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Shared values: ‘Free, fair elections’

The race for Colorado’s secretary of state has never been more important. We as Coloradans and Americans face a voter confidence challenge.

As the former Jefferson County clerk and recorder and Wheat Ridge municipal clerk, I have had a hand in leading on every major election reform for two decades. I have stood up and led to bring access and transparency, and I have a proven track record of checking my partisanship at the door and providing honorable public service. I am humbled to have received endorsements from unaffiliated, Republican and Democratic county clerks across the state because we all share a goal of being fair referees.

I served in leadership and as the head of the Colorado County Clerks Association, working alongside La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Lee and others to build the policies and procedures that make our system both accessible and protected. We share a belief that government closest to the people works best, but we need to support local communities to ensure rural counties aren’t left behind.

Current Secretary of State Jena Griswold sees her position as a launching pad for her next partisan political office. Almost immediately after she was elected, Griswold filed an exploratory committee to run for the U.S. Senate. This sent a clear message to voters, election officials and the agency staff about her priorities. She proceeded to increase hyper-partisanship by weighing in on polarizing issues likely to become initiatives. Those political priorities led to historic turnover at the agency, which has negatively impacted elections, businesses and charities when we needed leadership most in a global pandemic.

Griswold has also used $4 million in taxpayer funds for her own self-promotion through television and social media advertisements. Funds that counties in Southwest Colorado could have used to improve accessibility and safeguards for their elections.

In short, Griswold has broken the public trust. I will approach the office differently.

Serving as an impartial professional, I will continue my work and push back on misinformation and help inform voters about the process and safeguards built into our system. My priorities include restoring a professional code of ethics, fully funding elections and launching a Citizens Elections Academy to empower citizens to learn about elections and return home to support voters.

Together, and as your fair referee, we can restore and rebuild faith and confidence for Colorado for the values we share as Americans – free and fair elections.

Pam Anderson is the Republican candidate for Colorado’s secretary of state.