Colorado’s election system is the envy of the nation and is touted as the gold standard. Since being established in 2013, we have conducted 12 elections, using this model of voting including one election (June Primary) in the middle of a pandemic — safely and securely. Here in El Paso County, our Elections Office has achieved six local and national awards for election excellence.
There is much national discussion about the veracity of mail ballot elections and misinformation that to ensure your vote is counted you must vote in person. Such comments are directed to states which are moving expeditiously to a new system of voting. Colorado is not one of those states. Our system is tried and true. It is safe, secure, transparent, accurate and verifiable.
Election security is fundamental to ensuring that every vote — and therefore every voice — matters. The Clerk and Recorder’s Office continuously invests multiple levels of security, and sophisticated equipment. Our election equipment employs two-factor encryption and our networks are air-gapped to prevent hacking from those that wish to do harm.
Prior to the election, a bipartisan Canvass Board participates in the Public Logic and Accuracy Test. This test ensures the equipment is operating correctly and all votes are accurately tabulated.
Security measures include access-controlled cipher locks for election processing rooms, as well as 24/7 camera monitoring systems that also are installed at ballot box locations. The Elections Department utilizes custody logs for ballots that are retrieved from ballot drop-off locations and Voter Service and Polling Centers. All election-related responsibilities are done in pairs — with multiple political parties represented in those teams. Elections staff members, including temporary workers, must pass a background check.
At the completion of the election, the Secretary of State’s Office coordinates a Risk Limiting Audit. This is a robust process which provides strong statistical evidence that the election outcome is consistent with what was counted and ensures confidence for you, the voter, that the election process truly reflected county electorate choice.
Each year we have implemented additional enhancements to make our election more transparent, secure and verifiable.
This year, the state implemented BallotTrax for counties to utilize. BallotTrax allows a voter to track their ballot and confirm their ballot was received and counted by our office. If you wish to sign up for BallotTrax, please visit epcvotes.com.
Mail ballot elections are conducted with integrity and instill confidence in voters that their vote is counted. While in-person voting is available, we strongly encourage voters to vote their mail ballot in the comfort of their home during this pandemic. Join us in an effort to keep yourself, your family, your friends safe.
Vote early and return your ballot early at one of our 37 secure 24/7 ballot drop boxes. There are 35 vote centers opening in phases, offering voters 1,487 hours of service through Election Day. Locations, hours and interactive maps are at www.epcvotes.com.
Chuck Broerman is the El Paso County clerk and recorder.