Secretary Williams’ war games, election style proves to be epic

Colorado Secretary of State shakes hands with Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen before her keynote speech at Colorado’s Election Preparedness for Infrastructure and Cybersecurity exercise Thursday. (DHS photo)

The role-playing was, well, EPIC.

When election and cybersecurity officials from Colorado and and other parts of the nation gathered for a training exercise, they were given assignments to play as various election disaster scenarios played out.

Misleading tweets that confuse voters. Equipment outages. Hackers.

Eagle County Clerk Regina O’Brien served as a county election director.

Dwight Shellman, the county support manager for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, plays the role of a reporter asking tough questions during a mock election disaster drill.  He is interviewing Tammy Patrick of Democracy Fund, while in the background is the SOS’s Steve Bouey. (SOS photo)

Pitkin County Clerk Janice Vos Caudill portrayed her former employee, Dwight Shellman, who now is the county support manager for the Secretary of State’s office.

And Shellman assumed the identity of various Denver reporters, from the Colorado Sun’s John Frank to 9News’ Marshall Zellinger, asking tough questions of election officials.

“I out Marshalled Marshall,” Shellman boasted.

Welcome to war games, election style or, as the exercise was officially dubbed, EPIC — Election Preparedness for Infrastructure and Cybersecurity.

The goal, Secretary of State Wayne Williams said, was to help prepare Colorado election officials for the Nov. 6 election. Clerks, their staffers, county IT officials and others gathered in five separate rooms and were instructed to deal with the scenarios that were unfolding.

Read moreSecretary Williams’ war games, election style proves to be epic

Can you say “elections conference room” in Russian?

The “ballot” that lists the options for the name of a new conference room in the Elections Division at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

UPDATE: The conference room has been named, and no, we did not use any of @NotScottGessler‘s ideas. The winning name is “Juniper.”

After 670 days, a room filled with junk at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office is finally becoming an official conference room for the elections division.

The division welcomed suggestions as to what the new conference room should be called, resulting in some pretty hilarious ideas — even if some of them are a little inside baseball. Dwight Shellman? Risk-limiting audits? And “Room Next to Steve’s Office,” referring to campaign finance guru Steve Bouey. The elections staff will conduct an election for the winner  — paper ballots allowed — which will be announced at the end of the month.

Elections staffers Caleb Thornton, Shayla Gavin-Futas and Olivia Mendoza testing out the new conference room. (SOS photo)

Among the suggestions:

конференц-зал выборов — which means Elections Conference Room in Russian

“Undisclosed Location”