green-ballot-box-with-a-lock-pad-vector-id589440996.jpg

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirOctober 25, 20173min2830

Whether or not the Russians really are controlling our elections any more than they controlled our weather back in the 1960s — remember that one? You don’t? Ahem; Millennials can just skip to the next sentence — ballot security is not to be taken lightly. Especially in the Digital Age.

Well, you can rest assured elections in the City and County of Denver are among the most cybersecure anywhere. So says the Center for Digital Government. It awarded Denver first place in the City Government category of its Cybersecurity Leadership and Innovation Awards for showing a commitment to providing a secure 2016 election.

Notes a press announcement from the Denver Elections Office and Denver Technology Services:

In its 17th year, this award recognizes the commitment of state and local governments, as well as educational organizations, towards keeping confidential data secure, despite evolving threats.

“Elections are critical services for citizens and our reliance on technology has exponentially grown over the past 10 years,” said Amber McReynolds, Director of Elections for the City and County of Denver. “It is imperative we maintain voter confidence and deliver secure elections which requires commitment, collaboration, coordination and communication.”

The press release also informs us:

2016 marked the first time the City and County of Denver and the Colorado Secretary of State worked together to share network traffic information, jointly utilizing tools provided by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security. This strong intergovernmental collaboration, alongside the pre-election validation of equipment and day-of monitoring, ensured that election integrity remained intact.

And there’s this sobering reminder:

“Cybersecurity threats are on the rise, and as stewards of some of the public’s most important and sensitive data, it’s more critical than ever that we recognize the government, education and healthcare organizations that are raising the bar when it comes to the best ways to protect that information,” said Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government.

Now, mail in those ballots!


twitter-bird-1366218_960_720.png

Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 27, 20178min92
Told ya. Heavy!#watermelon#copolitics @SenatorCrowder see how we do itBuy some in #Wray at 2 pic.twitter.com/kNv1t1d2Gl — Greg Brophy (@SenatorBrophy) August 26, 2017 Highs in the upper 80s today. @POTUS approval ratings in the low 30s. Likely scattered #tweetstorms thru Monday.#TrumpsAmerica #copolitics — Dave Perry (@EditorDavePerry) August 26, 2017 For the same reasons reality tv shows […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


DenverElections.jpg

Adam McCoyAdam McCoyAugust 14, 20173min810

If money could talk, its voice would arguably be deafening in politics. In the interest of added transparency for money in municipal elections, Denver election officials have proposed some changes to the city’s campaign finance rules.

The proposed revisions to campaign contribution regulations in local politics would refine and add some key terms in its law; establish a structure for reporting campaign ads (TV, radio, etc.) from candidates or outside groups and, for the first time in Denver, institute fines for candidates who fail to file campaign finance reports on time, city Director of Elections Amber McReynolds said. The changes are expected to be rolled out for the 2019 election cycle.

McReynolds said a discussion about modernizing city campaign finance rules started after the 2015 municipal election cycle. Nonpartisan watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch, the Mayor’s Office, City Council members and the city auditor, among others, collaborated on the changes.  

There has been occasional confusion among candidates regarding campaign finance regulations, McReynolds said. The goal is to make the law as clear as possible.

“We want to make sure the process is fair for the candidates, but also transparent to the public and media,” McReynolds said of the proposed updates.

Under the proposed changes, candidates would be fined $50 for every day they are late in filing campaign finance reports. Per current rules, there is no real accountability for candidates filing late, McReynolds said. Unless an opponent files a complaint over a candidate submitting late, there isn’t a mechanism for election officials to use to compel candidates to file on time.  

The update would also alter filing deadlines and require candidates report contributions more often during non-election years. The platform that candidates use to file reports would be revamped to be more “user-friendly and transparent,” McReynolds said.

“Voters need to have access to that information so they can make an informed decision come election day,” she said.

The proposal will go before the City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee before full City Council consideration.


iStock-589440996.jpg

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJuly 3, 20172min450

You say you’d like some reassuring news, for a change, about the state of our democratic process? How’s this: Whatever role the Russians or anyone else may have played — or attempted to — in last November’s U.S. election, Colorado’s elections sentinels are on the lookout for any breaches in the cyber security of the state’s voting systems. Not an airtight guarantee, but it is cause to breathe a bit easier.

That’s one of the takeaways from last week’s Colorado County Clerks Association conference in Snowmass Village, per a blog post by Lynn Bartels, communications chief for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. Her office works closely with Colorado’s frontline elections honchos, the county clerks, to employ the the latest security safeguards. In an informative wrap on the conference, Bartels blogs:

(Secretary of State’s Office information security point man Rich) Schliep said the goal of the office is to “work hard and smart when it comes to our elections.”

“Voting guarantees all of our other rights. We want to continue to uphold the integrity of our elections and ensure United States citizens have confidence in our elections process,” he said. …

… “We are always improving technologies such as secure file transfer systems and improved zero day malware detection tools,” Schliep said.

Also:

“Election administration is about mitigating risk,” said Amber McReynolds, Denver’s election director. “Security is critical and serious and as election officials we must partner with the best, whether that is inside the jurisdiction, or outside the organization.”


Denver-bike-voter-e1485490127212-1024x609.jpg

Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinJanuary 26, 201711min67

A bill proposing to make changes in early voting and how voter service polling centers operate could include other election-related changes, after discussions by the Colorado Secretary of State's Bipartisan Election Advisory Committee. State Sen. Jack Tate, R-Centennial, attended the Thursday, Jan. 26, meeting and offered to consider adding some committee recommendations to his Senate Bill 17-071, which is scheduled to be heard by the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Wednesday, Feb. 1.


DebraJohnson-Speaking-W.jpg

Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 26, 20174min4080

Joining the ranks of Jimmy Carter, Madeleine Albright and Nelson Mandela, the Denver Elections Division has been honored by the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies for developing an application that allows voters to register and on electronic tablets instead of paper. Denver’s award was for its eSign app and its Voter Registration Drive module and the category was Outstanding Achievement in International Institutional Engagement and Electoral Ergonomy.


Bilingual-vote-sign-1024x512.jpg

Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinDecember 8, 20165min62

Four more Colorado counties have been told to help voters with bilingual issues, while another county no longer has to offer election materials in English and Spanish, the Colorado Secretary of State's office announced in a news release. The U.S. Census Bureau, on Monday, Dec. 5, identified which political subdivisions nationwide must "provide language assistance during elections for groups of citizens who are unable to speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process." The jurisdictions are subject to the minority language provision of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act.