Uh, Who’s Going to Count the Ballots?

As the Rocky Mountain News reports:

The director of elections at the secretary of state’s office resigned suddenly Thursday.

The departure of Holly Lowder, former Alamosa County clerk, comes two months before what is expected to be one of the biggest elections in recent Colorado history. Lowder’s work centered on the implementation of the new statewide voter registration system, said Richard Coolidge, spokesman for the agency.

Lowder could not be reached for comment.

The secretary of state’s office oversees statewide elections and lost two other employees in the elections division this summer. In June, two employees who handled testing and certification of voting equipment left to work for the El Paso County clerk’s office. In addition, Secretary of State Mike Coffman has been running for the 6th Congressional District seat. He won the primary last month and faces a Democratic opponent in November.

Coolidge would not give details on why Lowder stepped down. He said Thursday was her last day. She was hired by former Secretary of State Gigi Dennis and had worked in that position since 2006.

Deputy elections director Wayne Munster will take up Lowder’s duties through the November election, Coolidge said.

With less than two months to go until Election Day, it’s not okay for Coffman’s spokesman to refuse to elaborate on why THE DIRECTOR OF FREAKIN’ ELECTIONS just up and left. What the hell is going on?

35 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MileHighDaredevil says:

    Let this be the scandal that will get Hank Eng elected. The other Coffman scandals aren’t going to do it.

  2. redstateblues says:

    Does that mean she’s going to join her former boss in Washington on his staff come ’09?

    And I think Hank Eng is a great guy, but he has less of a shot at winning CD-6 than Bob Barr has of claiming the White House.

  3. Dan Willis says:

    Most everyone agrees the SoS’s office is going to change hands and parties this winter. I suspect a few people are looking for new work ahead of that change over.

    As for why the “no comment”, Lowder’s leaving is a personnel matter and should be treated with discretion. She is not an elected official so her reasons for leaving are not the public’s concern. It was appropriate to make public that such a high level office was vacated, but not necessarily the reason.  

    • Half Glass Full says:

      To read anything else into it, without any shred of evidence, is wrong since she’s not a public figure.

      • It was a public sector job, and the taxpayers have a right to know if the reasons she left had anything to do with the public trust.

        If they want to say that she left for “personal reasons” then fine, but if there was something else they should let us know.

        “Not a shred of evidence” just means that government employees are stonewalling. It is bullshit to say that until public officials admit wrongdoing nobody can speculate on what they are concealing. Maybe, even probably, this is nothing – but they should let us know if it is or not.

        Ok: “We have no comment, because it is a personal matter.”

        Not Ok: “We have no comment, because we don’t feel like telling you whether it is personal or something relevant to the operation of your elections.”

        • Ralphie says:

          She was not a political appointee.  She has the same right of privacy as you or me.

          Read anything you want into her departure, but you have no right to any more information than you would have if she worked in any other job.

          Speculate away.  But you’re still just speculating.

          • DavidThi808 says:

            The City Manager in most cities in Colorado is not a political appointee. But if they leave suddenly, it is reasonable to ask why.

            On the flip side, someone who drives a snowplow for the state should be treated like a private citizen.

            The rest fall between those two extremes. Heading up such a critical position that has had so many problems – I think it is reasonable to ask why she’s leaving.

          • Jambalaya says:

            ….I thought that was a federal term.  

  4. Gray in the mountains says:

    if she was unhappy that requests from around the state for the SoS to participate in warranted recounts wasn’t part of it. All the responses to her and to Coffman have been answered negatively, at the latest possible time, and by Wayne Munster.

  5. bearstobulls says:

    I’ll count the ballots.  You people don’t deserve me, but I’ll do it in the interest of public service.  You’re welcome.

  6. Jambalaya says:

    Colorado elections director resigns amid inquiry

    The abrupt resignation Thursday of a top elections official at the secretary of state’s office happened in the midst of a watchdog group’s investigation into her relationship with a local businessman who has contracts with that office.

    Holly Lowder, 66, resigned from her post as elections director two months before what is expected to be one of the biggest elections in recent Colorado history. She held that job since 2006. Before that, Lowder served as Alamosa County clerk for about 25 years.

    Colorado Ethics Watch had been pursuing documents from the state regarding Lowder’s ties to John Paulsen.

    Paulsen, 59, operates a software company called LEDS, LLC from his home in Castle Rock, records show. LEDS has installed voter databases in more than 30 counties and recently got two contracts worth almost $184,000 with the secretary of state’s office for data work related to the current election season.

    Records show that Lowder recently lived at a Cherokee Street home in Denver that is owned by Paulsen.

    . . . .


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