Jonathan Herrera, Democratic candidate
Campaign website: not yet active
Campaign Facebook Page: facebook.com/jherreraforclerk
Education: Frostburg State University: bachelor's degree in theatre and mass communications
Experience: 5 years in low-income and affordable housing property management; certifications in fair housing and low income housing tax credits
Do you believe voter fraud is a problem in Colorado? If so, how can the Clerk and Recorder's Office help safeguard against it?
The number of "in person voter fraud" cases from 200-2014 was 31 nationwide. A local study found 10 instances of voter fraud in Colorado in 2016 (including disgraced GOP chairman Steve Curtis). Two were in El Paso County, out of 443,000 voters, which is 0.0000045%. Statistically speaking, one is more likely to be in a plane crash, with the winning Powerball ticket, after being struck by lightning, than to encounter voter fraud. The "issue" of voter fraud is a fear-mongering tactic that only decreases legal voter turnout. This is part of today's "war on facts," undermining the trust citizens have in government. This is unacceptable. The Clerk's office has a responsibility to counter voting misinformation and propaganda with educational PR campaigns, informing voters of facts.
When county commissioner district boundaries need to be redrawn, how can the Clerk and Recorder ensure the process is fair and non-partisan?
When it comes to drawing voter districts, the issue is unfortunately inherently partisan, with neither party being innocent of gerrymandering. For the record: gerrymandering is a direct assault on democracy; it disenfranchises voters, undermines voter confidence, and reduces voter participation. Rather than continuing to rely on the integrity of whomever is elected to the office to ensure accurate representation of the voting populace (the local "steward of democracy", so-to-speak), the responsibility needs to be turned over to an independent committee; or, even more ideally, use non-partisan computer software to ensure a consistent standard and eliminate any political bias in districting.
If elected Clerk and Recorder, what efforts would you make to increase civic engagement in the county?
The lack of civic engagement is a multi-faceted problem stemming from a range of causes, such as voter disenfranchisement, poor civic educations, targeted misinformation, today's toxic political climate, and well intentioned, but painfully boring PR outreach. First and foremost, there must be a concerted bipartisan effort by elected officials to regain the public's trust during non-election years, encouraging ALL citizens to be civically engaged. Second, we must educate our youth so that the next generation of voters are both ready and excited to participate when they come of age, finding substitutions to replace long forgotten civic classes along with reviving and revitalizing the PSA to reach youth AND adults.