ShellmanPhoto-1280x960.jpeg

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirSeptember 18, 20174min629
Dwight Shellman’s job title — county support manager for the Elections Division at the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office — sounds wonkish enough to keep him toiling in the trenches of technocratic obscurity for the rest of his life. Yet, there he was, right in the middle of a national news report not long ago […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


green-ballot-box-with-a-lock-pad-vector-id589440996-1024x768.jpg

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirSeptember 11, 20172min441

Noteworthy on Lynn Bartels’s blog last week: a piece by her fellow Secretary of State’s Office staffer, Julia Sunny, on a visit from an Alaskan delegation studying Colorado’s success with mail ballots. Alaska is considering a move to all-mail balloting, Sunny reports.

Included was this nugget:

Colorado is one of the top five states in the country for voter turnout, due in part to its mail-ballot system for elections.

…And this:

Secretary (of State Wayne) Williams, Colorado elections director Judd Choate, and county support manager Dwight Shellman, sat down with the Alaskan officials to discuss Colorado elections’ processes and what Colorado does to maintain the integrity of elections.

Shellman explained the innovative risk-limiting audits system Colorado will utilize in the next election. Colorado is the first state to implement statewide RLAs to elections, a new and better type of post-election audit.

Taken together, they could provide reassurance in the face of periodic concerns over voter participation as well as ballot security in the Centennial State. The misgivings come from across the political spectrum — typically around election time, of course — and range from worries that voter registration procedures could disfranchise some segments of the community, to concerns that mail ballots could compromise election integrity.

Sunny’s report reminds us Colorado’s election system is viewed as a template for other states. We must be doing something right.

 


iStock-530922840.jpg

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJuly 19, 20173min273

Denverite’s Adrian Garcia reports this week that Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is touting post-election audits as a new, enhanced safeguard against election manipulation in Colorado:

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has been traveling to different counties this year to train clerks how to conduct the audit, office spokeswoman Lynn Bartels said Monday. … Williams told Politico in a statement Monday that the audit will allow Colorado to say, “with a high level of statistical probability that has never existed before,” that official election results have not been manipulated.

If the audit process is implemented successfully, Politico reports, Colorado would be the first state to “regularly conduct a sophisticated post-election audit that cybersecurity experts have long called necessary.”

All of which has become a supercharged political issue — and notice the curious cross-currents at which a Republican like Williams finds himself. Election manipulation, long an obsession of the Republican right, has become a newfound target of Democrats amid persistent allegations Russia’s government attempted to meddle in last November’s presidential election to undermine Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (remember her?).

At the same time, Republican President Donald Trump maintains that purportedly massive voter fraud — by undocumented immigrants, some would allege — cost him the popular vote even as he won the Electoral College. Hence, his controversial Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which has rankled Democrats by requesting voter information from Colorado and other states.

Which, if we may crack wise, means Wayne Williams has to be on the watch for Russian hackers trying to hijack the electoral vote for Republicans as well as for immigrants attempting to pump up the popular vote for Democrats. Give the guy a raise!


AP16302714928740-e1477815604925.jpg

Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinOctober 31, 201612min326

The integrity of the nation's voting system has been questioned like never before, led by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, but the director of elections in the Denver Elections Division told reporters during a media tour Friday, Oct. 28, that the system can be trusted and is more secure than polling place election systems.