Elections on her mind: Secretary of State candidate Jena Griswold joins bus tour stop in Eagle
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EAGLE — During a Democratic candidate bus tour that stopped in Eagle on Friday, Oct. 26, Colorado Secretary of State hopeful Jena Griswold shared what’s motivating her run for office.
Her top priority — making sure that every eligible voice is heard in Colorado elections.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, a Republican or Independent — everyone in Colorado deserves an equal opportunity to vote,” she said.
Griswold grew up in Estes Park, the daughter of a single mother. “My mom worked two jobs to provide for us, and sometimes we had to go to food banks,” she said.
She eventually graduated from college and law school. Griswold started her legal career practicing international anti-corruption law, and then began working on elections as a voter protection attorney.
Griswold said she decided to run for Colorado Secretary of State when Wayne Williams, the office incumbent and her Republican rival, complied with the Trump administration’s request for state voting records for the now dissolved Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
As the head election official in the state, voting issues are large part of the secretary of state’s duties.
“The secretary of state should make elections more accessible and secure,” said Griswold.
On the accessibility front, Griswold said she would work to expand the state’s automatic voter registration efforts. On the security issue, Griswold cited a need for increased cyber efforts, saying Colorado was one of the 21 states targeted by Russian hackers in 2016. Along with hacking concerns, Griswold said the state’s voting system went down on Election Day in 2016, causing lengthy delays at some polling places.
“I believe we can make sure we have one statewide system that functions for 12 hours, one day a year,” she said.
Another topic that comprises a key part of Griswold’s platform is campaign finance reform.
“Billionaires, special interest groups and big corporations are spending millions to influence the outcome of our elections,” Griswold said. “I believe secret political spending is eroding our democracy and I will work to increase transparency of these hidden campaign donors and get secret money out of Colorado politics.”
Beyond its role in administering and ensuring fair elections, Griswold said the Colorado Secretary of State provides an array of services for residents and businesses in the state. As a small business owner herself, Griswold believe the Secretary of State’s office can boost the economy and create jobs by cutting red tape and making it easier for people to launch their own business.
“Government bureaucracy should never stand in the way of success,” Griswold said.
Not much changes in Red Cliff, Eagle County’s oldest town. But change is coming on Water Street, the town’s main drag.