Colorado County Clerks Train To Protect ‘Bedrock Of Our Democracy’

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – For the first time in two decades, one of three elections of the year in Colorado will be a presidential primary. In an effort to assure every ballot is secured and counted, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold hosted a “dooms day” summit with most of the clerks from around the state.

Jena Griswold (credit: CBS)

During the summit, 59 different clerks were tested to make sure they were prepared for any possible interference with the upcoming elections.

“(The training) goes from media attacks, to election attacks to active shooters. We really want to prepare across the board,” Griswold told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “Everything you can think of, we are testing.”

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In groups, clerks from around the state were put under pressure with different types of scenarios that could impact an election process.

“We are simulating the most disastrous situation that can happen around elections. Ten times whatever we could expect,” said Chuck Broerman, El Paso County Clerk and Recorder. “The more you exercise (the election), the stronger it gets.”

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Griswold acknowledged a bipartisan effort over the years to secure Colorado elections has made the state one of the safest places to cast a ballot. Voting is protected, with the assistance of the National Guard, both physically and by cyber security.

“Attacks are becoming more sophisticated,” Griswold said.

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“Colorado is one of the first places in the country to have these cyber security war games. So, we can be best prepared and deliver election results with confidence to our voters,” Broerman said. “I think (an election is one of the most important things to protect.) This is the bedrock of our democracy. If you don’t have confidence in this process of vote, we have chaos.”

“Every Coloradan can have confidence that when they go to the ballot box, their vote will be counted and their voice will be heard,” Griswold said.

Fifty-nine of the 64 counties in Colorado were represented at the event.