Colorado-based election prep summit included topics like cybersecurity threats and fake news

Posted at 4:47 PM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 19:30:41-04

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It's being billed as war games, election style. 

National leaders in cybersecurity, including the Secretary of Homeland Security, were in Colorado Thursday night to learn how to protect our ballots from bad actors.

Colorado's Republican Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, hosted election officials from all over the state to prepare for the November elections. 

A battleground state, Colorado elections can come down to a few votes, which is why protecting the integrity of every one of them is of utmost importance.

"Every vote is important. We want to make sure that voters know their votes matters, and it’s going to be counted right," said Williams.

Broomfield City Clerk Jim Candelarie participated in drills ranging from phishing scams to day-of polling sites issues.

“The heating going out in a counting room. What do you do in November? It’s cold and it’s snowing, to polling places not opening on time. Things that we go through all the time but it’s good to have those reminders," said Candelarie.

Not to mention, Colorado was the first to use a voter-verified paper ballot system to keep even the most complex cyber threats away.

"That enables us to assure you that your vote was counted accurately, so that we know nobody in Moscow or Beijing or anyone else changes a single vote here in Colorado," said Williams.

In the 2016 elections, Russian hackers looked closely at our voting system but never breached it. But it's still important to train everyone on the latest technology, so Colorado can continue to lead the way.

"It’s very much like a race that doesn't have a finish line so we have to constantly stay ahead of those that may interfere with our democratic process," said Williams.