Former Pueblo lawmaker sworn in as secretary of state |

Former Pueblo lawmaker sworn in as secretary of state

DENVER ” A former state senator from Pueblo took over the critical job of overseeing state elections when she was sworn in as Colorado’s 34th secretary of state on Monday.

Gigi Dennis replaces Donetta Davidson, who resigned to join a federal election panel. Dennis, who served in the Senate from 1995 to 2001, spent the past five years as Colorado director of rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

She was appointed secretary of state by Gov. Bill Owens to fill the last year of Davidson’s term. Owens, Dennis and Davidson are all Republicans.

Dennis vowed to work hard to implement new voting reforms demanded by Congress after the presidential election of 2000 was embroiled in questions about its accuracy and fairness.

Dennis said Colorado already has a plan in place to implement the federal Help America Vote Act, which requires statewide voter registration system to be up and running by Jan. 1.

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State officials have said Colorado may not meet the deadline because of errors in software developed by private contractor Accenture LLP.

Owens called Dennis “one of the best of the best.”

Dennis has not said whether she will run for election for the post next year. State Treasurer Mike Coffman, who took a leave of absence to help Iraqis run their elections, said he is running for the job.

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