Two clerks absent as Election Day draws near - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Two clerks absent as Election Day draws near

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Election Day is less than 24 hours away and yet local governments in two Southern Colorado communities are going without their top election officers, for very different reasons.

In Pueblo, City Clerk Gina Dutcher is retiring. Meanwhile in Fremont County, Clerk and Recorder Katie Barr voluntarily removed herself from her job during a criminal investigation brought on by a News 5 Investigates request for public documents.

Still, leaders in both communities say there is no reason to believe that the absences of the two women will have any impact on the outcome of the election.
Fremont County Commissioner Debbie Bell points out that Barr oversees a dedicated staff of public servants in the County Elections Office who are committed to their work.

"Our Elections Department, which is located inside the Clerk's Office, is fabulous," Bell says. "They have done a really great job this year as in every year."
She notes that Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams has been in contact with the county since the criminal probe against Barr began. Bell says

Williams even sent some of his employees to Canon City to help.

"We have absolutely no concerns at all about this election," Bell adds.

In Pueblo, Dutcher's official retirement will begin on November 30. She has been a public servant since 1985, spending the last 22 years as the appointed City Clerk. 

There are multiple City-specific questions facing voters this year. However, much of the work that Dutcher and her staff had to do in preparation wrapped up weeks ago before the ballots were printed. 

As a coordinated election, Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz will handle the collection and counting of all ballots Tuesday night. Dutcher left on vacation last week and the City has since appointed Deputy City Clerk Brenda Armijo as Interim City Clerk.

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