Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his operation were praised during a recent cybersecurity initiative in Northern California, one of a series of cybersecurity events the Colorado SOS has been invited to participate in.
Eric Rosenbach, co-head of the Belfer Center at Harvard, moderated a discussion on election security between Secretary Williams and Lisa Monaco, who served as the Homeland Security adviser to President Obama.
“Your team in Colorado is very good, essentially recognized as one of the best in the nation,” Rosenbach told Williams.
For the first time ever, county clerks will mail primary ballots to unaffiliated voters, a measure that is causing consternation statewide and keeping Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams busy on the speakers’ circuit.
In December, he spoke to the League of Women Voters in La Plata County.
Colorado’s county clerks are bracing for major changes this year, from mailing primary ballots to unaffiliated voters for the first time ever to revamping the Motor Vehicle operations their offices handle.
To prepare for 2018, the Colorado County Clerks Association at its winter conference in Colorado Springs last week offered workshops dealing with duties that most clerks handle, including recording documents, issuing license plates and running elections.
The association also installed new officers for the coming year. Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell succeeded Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon as the group president.
“We need to thank the Secretary of State staff for working so hard with us this year and for the last several years,” Bacon said. “We have a pretty great working relationship with them and it takes all of us to make changes that work.”
Williams reviewed a list of achievements, including the completion of the first statewide risk-limiting audit designed to catch election errors. He also updated clerks on the installation of ballot boxes to make it easier for voters to drop off their ballots 24-7, and the implementation of Dominion Voting Systems equipment that clerks say has made elections easier to run.
“We are the talk of the nation, as usual,” Williams said. “We are rock stars.”
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams highlighted the office’s achievements and challenges when he presented his budget requests to the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday.
“We work very hard to make sure we provide the services that Colorado expects and deserves and our paying for with their fees,” he said. “I’m proud that we are able to do that with business fees that are among the lowest in the nation.
“As the state grows, as our processes change, we need to keep pace with that. We need not to be caught napping and waiting and our budget anticipates that.”
He noted the office is working on an information campaign to educate voters about Colorado’s first open primary next June, when unaffiliated voters will receive a ballot and must decide whether to vote the Democratic or Republican ticket.
Voters last year approved that measure with the passage of Proposition 108 and Williams has been on a speaking tour, explaining it to Colorado voters. He will address the League of Women Voters in Durango on Saturday.
He told the JBC that Colorado has just completed the first ever in the nation risk limiting audit, which is an audit of the state’s elections based on mathematical algorithms.
“That provides us with a statistically significant probability that the state’s elections systems correctly tabulated Coloradans ballots,” Williams said.