How Did Bernie Buescher’s Office Absences Affect Military Ballot Access?

The Colorado Government Accountability Government Project (CGAP) reports that appointed Democrat Secretary of State Bernie Buescher “has spent one-fifth of his time as Secretary out of the office on personal matters.” As the indispensable news aggregator Complete Colorado tags the story: “Weekend at Bernie’s… Literally”

According to a Grand Junction Sentinel story, Buescher questions the methodology of CGAP’s report, saying it didn’t factor in work he did after regular office hours. One point made in the story by CGAP’s Stephanie Cegielski is crucial, though:

“I understand that as an elected official, you are an elected official 24 hours a day,” she said. “My biggest concern was 8 to 5 because that’s when the staff is in the office and when the work gets done. There were dinners in the evenings … but I don’t know if they were personal dinners or work-related.” [emphasis added]

During the day… when staff work gets done… when the Secretary of State’s office could have figured out how to ensure military personnel get their ballots on time, rather than wait more than nine months to request a (rejected, eventually) waiver from the Department of Defense. How did Bernie Buescher’s extended office absences affect the duty to get Colorado military voters’ ballot access? Another nagging question for the incumbent.

What would be interesting to see is a comparison with the work-day schedules of previous officeholders Mike Coffman or Gigi Dennis, or in the future with our likely next Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

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