PUEBLO COUNTY — Pueblo County's Clerk and Recorder Candace Rivera has been on the job for about seven months. Not even a year in, the elections department not only has a new leader but a new home.
On Tuesday, Rivera along with Election Director Dan Lepik gave a tour of the new space inside the old Wells Fargo building on 8th and Main. Both county leaders hailed the space as an upgrade to make elections more efficient and secure.
The big reason for it? space.
Lepik said the new elections department is about 12,300 square feet compared to 6,500 square feet at the previous location, which the county rented out, costing taxpayers about $90,000 a year.
Rivera said the added physical space will allow the county to bring in additional equipment and more election judges to speed up the time to process ballots.
"The elections staff is very competent, very knowledgeable, and now we have the space to exercise that efficiency," Rivera said. "getting results to the public, earning the voter's trust is very important to me."
The physical space is just one change the county is making with elections. Rivera said the county is now contracting with a new printing vendor, which she said will save $30,000.
Ballots will look a little different for voters in Pueblo County, there will be no tab to tear off the top and no secrecy sleeve, similar to ballots in El Paso County. The tabs were also a point of concern in the 2022 general election, some of those tabs said the ballot was for the primary instead of the general.
The misprint led Colorado's Secretary of State to appoint an outside election supervisor for the county.
Lepik said the supervisor made suggestions the county implemented in the move. The county is also doubling the number of tabulation machines from two to four.
"[The changes] can be important because people like results quickly," Wayne Williams, former Colorado Secretary of State said, "the quicker they come out the more confidence there is in them."
Colorado law requires ballots to be "cured" eight days after the election. This is where if there's a signature discrepancy, voters can correct it.
The longer it takes to process those ballots, the less time voters have to correct their ballot and get their vote counted.
Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.