On Feb. 12, at the United Methodist Church, 228 E 4th, Salida, CO Chaffee County Commissioners Dave Potts, Keith Baker and Greg Felt answered questions from members and the public.

Chaffee County, Colorado Commissioners Potts, Baker and Felts gave updates and took questions about the state of the county.


On January 8th, 2018 the League of Women Voters of Chaffee County, Colorado hosted an informational presentation on Political Party Caucuses and Primary Elections 101. Guest speaker was Chaffee County Clerk, Lori Mitchell.
An overview of Party Caucuses and New Rules regulating CO Primary Elections including Unaffiliated Voters Participation was discussed. View the Video:


America’s Federal Public Lands Face Big Challenges

On December 11 at Noon at the United Methodist Church in Salida at 228 E. 4th St. Sue Greiner and Kathy McCoy representing Arkansas Valley Women United presented on America’s Public Lands.

Since well over 80% of Chaffee County is public land of some kind, you might want to learn more about the challenges surrounding these lands.

In the past year, the current Congress and the Department of Interior have aggressively pursued numerous initiatives that threaten to diminish our federal public lands–reducing national monuments, gutting the Antiquities Act, cutting agency budgets, weakening resource extraction regulations, and proposing to divest our Federal Public Lands to the individual states. Sue Greiner and Kathy McCoy, as a project of the Arkansas Valley Women United, will discuss the Bears Ears National Monument review, as well as these other concerns and their implications for Chaffee County, Colorado and the West.

Public Lands Slide Show


Sue Greiner has co-owned Wilderness Aware Rafting in Buena Vista for 32 years. She has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and a B.A. in Sustainability Studies. Sue piloted a community solar project in Buena Vista and is on the board of Friends of Browns Canyon. She is an avid hiker, loves to travel, and is passionate about protecting our public lands.

Kathy McCoy taught graphic design for 32 years. She has applied her design skills and experiences to local organizations like GARNA, USFS, Town of BV and volunteers for Friends of Four Mile, the Stage & Rail Trail, and various land use initiatives. She chaired a focus group in the Chaffee County Land Use Roundtable and the Citizens Code Committee.


Money in Politics

Money in Politics: What it is and What Can Be Done About It.
The public was invited to attend this informational presentation on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 at Sangre de Cristo Community Room in Buena Vista, Colorado from 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Rionda Osman, from LWV of Boulder County’s Campaign Finance Reform Team, spoke about money in politics at the national, state and local levels, including ways we can advocate for improvements in election financing.

Money in Politics Action Kit

Printable slides from the Money in Politics Presentation below


On Thursday, Nov. 16th, 2017 from 5:30 – 7:30 at the Branding Iron in BV featured speaker, Caroline Fry, the Advocacy & Media Manager with Colorado Common Cause discussed with an audience of about 40 people how money affects state and local races. She shared hands-on strategies to use to track money in Colorado politics. The audience enjoyed complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. Below are the slides from the presentation.

Money in Colorado Politics Common Cause Slideshow

Caroline recommend a few things that you may find interesting:

The Secretary of State’s TRACER website: http://tracer.sos.colorado.gov/PublicSite/homepage.aspx

This is where you can see every dollar coming in and out of every committee that is raising and spending money in Colorado elections. I am hoping to record and release a short video explaining how the public can use the website to “follow the money” during the 2018 elections. For now, you can watch the Secretary of State’s training videos on their website (pay specific attention to 7) search contributions & 8) search expenditures):  http://tracer.sos.colorado.gov/PublicSite/WebTraining.aspx

Colorado Common Cause email list:

Folks who sign up will hear about what we’re working on throughout the year, including action alerts, special events, and Common Cause news.

Colorado Action Committee:

This is a sign-up list for Common Cause activists who want to do more than just receive occasional emails from us. I personally email this list bi-weekly with updates about how they can get plugged into our work. For example, there’s a net neutrality rally that we’re planning in December 9th, and some of my action committee members are helping us with the planning.

