Amber McReynolds, Colorado Politics can report, has gotten much bigger than Denver.
The city's former elections leader is the subject of a spread this week in the prestigious magazine (that President Trump covets) as "the country’s most outspoken evangelist for voting by mail," and a guru to other states trying to figure it out for the first time this year because of the pandemic.
Some of the credit for Colorado’s progress goes to Denver’s longtime elections director, Amber McReynolds. She helped inspire and usher in wide-ranging advances and innovations during her lengthy tenure.
She's fought that fight this year in the face of a president telling the country the election process with mail ballots is rigged, but she's known political battles closer to home.
"McReynolds’ 15-year career in elections had also prepared her for this moment," explained Time reporter Abigail Abrams. "As Denver’s director of elections for most of the last decade, she helped shape Colorado’s system into one of the leading vote-by-mail programs in the country."
The rise of her profile was easy to chart. She left the city in 2018 to lead the National Vote at Home Institute.
In February, she released a book, "When Women Vote," she co-authored with her friend Stephanie Donner, John Hickenlooper’s chief legal counsel when he was governor.
Joey Bunch: "Flip to almost any page [of 'When Women Vote'], and there's something you probably didn't know ... . It lays out the issues in simple language: fair maps, voter registration, ballot-delivery options and primary election reform among them. Women tend to be better collaborators, according to research."
In March, the National Vote at Home Institute, published the first national guide to help election officials in states across the country figure out the mechanics and policy practicalities of vote-at-home, vote-by-mail and absentee options, with specific recommendations for 30 issues they might encounter.
In 2018, Governing magazine named her one of the 10 best public officials in the country, but Governing, now out of business, isn't Time.
Like the largest bloc of Colorado voters, McReynolds, still a Denverite, is unaffiliated.
“I believe in my heart of hearts that election administration must be free from partisan politics,” McReynolds told the venerable magazine.