Secretary Williams talks cybersecurity with Lockheed Martin system users

April 19, 2018
Rob Smith, a vice president at Lockheed Martin, and Secretary of State Wayne Williams after the secretary’s speech on cyber security at the firm’s Deer Creek facility last week. (Lockheed Martin photo)

Major credit card companies this month eliminated the need for customers to sign their receipts, but don’t except the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to adopt that policy any time soon for voters who turn in their ballots.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams explained how the ballot process works when he addressed a Lockheed Martin seminar at its Deer Creek facility last week during a conference on cybersecurity. He said a voter’s signature is a “critical part of the integrity of the process.”

“When you have a mail ballot sent to you, the way we know it’s you is you signed the envelope and we scan that envelope when it comes in and we compare your signature to the signature that’s on file,” he said. “I don’t see us stepping away from that until we get some other way to verify it actually is that person.”

The seminar at Lockheed was attended by users of  Radiant Mercury, a cross-domain intelligence sharing system that allows secure sharing of sensitive data between unclassified and classified security domains. The system was developed at the Deer Creek facility. Among those at the seminar were members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, and the intelligence community.

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Secretary Williams champions small business ventures for veterans

The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network hosted its 11th annual veterans small business conference in Colorado Springs Thursday. From left to right; Dan Nordberg, regional administrator of Regional VIII with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Aikta Marcoulier, director of the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, Allie Coetzee Leslie,  deputy administrator with the SBA, Secretary of State Wayne Williams, and Kelly Manning, state director  of the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network. (SOS photo)

The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network hosted its 11th annual veterans small business conference in Colorado Springs today, aimed at helping veteran entrepreneurs who are looking to start or grow a business.

Secretary Wayne Williams emphasized that Colorado is one of the best states in the country to start a business when he spoke to the small business development center. Many business filing options are available online and Colorado is the only state to offer free online business certification.

Williams also announced that the  Secretary of State’s office plans to update the business registry system later this year.

“The current system is nearly 14 years old and in need of modernization,” he said. “Our system processes more than 850,000 filings per year and is accessed millions of times a year. This is a priority for my office and will position us for further growth and ensure we remain responsive to our citizens’ needs.”

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Emotional secretary of state knows nonprofits make a difference

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, with Michelle Majeune, who works with people with developmental disabilities, and Linda Childears, the Daniels Fund president and CEO, at the Colorado Nonprofit Association lunch today. (SOS photo)

The Colorado Nonprofit Association’s annual award lunch has produced its fair share of tears over the years as the community thanks those who make a difference in so many ways, and this year’s catalyst for catharsis was Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Usually, it’s the award recipient who is weepy.

In this case it was Williams, set to hand out an award to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who became so emotional when  praising nonprofit groups that he had to pause for several seconds before he could continue.

“For those who don’t know my two daughters, we learned as they grew that they had significant speech deficiencies,” Williams told a ballroom full of people at the Hilton Denver City Center. “So we worked with The Resource Exchange, one of our great nonprofits in the Colorado Springs area, to provide services for them.”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams became emotional today when talking about the impact of a nonprofit on his family. (SOS photo)

Williams paused, and when he could resume speaking, his voice was thick with emotion.

“In 2013 I had the opportunity to hear the youngest of those daughters give the salutorian address at Rampart High School,” he said, to applause.

“Folks,” Williams said, struggling to continue, “the work that you do makes a real difference in the lives of everyone.”

After the lunch, Williams talked with the Gerry Rasel, director of membership services for the Colorado Nonprofit Association, who told him she cried during his speech.

The Colorado Nonprofit Association exists to strengthen nonprofits. Today was its 23rd annual awards lunch, capping a week of highlighting nonprofit agencies.

Renny Fagan, president and CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, talks at a reception before today’s awards lunch. (SOS photo)

“Colorado Nonprofit Week is one of our favorite times of the year because it brings all of us together and truly shines a light on the important contributions that happen everyday in communities,” said Renny Fagan, president and CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association.

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Secretary Williams explains campaign to educate unaffiliated voters

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams today talks with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Public Affairs Council about his office’s effort to educate unaffiliated voters about the June primary.  (SOS photo)

For the second time this month, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talked to the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce about this year’s primary election, where unaffiliated voters for the first time in history will be able to vote in primary elections without formally affiliating with a major political party.

The office is developing a mostly digital campaign to let unaffiliated voters know they can only mark and return a Democratic or a Republican ballot. But they can’t vote both — if they do, the votes won’t count.

“This is part of what we’re trying to convey,” Williams told the chamber’s Public Affairs Council this morning. “Make sure your vote counts.”

The secretary of state’s office recently polled unaffiliated voters.  Among the results:

  • 39 percent intend to vote in the primary
  • 33 percent don’t
  • 28 percent are undecided
  • 27 percent plan to vote in the Democratic primary
  • 12 percent plan to vote in the GOP primary

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Go Code Colorado: another year of data-driven competition

Simon Tafoya, the policy director for Gov. John Hickenlooper, and Secretary of State Wayne Williams, at the Go Code Colorado challenge kickoff Wednesday night in Denver (SOS photo)

Colorado’s funkiest and most fun data contest — Go Code Colorado — kicked off Wednesday night, marking the fifth year that the Secretary of State’s office has invited creative minds to use public information to build a product that helps businesses.

“We work hard to make data available and usable for Colorado businesses,” Secretary of State Wayne Williams said in his opening remarks.

Previous winners have developed a range of projects. One helped small farmers locate farmers markets and price information. Another created a platform for companies to connect with potential employees based on personality match.

Sen. Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat, heaped praise on the Secretary of State’s office and the award-winning Go Code Colorado program during last year’s competition.

“This is, in my opinion, the epitome of how we should be thinking about government moving forward,” he said. “We should be thinking about how to take the assets and the innovation of the new industries that are popping up around tech and see how that expertise and that talent solves some of the problems that maybe government can’t do on its own.”

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