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Colorado clerks have ideas to deter election misinformation

July 2, 2021 GMT

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — Colorado’s county clerks are proposing changes to the state’s election system to address any concerns that it isn’t already as good as it can be and to combat any disinformation about it.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that the Colorado County Clerks Association made its suggestions to the secretary of state’s Bipartisan Advisory Committee. The ideas address voter registration, audits and transparency.

Colorado’s election system has been recognized as one of the nation’s most secure and accessible to voters, and the county clerks in charge of those elections on a local level include elected Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated officials. Lawmakers this year passed legislation to expand voting access as well as ranked-choice voting.

The group suggested allowing voters to view images of ballots, without revealing how anyone voted, and to see records of votes cast. The images — not the actual ballots — and vote records would be available to anyone who wants to see them after an election is certified and redactions are made to protect voters’ anonymity.

It also suggested a statewide standard and periodic audits on how ballot signatures are examined for authenticity by election judges. The audits would be similar to risk limiting audits already performed by clerks after elections.

The group also called for regular audits of voter registration rolls to ensure they are accurate and delivered to county clerks on a timely basis.

“We want to build on our successes with initiatives that will further strengthen our elections and enhance the transparency and integrity of our processes,” said Carly Koppes, association president and Weld County clerk and recorder. “Each of these initiatives is based on our expertise with current law and is designed to improve Colorado’s election model. These initiatives will also help combat the mis-, dis-and mal-information that has so damaged public confidence in our elections.”

The Sentinel reports that some of the suggestions can be implemented through rule-making and others by the Legislature.

The association asked state lawmakers for more money to conduct elections, especially for upgrading election equipment. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and eight other secretaries of state sent a bipartisan letter Thursday to congressional leaders requesting a 10-year, $20 billion investment to help all states upgrade their elections equipment.