Coffee with a candidate

Secretary of State hopeful hosts morning meeting

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— Steamboat Springs residents stopping for a cup of coffee or a scone this morning can meet a man running to be Colorado's next Secretary of State.

Democratic candidate Ken Gordon will meet with the public from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. this morning, at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, Coffeehouse and Wine Bar, on 7th Street south of Lincoln Avenue.

Gordon, a former public defender and lawyer, has represented parts of Arapahoe and Denver counties in the state Legislature for the past 14 years. During that time he has served as House Minority Leader, Senate Judiciary Chair and Senate Majority Leader.

One year ago, Gordon organized and led a walk through Colorado from the Wyoming border to the New Mexico border, down the Front Range, in support of Referendum C, a tax initiative approved by voters statewide in November 2005.

Prior to that election, Gordon sponsored Senate Bill 198, which requires all county clerk and recorders in Colorado to conduct a post-election audit of their voting machines, comparing at least one percent of the ballot results to results obtained in a manual recount.

After the 2005 election, in the first year of the legislation, post-election audits changed the result of a City Council race in Salida and a school ballot issue in Clear Creek County.

A lawsuit brought to a Denver district court last month challenged the reliability of electronic voting machines in Colorado, raising questions about the ability of counties to obtain accurate vote counts, just weeks before the Nov. 7 election. The judge presiding over the case ruled in favor of testing and certification done on electronic voting machines used in Colorado, and ruled in favor of the Secretary of State's office.

Gordon's opponent in the Secretary of State race also knows a few things about establishing fair and accurate elections. Republican Mike Coffman, a former state treasurer, enlisted in the military and traveled in Iraq in 2005 to help establish elections in the war-torn country.

"If you can help set up an election process in Iraq, you can do it well in Colorado," state Sen. Jack Taylor, a Steamboat Springs Republican, said of Coffman Friday.

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