Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams addressed the issue of trust in elections and what states can do to rebuild confidence when he spoke this week at the first ever Global Election Technology Summit.
The GET Summit was organized by Startup Policy Lab, which invited bi-partisan leaders and innovators in elections, technology and other areas to get their input. Williams was a keynote speaker at the summit held Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco.
Colorado is viewed as being on the cutting edge of election technology. In an attempt to move the state from its checkerboard pattern of voting systems, Williams in 2015 selected Dominion Voting Systems to provide equipment to Colorado’s 64 counties. The selection came after a pilot program and the recommendation of a committee.
In addition, county clerks and their staffs currently are undergoing training to learn how to perform the latest in post-election audits.
In a news release, Charles Belle, co-founder of Startup Policy Lab and the GET Summit, said end-of-life status for voting machinery across the United States has reached “epic” proportions, “posing a massive legitimacy and issue to elections from the local to federal level.”
“No area is immune,” he said. “It’s time to upgrade our tools and support innovation in election technology.”
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla put it another way.
“In no other area of our increasingly digital lives would we settle for 20-year old technology, security or reliability; why should we settle for 20-year old technology in our voting systems? ” he said in the release. “Accessible, fair and secure elections are imperative to democracy.”
Another Coloradan at the GET Summit was Denver Elections director Amber McReynolds, who served as a panelist on “Framing the Challenges of Election Technology” forum.
Also on the panel were Matt Masterson, chairman of the federal Election Assistance Commission, and New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. The panel was moderated David Becker, executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation & Research.