Posted on Jun 12, 2024
Last week we welcomed our new Larimer County Clerk and Recorder, Tina Harris as our guest speaker. Most of us are thinking about elections this year as we have both a special election and a national election.  But Tina’s job also includes oversight of Vehicle Licensing (VL) and Recording.  Tina was introduced by Irene Josey our Larimer County Treasurer and Tina’s longtime friend and coworker.  Irene assured us that Tina works very hard and is completely nonpartisan. The Clerk’s office this year is focused on outreach, and we were encouraged to listen, learn and share information about what the office does for the people of Larimer County.  Tina started in the Clerk’s office as a VL technician in 1999.   She was early focused on “what can I do for you” rather than “no, I can’t help you”.  Remarkably, her contact info (including cell phone number) is available to the public 24/7!
Tina started the information with Vehicle Licensing. A recent addition under her watch is a call back feature so customers don’t have to wait on the phone (this is calculated as saving 30-40 hours of hold-time per month).  Online services and robust telephone transactions decrease the need to come into the office. There are also 3 self-service kiosks in the county (King Soopers) that offer multiple services.  License renewals do not require a trip to the office as they can usually be handled online or by telephone.  Online, when you click on the service you need, you will learn what documents you need for that service.  There is also a Chat feature for questions backed by a human.  If you must come in, it is best to schedule an appointment rather than walk in.
The Recording section of the office handles marriage licensing, Passports, documents and liquor licenses. The Recorder also records notes from Board meetings and makes appointments for those contesting real estate tax assessments. New this year is a “Recording Activity Notification” (requires sign up).  This feature sends an email alert whenever a document is recorded in your name (this might alert you to a scam).  Be sure when you sign up (cards on the tables) include every possible variation of your name.
Elections - the topic we all have been waiting for - there is an election in 13 days (state primary election) and there is also a special congressional election for those in CD-4 (Loveland, Windsor and Wellington). And, of course, a general election on November 5th.  A plea was made to “volunteer” as an election judge (500 more needed).  This is a paid position and includes a variety of work options.
The special CD-4 election was triggered by the resignation of Ken Buck. This is only the second time this has occurred in the county (the last time was in 1983).  Eligible voters must select a candidate to fill the remaining term (7/24-1/25) as well as the next congressional term.
Ballot envelopes - Voters receive either a Democratic or Republican ballot for the state primary and a CD-4 ballot if you are in that congressional district. Unaffiliated voters will receive a packet - 2 ballots and a secrecy sleeve (to highlight voter instructions).  Only one ballot should be returned.  By law the office must record which party was voted for.   Envelopes are color coded as unaffiliated ballots go through a different sorting process.  Sample ballots were displayed, as they have undergone a makeover now with instructions at the top and races at the bottom (samples also available on the website).
Election results start to appear about 7:30 PM ( after the polling places close.  Please return ballots early!    If more than 20,000 ballots are received on election night, counting will go into the next day.  Real time information is available on the office social media sites (Facebook and X).
How can we safeguard our elections?  Be vigilant, get involved, ask questions, have conversations with your neighbors and friends and be sure to update your personal information with the Clerk’s office.
The Q&A period assured members that only living US citizens are allowed to vote and the quality of the counting process in our county is not just Gold but probably Platinum standard!   We are also fortunate that no threats have been made to the office or judges.
We thank our busy public servant for this timely presentation. 
Be sure to vote!