Security and Safeguards

Election security is fundamental to ensuring that every vote – and therefore every voice – matters. That is why the El Paso County Clerk & Recorder’s Office continues to invest in multiple levels of security, including equipment.

 

Quick Facts — Did You Know?

  • We only use paper ballots. Voters can use ADA ballot marking devices if needed.
  • Every signature is inspected. If a signature cannot be verified-the ballot remains sealed and the voter is contacted. If there is no response the vote is not counted and is submitted to the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office for investigation.
  • Every ballot is digitally scanned and made available to the public for inspection (per statute) while maintaining voter anonymity.
  • Accuracy of the election is verified through the Public Logic and Accuracy Test prior to the election and the Risk Limiting Audit after the election.
  • The voter registration database is continually monitored and inspected for accuracy.

SECURITY

Voting Equipment

The Colorado Secretary of State adopted an initiative for Colorado counties to use voting systems that are certified through the state process. There are currently two systems that are certified. Learn more about the Secretary of State’s certification process.

The voting equipment provided by the state-qualified vendor Dominion Voting assists our County in continuing to provide greater security, transparency and reporting accuracy.

Security — All equipment is subjected to rigorous review, analysis, testing and certification by election authorities at the state and federal levels, including the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Independent testing laboratories, with extensive expertise in secure software design, are selected to perform this analysis.

At the local level, systems are subject to public logic and accuracy testing that demonstrate and ensure that each machine processes and tabulates ballots accurately.

Transparency — Our tabulating equipment enables us to capture an image of each ballot that is processed so that election judges and officials can more easily review ballots during tabulation. Additionally, because each image is saved, it is faster and more efficient to access ballots that may be questioned in any post-election review.

Reporting Accuracy — The speed of the election equipment will allow our Office to verify and report results more quickly on election night.

SAFEGUARDS

Vote Tracking — El Paso County does not issue receipts for ballots cast because we do not track how voters vote. During each step of our process, we seek to ensure that your anonymity is maintained as a voter. If you have additional questions about this, please contact our office.

Room Security System — Additional security measures include access controlled cipher locks for rooms where ballots and voting equipment are stored and where tabulation takes place.  Other security features include 24/7 camera monitoring and alarm systems in each of our rooms that are located inside a secure building.

Chain of Custody Documentation — The Elections Department utilizes custody logs for all ballots that are retrieved from ballot drop-off locations and Voter Service and Polling Centers. Tamper proof seals are also used.

Public Logic and Accuracy Testing — The Clerk & Recorder’s Office goes to great lengths to ensure that voting equipment is unable to be tampered with, and to detect any abnormalities in the equipment. Each major party designates a person to serve on the Canvass Board. The Canvass Board conducts the Public Logic and Accuracy Testing along with staff members. The Public L&A takes place prior to Election Day.

Risk Limiting Audit — Required by Section 1-7-515(2)(a) of the Colorado Revised Statutes, the RLA is coordinated by the Secretary of State’s Office, and provides strong statistical evidence that the election outcome is consistent with what was counted. The RLA takes place after Election Day prior to certifying the election.

Election Staff — All election staff must pass a background check. Judges must conduct election-related responsibilities in pairs – with multiple political parties represented in those teams.