Name: Caroline Cornell
Profession: Small business owner and consultant
Biography: Female, age 53, resides in unincorporated Arapahoe County near Centennial.
How can the clerk's office improve its perception to voters who feel they can't trust the current system?
Balancing election security and voting accessibility is key. My promise is to check partisan politics at the door, while improving transparency in elections. I've learned that when people don't know how something works and aren't getting answers, they become skeptical. When they hear partisan rhetoric on top of that, there is bound to be mistrust. Rebuilding public confidence starts with elected officials choosing to turn down partisan rhetoric and work toward common ground. As a nonprofit leader, I've led diverse teams to collaborate on hot-button issues uniting members around shared goals. I'll leverage these experiences in the clerk's office.
What are your views on current Colorado election procedures?
I believe in continuous improvement; elections are no exception. We want a system where it’s easy to legally vote, and almost impossible to cheat. Improvements to signature verification audits and regulating ballot harvesting activities are the next legislative step. By signing your ballot envelope, you’re ensuring that the signature verification process functions as the identification backstop in Colorado’s system. Election procedures include testing and audits before, during and after each election to confirm equipment and processes are functioning correctly. Results are then certified by a bipartisan citizen audit board who reviews all ballot tabulations before confirming the outcome is accurate.
What would be your approach to increasing voter turnout and accessibility?
As a civics geek with a poli-sci degree, I have long believed that everyone who can vote, should vote. Many don’t because they feel their vote won’t matter. They haven’t connected voting with how you are heard. Elections give people a chance to have a say in policies that impact our lives — are things working well or is it time for a change. I believe in solving root causes. As clerk, I plan to create a civic engagement program to boost understanding about why voting matters and how the elections process works while deemphasizing partisan issues that turn people off.
Arapahoe County is an outlier in Colorado for not having walk-in DMV offices. What would you do about that if elected?
This is a major pain point. Arapahoe residents want all branches fully reopened, blending appointments with same-day walk-in options. As a responsive leader, I know to listen to clear messages from constituents. I’ve heard many who feel their access to services is blocked: residents turned away because they didn't realize services are appointment-only; people who left something in the car and had to reschedule; or folks who wanted to visit the day they learned about a problem instead of waiting weeks for an appointment. Bottom line is one-size-fits-all solutions are not fully meeting the needs of Arapahoe residents.
How could you depoliticize the role of clerk and recorder?
Ask any parent, and you'll hear attitude is half the battle. People naturally gravitate to a commonsense advocate who rejects extremes on both sides and seeks common ground. Every interaction affords an opportunity to deescalate our politicized environment. Citizens want a responsive clerk who manages the staff effectively and serves the businesses and public efficiently. A clerk who can speak with confidence about election processes, protecting accessibility while safeguarding election security is important. A clerk with the skills to deliver on all these points will naturally depoliticize the role.
What sets you apart from the other candidate in this race?
I’m an energetic leader with a customer-focused approach. As a community leader, I am known for the ability to generate successful outcomes in complex situations. I excel at problem solving, developing consensus, and building teams. My business career includes administering multi-million dollar budgets, overseeing complex projects, people management, and process improvement. I’ve led numerous nonprofit boards and currently serve as board chair for a well-known statewide nonprofit. As clerk, I’ll be a common-sense advocate for the people of Arapahoe County. I’ll use my real world skills to improve services and deliver accessible, secure elections for all Arapahoe’s citizens.