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Secretary of State appoints supervisor to oversee General Election in Pueblo County

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Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold issued an Election Order appointing Teak Simonton as Election Supervisor in Pueblo County to ensure the fair and accessible conduct of the upcoming election.

Teak Simonton, a professional election administrator, will monitor decisions made and actions taken in Pueblo County related to the administration of the 2022 General Election starting October 17, 2022.

The decision to appoint a Supervisor follows multiple mistakes by the Democratic Clerk and Recorder and his Office during the Primary, which resulted in voter confusion and the need to distribute replacement ballots to thousands of Pueblo voters. 

The errors made during the Primary included sending ballots with the incorrect State House race to voters in Pueblo County’s Precinct 209. The Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder’s Office also omitted the County Commissioner District 3 race from a substantial number of ballots mailed to voters in Pueblo during the Primary.

In addition, the Pueblo County Clerk alerted the Department of State Friday afternoon, October 14, of a misprint on the General Election ballots in Pueblo County.

The ballots include a tear-off tab at the top of the ballot that says “Official Primary Election Ballot,” even though the rest of the ballot makes clear that it is actually the ballot for the General Election. Because the misprint on the tear-off tab does not affect the legal validity of the ballot; is not legally required; and the infeasibility of printing new ballots in time, Pueblo voters will receive these ballots.

An Election Supervisor will be on site throughout the election to assist Pueblo County in mitigating and preventing any other errors. The Supervisor is authorized to monitor the activities of the elections staff of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office and is there to help the County meet its duties and obligations under state and federal law. The County Clerk and staff will take any and all lawful direction from the Election Supervisor and any other Secretary of State designee on any and all election matters.

Simonton previously served as the Clerk and Recorder for Eagle County and worked in various leadership roles for the Colorado County Clerks Association. Simonton also served as an Election Supervisor for Mesa County in 2020 and provided support in Alamosa County in 2021 and 2022.

In 2021, Secretary Griswold appointed an Election Supervisor in Mesa County after Clerk Tina Peters compromised her county's voting equipment. During the 2022 Primary, Griswold appointed Election Supervisors in Elbert County after the Clerk violated Colorado Elections Rules by giving unauthorized individuals copies of images of the county’s voting system hard drives, and in Pueblo County following multiple errors. Griswold also sent additional support to Mesa County and Alamosa County during the 2022 Primary.