Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold awarded National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion Awards to five individuals or organizations who made significant contributions to the success of the 2020 General Election, which featured unprecedented challenges including a global pandemic, forest fires across the state and rampant election disinformation. In a special ceremony, Secretary Griswold recognized Sara Rosene, Grand County Clerk; Kathy Simillion, Gunnison County Clerk; Josh Zygielbaum, Adams County Clerk; Christopher Krebs, former Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA); and the Colorado League of Women Voters.
“The five recipients of these Medallion Awards each played an invaluable role in ensuring the 2020 General Election was successful,” said Secretary Griswold. “I’m happy to recognize their enormous achievements while also extending my profound thanks to each of them for their hard work in making sure the election went so well both in Colorado and nationwide.”
In a press release from Griswold’s office she pointed out the dedication of the entire Gunnison County Clerk’s office. “If ever there was an example of the effects of COVID-19 on election workers, it was in Gunnison County, where nearly all of the staff contracted the virus during the important period of post-election canvassing and certification,” the press release stated. “Even amidst this health crisis, Clerk Simillion and her staff continued their work and made sure the results from Gunnison were certified in time.”
Griswold also recognized the effort of the League of Women Voters chapters across the state. “More Coloradans participated in the General Election than ever before. A big reason for that voter enthusiasm is the work of civic organizations like the Colorado chapter of the League of Women Voters, which for years has worked tirelessly to inform and educate voters to promote civic engagement,” she stated. “The League of Women Voters work was very important in this election, and they helped voters navigate the pandemic and unfounded concerns over mail ballots. Their determination and commitment to Colorado voters helped the state reach historic participation levels despite historic challenges. Under the direction of Beth Hendrix, the League of Women Voters once again demonstrated their importance to Colorado’s nationally-renowned election model.”
The NASS Medallion Award allows individual Secretaries of State to recognize outstanding service and dedication to furthering the mission of the National Association of Secretaries of State within each state.