for training.

According to NASS’s website, the honor allows secretaries of state like Williams “to recognize outstanding service and dedication to furthering the mission of the National Association of Secretaries of State.” The mission includes a focus on, “elections, with special emphasis on voter education and participation.”

Though her time in office ended with the 1994 election, when she decided against seeking another term, Williams noted at the award presentation Monday, “…she didn’t retire … For the next two decades she kept coming in and working as an elections judge in Denver. She has an unrelenting commitment to election integrity.”

The Secretary of State’s Office press announcement also took note of Meyer’s lifetime in politics:

Before becoming secretary of state, Meyer held a held a number of political posts, including serving as campaign manager for former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong’s 1976 successful re-election bid. Prior to that, Meyer taught typing, bookkeeping, shorthand, history and English at Bear Valley and Wheat Ridge high schools until her first daughter was born.

Donetta Davidson — another former secretary of state who had served previously under Meyer as elections director — also attended the presentation.


Rachael WrightRachael WrightApril 13, 201711min321

Twenty Years Ago This Week in the Colorado Statesman … When she was elected in 1994, Secretary of State Vikki Buckley became the first African-American woman to be elected in statewide office in Colorado. She spent 22 years working her way up through the ranks of the secretary of state’s office, and eventually became second in command of the elections division.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningSeptember 1, 201612min424

Twenty Years Ago this week in The Colorado Statesman … Democrats dispelled any preconceptions that their 1996 national convention would mirror “the GOP’s tightly controlled production” that relied on “cheerleading youth to generate enthusiasm and whips to silence dissenters,” The Statesman reported from Chicago, where delegates nominated Bill Clinton and Al Gore for a second term and controversial first lady Hillary Clinton took center stage.


Lynn BartelsLynn BartelsJune 30, 20167min554

When Kathy Packer started working at the age of 18, Dick Lamm was governor of Colorado, Federico Peña was mayor of Denver and Secretary of State Natalie Meyer was her boss. “Natalie was a very classy, professional lady, always very poised and put together,” Packer recalled. Packer would go on to work for seven more secretaries of state, including the current officeholder, Wayne Williams, before deciding to call it quits. Her last day was today, June 30. Her co-workers held a party to celebrate her 31½-year-career in state government, all at the Secretary of State’s office.


Lynn BartelsLynn BartelsJune 24, 20166min464

News clippings from former Secretary of State Mary Estill Buchanan’s “furniture caper.” Scrapbooks from her successor, Natalie Meyer. And an unforgettable feature on Colorado tax zealot Douglas Bruce. My new intern, Colorado State University student Julia Sunny, and I discovered a treasure trove of items Tuesday when cleaning out my office for a painting-carpeting project this weekend at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. I was told that my predecessor, Rich Coolidge, took two days cleaning out the office when he left last year, but there was still plenty of stuff in the drawers for me to sort through and admire.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningFebruary 18, 20168min311
Twenty Years Ago this week in The Colorado Statesman … While the state was only in the “infancy stage” as a player in presidential politics, Colorado’s second presidential primary, in 1996, was shining a spotlight on a state that had been mostly ignored by presidential hopefuls. “Colorado got an enormous amount of attention from the […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe