Wayne Williams
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In voting for secretary of state, Coloradans should choose a proven competent leader over someone espousing irrelevant doctrinaire politics.

Incumbent Wayne Williams is widely regarded as the gold standard in his field. The Washington Post described his accomplishments at improving election security, declaring Colorado “the safest state (in which) to cast a vote.”

He teaches his colleagues throughout the country how to protect against attacks from Russia and other foreign governments to ensure voters from all segments of the political spectrum the outcomes will be accurate and fair.

Williams, an attorney specializing in elections law and the former El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, could not be more qualified for the job he has mastered in his first term.

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Challenger Jena Griswold’s experience with elections includes not voting anywhere in the United States in several key elections. She did not vote in June or November of 2014 while employed by the governor, who was up for re-election. She did not vote in the primary or general elections of 2006. The only time she voted for secretary of state or governor was 2010.

Pressed during a debate on why she did not vote in 2006, as a Colorado resident, Griswold said she was traveling the world with proceeds from a $25,000 award. Asked why she did not vote absentee, like so many other Coloradans overseas, Griswold invoked distraction-by-dance-lesson.

“I was actually studying the international dance of salsa and looking at globalization. If everybody wants to see some of my moves afterwards, I’m very happy to do that.”

Funny, but this is not a fun-and-games position. The secretary of state oversees elections, and must take elections seriously. Griswold takes voting so lightly she saw no reason to vote when her boss fought for political survival in the tight race of 2014, which he barely won by 3 percent.

Griswold’s lack of focus, and confusion about the secretary of state’s role, became even more obvious during a recent debate hosted by The Gazette and KOAA TV in Colorado Springs.

During a two-minute close, Griswold veered off into an odd partisan rant about her unwavering support for the 1971 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to have an abortion.

When she wasn’t talking abortion, she pandered to the crowd with complaints about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She talked about that which she knows, which doesn’t include details about the role of our secretary of state.

For the record, the secretary of state has exactly no role in upholding or defending federal abortion law. Williams does not initiate abortion lectures during debates and on the stump because it simply is not relevant.

Under the leadership of Williams — a professional who talks about elections and other duties of the secretary of state — Colorado has earned distinction as having the highest percentage of registered voters in the United States. Our state has the highest percentage of people voting.

Coloradans vote with confidence because Williams has designed an enviable national standard for achieving fair and secure elections. Don’t vote to replace him with someone bringing irrelevant federal political ideology into a campaign to determine who manages elections, business licensing, and a few other apolitical functions of state government.

Keep a proven leader of national prominence working for our state. Re-elect Wayne Williams as secretary of state.

The Gazette editorial board

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