Additionally, folks can follow Common Cause on Facebook and Twitter.


Money in Politics – Drinks & Dialogue

On Thursday, Nov. 16th, 2017 from 5:30 – 7:30 at the Branding Iron in BV featured speaker, Caroline Fry, the Advocacy & Media Manager with Colorado Common Cause discussed with an audience of about 40 people how money affects state and local races. She shared hands-on strategies to use to track money in Colorado politics. The audience enjoyed complimentary appetizers and a cash bar.



Date of public event: October 11, 2017 – 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.
League to Host Salida City Government Candidates
at the Salida Community Center, 305 F Street, Salida, CO 81201
The League of Women Voters of Chaffee County (LWVCC) has announced the League will host a public event for Salida City Government Candidates – Mayor and City Council. Candidates participating are
  • Ward 1 candidates Monica Griesenbeck and Dan Shore,
  • Ward 2 candidates Justin Critelli and Richard Leavitt, and
  • Ward 3 candidates incumbent Melodee Hallett and challenger Harald Kaspar.
  • Mayoral Candidate incumbent Jim Livecchi is scheduled to attend, but his challenger, PT Wood is unable to attend due to a prior out-of-town commitment. A proxy for Mr. Wood will make introductory remarks in his stead.

Ballots will be distributed during the week of October 16.

It’s a Political Party!  Traditionally, the LWVCC has conducted forums using a model in which audience members have their questions asked of candidates through a moderator.  Because of the number of candidates, we feel that the answers to questions would become redundant, and due to time constraints, a limited number of questions could be answered.  We propose use a different forum model, one called by one local league “Candi-Dating.” Check out this link (http://lwv.org/blog/candi-dating-using-speed-networking-meet-candidates) to read about it.  After each candidate has the opportunity to make 2-minute opening remarks, the process will essentially follow a speed-dating model.  This is the same model successfully used last year for Chaffee County Commissioners and HD 60 candidates in Salida and Buena Vista.

The LWVCC’s mission for the past 15 years has been to provide opportunities for local citizens to hear candidates running for office and learn about ballot issues.”  The LWVCC does not support or oppose candidates or political parties. It is a local community organization open to all persons 18 years of age and older. For information, visit lwvchafeecounty.org.

Candi-Dating Volunteers Needed
Dear LWVCC Member,
Some of you helped with last year’s successful Chaffee County Commissioner/HD 60 Candi-Dating event and know how exciting the evening can be.  To date, we have seven of eight candidates committed to attending the event, hence we need seven volunteer table moderators.  Volunteers will also function as greeters, assigning attendees to numbered tables.  Candidates will move from table to table at ten minute intervals so we also need a time keeper.  Help setting up and taking down will also be appreciated.  Please contact me by email or cell phone below if you are available and willing to help.


Scott Hartman
LWVCC Voter Service Coordinator
719-221-4580Neither Candi-Dating nor our more traditional Candidate Forums would be possible without the help of volunteers like you.  Nearly 130 Chaffee County voters (75 in BV; 52 in Salida) had the opportunity to get to know the candidates and where they stand on local issues over the two evenings’ events.  I think that Candi-Dating gives us a dynamic new tool to educate voters and make candidates accessible to Chaffee County voters.Buena Vista: There are no contested races for the BV School Board.  Scott attended an informational meeting about 3-A, the school bond issue.  After speaking with Earl Richmond and Lisa Yates, we felt that the weekly informational meetings conducted by the school district was adequate for getting out the positive vote.  Both noted that much of the opposition to last year’s 3-A had dissolved and some had even indicated that this year’s 3-A was really what they wanted all the time.

Drinks & Dialogue

Director Jason Grant Smith to Participate in the Screening of his Film, I Voted? at the League of Women Voter’s Drinks and Dialogue Event at the Boathouse in Salida, on October 26th from 5:30-7:30 pm.

