Democratic: El Paso County, CO
CLERK & RECORDER CANDIDATE
Campaign Website URL: www.LisaWilkes.org
Email Address: info@LisaWilkes.org
Resident of the El Paso County: 21 years with 2 years in Seattle
What experience (personal, professional, other) would you bring to your role as Clerk and Recorder that will benefit our county?
As a Commissioner on the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission, I have helped to redistrict the whole state of Colorado. With the passing of Colorado House Bill 21-1047, the process of redistricting the County Commissioner Districts will align with the process I implemented as a commissioner. This is a vital role the Clerk and Recorder does for El Paso County. With over 15 years in the IT field, I have a strong project management background. The position of the Clerk and Recorder is one that oversees many different departments with constantly moving needs and deadlines. My skill set allows me to easily manage multiple complex situations with transparency and efficiency.
What is your vision for being our county’s Clerk and Recorder?
As the Clerk I want to acknowledge the successes of the past, while working to bring about more accessibility and transparency to the position. I want to invite others to participate as election judges so they can see the security measures, the tasks being done, and how we protect our data. I would like to work seamlessly within all the wheelhouses of the Clerk and Recorder, following the laws that govern the County’s working. We can utilize more technology to make sure that we increase our efficiency for all of El Paso’s constituents.
Clerk and Recorder's Role
What are the roles, rights, and duties of the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder?
The Clerk and Recorder in El Paso County is responsible for overseeing four different departments that all have very important functions within our county’s management. One department serves as Clerk to the board of County Commissioners, taking care of all the paperwork and requirements they need to govern the County. Another department is the Motor Vehicles Department, which is responsible for the licensing of our cars and drivers. The Records Department is responsible for keeping, updating, and providing access to all our important records, including birth, death, and marriage records. The final, and some would say most important, is our Elections Department, which is responsible for facilitating smooth, fair, transparent, and accessible elections for the electorate of El Paso County.
How would you run the Clerk and Recorder’s office differently from your predecessor?
I would try to bring in more computerization of tasks at the Dept of Motor Vehicles to increase efficiency and reduce wait times for our customers. I would also make voting more accessible with the addition of more drop boxes within our County so that boxes would be in a reasonable walking distance in our metropolitan areas. I would make sure that the County Commissioner Districts are drawn by an independent commission whose members accurately represent the political affiliations of the county, including unaffiliated voters. This step will make voting in El Paso County more fair and transparent.
Is the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Election Department doing enough to ensure election integrity? If not, what are your proposals to secure our Colorado Elections?
The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Election Department does a detailed look at signatures, which is a good way to catch those who would fraudulently sign their name to someone else’s ballot. We then take those cases to the District Attorney. We also work to ensure no person can vote more than one time. I believe the Department is following the laws and is working hard to prevent fraud. The best way to secure our elections is to invite the public in as Election workers so they see the process firsthand. They will then be able to see the integrity that comes with having Mail-in ballots and in-person voting. Transparency is the most important key.
Colorado Secretary of State
Do you believe that Colorado’s current Secretary of State is facilitating or hindering the Clerk and Recorder’s performance of sworn duties?
The job of the Secretary of State is to oversee the work done by the Clerk and Recorders to maintain integrity and to provide a check and balance to the hard work the Clerks are responsible for. The Secretary of State also fields some of the work around non-county candidates and provides a standardization that the Clerks help to maintain. This is all done to facilitate the Clerk and Recorder’s performance, and to make for the most transparent, and standardized elections for our electorate. Checks and balances and processes and procedures are there to make sure that all levels of our government uphold the law, regardless of their own personal affiliations.
Given the population growth in Colorado Springs, what is your position on the number and operation of satellite offices that the Clerk and Recorder currently has in place?
Our current Clerk and Recorder has spent time expanding the amount of satellite offices, but we still need more options. We could investigate what is possible for a virtual office, see what work could be done with both our staff and constituents being remote. This feature will help people by providing shorter wait times in the comfort and safety of their own home. This is something especially important to keep business moving in unprecedented times, such as with COVID, while still protecting the health of all involved. We need more voting boxes, and small offices with only a ballot box and kiosk could help those that need something done but don’t have their own computer.
What are your priorities for the following departments: a. Recording, b. Motor Vehicles, c. Election
For both Recording and Motor Vehicles the largest improvement would be to provide virtual offices where both staff and customers could get work done with us from the comfort and convenience of their residence.
As for Elections, increasing transparency and accessibility is my main priority. There are many checks and balances that we can advertise. People can see those security functions firsthand by becoming an election judge or staff at election times. We can also increase accessibility by providing more locations within a reasonable walking distance in metropolitan areas. The mail-in ballot option increases the time for voting, but more boxes will help people to be able to potentially walk to a ballot box to participate in democracy.
How do you believe that tax revenue in Colorado should be best utilized to improve our infrastructure?
Tax dollars should always be used responsibly. It will require a commitment to standards, time, and money. I believe that safe communities and safe streets are wise investments that we must make to protect our families and ensure healthy and safe living environments. As a mother, grandmother, and business owner, I know that public safety is unequivocal; and essential infrastructure components are imperative for safe living and working conditions. I will prioritize infrastructure during state budget discussions because this is the primary means of connecting disparate parts of the state, strengthening the economy, and alleviating challenges associated with a quickly growing population.
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