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Secretary of State Griswold Completes the Colorado Election Security Act Grant Awards

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold awarded $945,319 in security grants to Colorado county clerk’s offices over two funding cycles made possible by the Colorado Election Security Act (SB22-153). These grant awards were for upgrading physical security in County election offices across the state.

“These new resources are critical in increasing security and protecting Colorado’s elections from insider threats and bad actors,” said Secretary of State Jena Griswold. “I am so proud to issue these grants so that Colorado can continue to lead the nation in election security and access.”

The Colorado Election Security Act is a first-in-the-nation law that safeguards against potential insider threats to voting equipment and election systems. It was one of Secretary Griswold’s 2022 legislative priorities. The bill was drafted after the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder made copies of hard drive images containing election management software, which were ultimately posted online.

Over the two funding cycles, 56 counties were awarded grants. Every county that applied received a grant award. Twenty-eight counties received funding in each award cycle, and eight counties did not apply for a grant during either funding cycle.

The funds awarded by the Secretary of State’s Office were used by counties to meet the security requirements under the 2022 Colorado Election Security Act, including:

  • The purchase, shipment, and installation for Key Card Access Systems for rooms holding voting system components.
  • The purchase, shipment, and installation of continuous video security systems for voting system components, including costs for video storage.

Eligible expenses for reimbursement were required to be spent by June 30, 2023. This grant funding is now complete.

In addition to the election security grant program, the act:

  • Prohibits unauthorized imaging of voting equipment.
  • Creates a felony for tampering with voting equipment; unauthorized access to or facilitating unauthorized access to voting equipment; or knowingly publishing voting system passwords online.
  • Adds whistleblower protections for those reporting a breach of election laws.
  • Creates a timeline for expedited judicial review of 30 days for enforcement actions initiated by the Secretary of State.
  • Bars anyone from serving as a Designated Election Official who has been convicted of an election offense in Colorado, or 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 with a population of 100,000 or more from having access to or being present in a room with voting equipment or devices without being accompanied by one or more people with authorized access.