Denver, June 2, 2022 – Today two pieces of legislation that will strengthen protections for Colorado election officials, voting systems and election materials were signed into law. The Colorado Election Security Act and the Election Officials Protection Act are two key bills in Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s 2022 legislative priorities.
“While Colorado is a leader in election administration, as Secretary of State, I will always work to expand access, strengthen security, and respond to emerging challenges,” said Secretary Griswold. “I greatly appreciate the hard work of the Colorado Legislature this year in furthering the mission of protecting our democracy for every eligible voter in Colorado, regardless of political affiliation, race or zip code.”
Secretary Griswold’s priorities that were signed into law by the Governor today include:
The Election Officials Protection Act sponsored by Rep. Monica Duran, Rep. Emily Sirota, Senate Speaker Steve Fenberg and Senator Brittany Pettersen establishes election officials and workers as a class protected from doxing, which is the disclosure personal information on the Internet in an attempt to threaten a person or their family.
Doxing an election official would be a class 1 misdemeanor penalty, resulting in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 364 days. The bill would also allow professional election workers to file a request with government entities to remove their personal information from online records if the person believes that releasing their information could pose a threat to their safety.
The bill also prohibits intimidating, threatening or coercing an election official in the performance of their official duties or retaliating against them for performing their official duties. Threatening an election official is a class 2 misdemeanor that will be punishable by a fine of up to $750 and/or imprisonment for up to 120 days.
Colorado’s Election Security Act, sponsored by Senate Speaker Stephen Fenberg, Senator Priola and Representative Susan Lontine, strengthens safeguards against potential insider threats to voting equipment and election systems. The law project:
- Reinforces security requirements around our voting equipment by requiring continuous video monitoring of all voting system components year-round and mandatory key card access to rooms where voting equipment is stored.
- Prohibits unauthorized imaging of voting materials.
- Creates a crime for tampering with voting materials; unauthorized access or facilitation of unauthorized access to voting materials; or knowingly publish online voting system passwords.
- Adds whistleblower protections for those who report a violation of election laws.
- Creates a 30-day expedited judicial review period for enforcement actions initiated by the Secretary of State.
- Prohibits anyone from serving as a designated election official who has been convicted of an election offense in Colorado or who has been convicted of sedition, insurrection, treason, or conspiracy to overthrow the government .
- Prohibits any elected official or candidate for office in a political subdivision of 100,000 inhabitants or more from having access to or being present in a room containing voting equipment or devices without being accompanied by one or more persons with a Authorized access.
- Creates a $1 million grant program to help counties improve their physical security around voting materials.