How do you know if your vote was counted? How do you know if the electronic voting systems that are increasingly used by states are accurate? I Voted? is a film which was featured at the Tribeca film festival this past year that investigates these concerns. Produced by Katie Couric and directed by Jason Grant Smith, the film takes a close look at some of the serious security problems with electronic voting.

Come to this League of Women Voters Drinks and Dialogue event on October 26th, at the Boathouse, 228 North F Street, Salida to see the film and have a post film discussion. Jason Grant Smith, the director, will participate remotely to answer questions and make comments about the film. Lori Mitchell, County Clerk will also be available to answer questions about the Colorado approach to issues of voter security. Buy a drink, enjoy some appetizers provided by the League and join us for this enjoyable and thought-provoking evening.


Jim Wilson - HD60

Forty members and guests enjoyed the LWVCC annual picnic. Representative Jim Wilson gave an update on the legislation he worked on last year and what he will introduce this year.  Kerry Donavan was unable to attend, because of a state committee meeting. She did send a her regrets and a summary of her bills.  Thank you, Scott Hartman and Mary Helen Dunn for getting and preparing the pulled-pork and doing the set-up and take down.  Karen Dils, Jan Scar, Rose Mirich, Marjie Gray and Bob Gray also helped and many other pitched in to help clean up.  LWV members brought delicious side dishes to share.  Marjie presented a power point showing what the LWVUS and LWVCO have been actively doing while we all enjoyed our summer. We welcome two new members from Salida: Nancy Kirkwood  and Judy Bol.

The League’s Journey

I am pleased to share with you this video describing the League’s journey to strengthen our role in creating a more perfect democracy as we approach our 100th anniversary and look to our second century.

Throughout the League, we are having important conversations about where we are as an organization – and where we want to be in 2020.
We are looking at ways to grow our mission impact by engaging new members, increasing?our visibility and sharpening our focus on core issues. We are exploring opportunities to make us a stronger organization at all levels.
We are aligning our Making Democracy Work™ campaign to ensure that our organization flourishes for generations to come.
The next stop on this transformation journey will take place in June at National Council where we will talk with state League leaders to get their feedback and ideas.  We’ll update you on that work this summer.
Until then, thank you for all that you do and for being our partners during this exciting time for the League.
In League,


League of Women Voters
1730 M Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 202-429-1965


Voting Methods 101 by LWV Boulder County

LWVBoulder County Voting Methods Team


Because plurality voting (the voting method most commonly used in elections across the USA) often produces results that do not accurately represent the voters’ preferences, and
Because the 2016 election has heightened interest in better voting methods locally, statewide and nationally in order to get results that more accurately represent the voters’ preferences, and
Because, while acknowledging that there is no perfect method of voting, there is agreement among voting methods experts that there are alternative methods of voting (e.g., rank choice, approval, score) that, compared to plurality, more accurately represent the voters’ preferences, improve the election experience, and encourage honest voting rather than tactical voting, and
Because improving the election experience can help the LWV reach its Making Democracy Work® goals of engaging more voters in the election process and increasing fairness in and accessibility to the democratic process, and Because the LWV of Colorado and LWVUS do not have a position on voting methods, therefore
The LWV of Boulder County offers the following position statement for local league consideration and seeks their vote of concurrence at the 2017 May Convention of the League of Women Voters of Colorado:


The League supports authorizing and implementing alternatives to plurality voting that allow people to express their preferences more effectively. The League supports gaining on-the-ground experience with alternative voting methods in order to ascertain whether a voting method results in outcomes that match voters’ preferences as recorded on their ballots. The League supports voting methods that improve the election experience, that encourage honest voting rather than tactical voting, and that consider ease of implementation.

• Some voting methods are intended for single-winner elections, others for multi- winner elections. It is important that the intended use of a voting method match its actual application. Multi-winner voting methods can promote proportional representation which fosters diversity of our elected officials.
• Election officials should conduct post-election analysis to evaluate the voters’ usage of the voting method and the election’s reflection of voters’ stated preferences. There should be sufficient data transparency–for example, access to ballot records in anonymous form–for an independent analysis to be conducted by other interested groups.