Election Integrity

The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has partnered with the Colorado County Clerks Association to propose initiatives that enhance and strengthen the integrity of the election process for which Colorado is renowned.

These initiatives will ensure elections continue to be secure, accurate, transparent and accessible. They are based on current law with the innovative input and expertise of the people working in elections on behalf of citizens. These initiatives also will serve to dispel the misinformation so prevalent in today’s society and point people to the trusted source for correct election information – the County Clerk and Recorders throughout the state.

Please review the following Election Integrity Initiatives. Our Elections staff is available to answer your questions and provide accurate information elections@elpasoco.com or (719) 575-VOTE (8683).

Ballot Images & Cast Vote Records Available for Public Inspection at No Cost

The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office is extremely confident in our election processes and systems. Thanks to our best-in-the-nation Risk Limiting Audit (RLA), Colorado is able to push back on disinformation and provide statistical evidence that our voting systems count votes accurately. However, citizens should also be able to verify election outcomes on their own, and they should not have to pay the government to do so. Once the election is certified and any necessary redaction to protect voter anonymity is complete, ballot images should be available to the public at no cost.

The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder provides a Ballot Image Audit and Review tool on the website beginning with the 2020 General Election. This enables you to review ballot images online and cast vote records to see the veracity of each election’s tabulation.

Signature Verification Audit Process Enhancements

Signature verification, along with voter list maintenance, is a key factor in protecting the integrity of Colorado’s mail ballot delivery model. While Colorado’s signature verification processes are more mature than most, if not all, other states around the country, there are enhancements to this process we would like to see in order to further strengthen the accuracy and transparency of our processes.

Secretary of State Election Rule 7.8.8 requires counties to periodically audit signature verification judges. The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office suggests a formal audit process codified in statute and rule, similar to the RLA, that will ensure signature verification is conducted consistently and correctly across the state. This audit can be conducted in real-time during each election as signature verification is happening, after signature verification is complete, or both. This type of audit will also provide voters confidence that signatures are being adjudicated correctly. Our RLA is an industry-leading audit that demonstrates our voting systems count votes accurately. This office believes our citizens deserve the same level of confidence that our signature verification process is accurate as well.

El Paso County has developed a signature verification audit program to ensure signature verification judges are completing this step with the utmost care and accuracy.

Voter List Maintenance Review/Audit

Our voter registration list is the gateway to participating in the voting process. An accurate voter registration list is vital to ensuring free and fair elections. Colorado has taken many affirmative steps to increase the access to and the integrity of our voting list. Despite disinformation to the contrary, automatic voter registration through the Department of Revenue and same day voter registration help improve the integrity of our voter registration list. We have confidence that our voter registration list is one of the most accurate in the country. With that said, while perfection is unattainable, we must continue striving for validation and improvement.

The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office supports an audit process to provide our citizens confidence that our voter registration list is as accurate as possible. This audit includes validating that 3rd party data (Social Security Administration, Colorado Department of Health, Colorado Department of Revenue, SAVE (federal Immigration information, etc.) is accurate and delivered timely for counties to process. This audit would also include verifying that the Colorado Department of State sends this information to counties timely to process the data, especially within 60 days of all elections (General, Primary, Coordinated, Special, Recall, Municipal, and Special District). All Colorado Counties should also be audited to ensure they are processing this information accurately and timely, in accordance with Colorado law.

Ensure the Proper Funding of Elections

Simply stated, election administration is not properly funded in Colorado, especially at the county level. The statutory reimbursement to counties for conducting elections does not come close to meeting actual costs and supporting enhancements and innovations necessary to continue improving our processes. In 2020, some jurisdictions here in Colorado and many across the country relied on funding from nonprofit grants because they did not have the funding to ensure their elections have the necessary access and security. The state of Colorado needs to modernize its reimbursement rates to cover increasing costs and unfunded state statutory mandates.

2022 Kirkwood Election Challenge

The Colorado Secretary of State dismissed the 1-5-621 complaints filed against El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s. Please refer to items linked below for additional information.

Final Agency Order of Dismissal

Unsworn Declaration Pursuant to C.R.S. §§ 13-27-101 et seq

Exhibit Portfolio

Enhancement of Security Video System

Security cameras are installed at each ballot drop-off box in the county. The enhanced system is motion triggered to show activity at the box and also permits the public to view the boxes in real time 24/7 from the Clerk’s website. This system increases election transparency and integrity.

Motion triggered events at a ballot box also are uploaded and saved to cloud storage. This not only meets the statutory requirement of 25 months for storage, but exceeds it, allowing for storage up to 10 years.

The security camera system provides an efficient, cost-effective means to ensure the integrity of the ballot boxes. The public can view the ballot boxes for themselves and have confidence in our mail ballot elections.