Secretary of State Wayne Williams headed to the eastern plains this week to visit county clerks in Morgan and Phillip counties where he talked about the upcoming election, the one that just ended and a table top election security exercise that is generating national attention.
He met with Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey in Fort Morgan Thursday and Phillips County Clerk Beth Zilla in Holyoke Friday.
“Thank you for stopping by, it’s always great to see you!” Bailey wrote on her Facebook page afterward. “Your support of our election process is so appreciated.”
“He’s such a down-to-earth guy,” Zilla said.
Bailey will see Williams again on Sunday when they head to Salida for the Colorado County Clerks Association’s summer conference. Zilla is unable to attend.
Secretary Williams talked with the clerks about the election security tabletop exercise his office is hosting on Sept. 6. at the Inverness Hotel.
Nearly 200 county election officials, along with representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Election Assistance Commission and the National Association of Secretaries of State plan to attend the event, which is kind of war games, election style.
The formal name is Election Preparedness for Infrastructure and Cybersecurity or EPIC, and the event will feature two, hour-long exercises. The first will follow the five months leading to the 2018 general election. The second concerns Election Day.
Each will feature dozens of cyber and physical security scenarios arising and subsequent cybersecurity preparedness activities.
“I’m sure my eyes are going to be opened wide,” Zilla said, but added she doubts Russians or others would be interested in Phillips County because “we’re so small.”
Williams’ first stop in Fort Morgan was at the Quail Ridge Dairy with state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling. (More on that visit in a later blog.)
He and Bailey talked about the risk-limiting audit that the clerk’s office participated in after the primary election in June, which showed that the election machines correctly read the votes the way the voters intended them.
Bailey showed Williams the newly remodeled Motor Vehicle Department , which has provided for more privacy and security for staff and our citizens.
Tacked to Pearson’s bulletin board is a list of common phrases, such as hello and thank you, in Somalian. Many Somalian refugees have moved to the Eastern Plains community to work for Cargill, the beef-processing plant.