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Monday, March 27, 2023

Denver Clerk and Recorder candidate Q&A

Briefly describe the single most urgent issue that you would act on as Denver Clerk and Recorder and how you would proceed.
It’s been the most difficult, but also the most critical time to be a Clerk and Recorder.
Since 2020, there is an ongoing effort to undermine the faith in democratic and fair elections in order to further a false narrative of widespread fraud. These efforts turn into deliberate attempts to discourage and restrict voter participation and erode confidence in the U.S. electoral system; threaten elections infrastructure and intimidate elections workers.
Colorado voters trust our accessible, fair, secure, transparent, elections. As Denver’s chief election official, my top priority is to keep it that way, and continue my duty to administer and defend our democratic and fair elections.

What do you believe is the most important function of the Denver Clerk and Recorder?
1) Elected public oversight and administration of an elections process that is accessible, fair, transparent and secure; 2) proper and accessible recording of land transactions; 3) accessible marriage licensing; 4) proper stewardship of our city records, contracts, laws and charter; and finally, 5) public oversight of a fair and transparent foreclosure process that also empowers Denver residents to fully understand and navigate an often intimidating and stressful process.

Do you believe municipal elections should be moved to align with state elections?
I used to. But after administering seven elections, I would not recommend municipal alignment with a November election. The charter of the City and County of Denver is clear that municipal elections should have a springtime election every four years for a reason. First, it ensures focus on the issues that can only be addressed at the local level. Second, it also steers city elections and issues away from partisan politics. Finally, I also believe it allows us to keep voters engaged in the democratic process and create a culture of participation not limited to November.

Should municipal elections be changed to the ranked choice method or any other system?
Over the past four years, I have convened two stakeholder groups to analyze the way we conduct elections with various recommendations to modernize outdated laws to match our successful model. Although Council chose not to pursue RCV, I remain confident that we can run a ranked choice election model with excellence. However, RCV must be paired with robust workshops and public engagement to understand, especially in areas and populations with historically low voter participation.
Keep in mind, that the ultimate decision lies with legislative action via a referral from city council or an initiated ordinance by the people to change the charter.

Should the requirements for candidates to qualify for city office be changed? Why or why not?
Yes, with Denver’s population growing exponentially, just as we did in 2019 and in 2021, I plan to reconvene our Ballot Modernization committee’s stakeholders and the public to explore potential modernization changes to the candidate qualifications. However, the goal here should be to modernize, not make it unnecessarily difficult for the people to participate fully in the democratic process.

How would you clean up the voter rolls?
I am unaware of any issues with our voter rolls. The statewide SCORE system is maintained on a frequent basis and works with multiple agencies to ensure that our list maintenance is accurate. This is a cornerstone component as to why Denver and Colorado elections are the gold standard in the nation.

As a member of the Colorado Clerk’s Association, would you support legislation changing requirements for voter registration?
We already have a great voter registration system. I would only support changes that improve and expand ease of use for those registering to vote, or updating voter registration records. I would not support changes that seek to scale back automatic voter registration, make it harder to register, or place unnecessary barriers on voters to do so.

What is your top legislative priority when it comes to Colorado’s election laws?
Protecting our excellent, voter-centric Colorado elections model from attempts to sabotage our model, or make it more difficult for voters to participate in elections. Period.

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