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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.

GUEST COLUMN: Colorado Secretary of State, Jena Griswold, Dives into Her Deceptive Solicitations Act

As Secretary of State, my priority is to make running a business easier, cheaper, and more accessible to hardworking Coloradans while cutting red tape and saving Coloradans money. That’s why I’m immensely proud that the Deceptive Solicitations Act has been signed into law. This new law — one of my priorities in the 2023 legislative session — protects business owners from bad actors who want to capitalize on the fact that, as a business owner, you already have a great deal going on. 

READ: What Colorado Employers Should Expect in the 2023 Legislative Session

Here’s how it worked before this new law went into effect:

A bad actor would create a solicitation that looked like it was from my office and that implied you were due to file or register with us. The solicitation would ask for an artificially high payment, and the bad actor who sent it would hope that you wouldn’t think twice about paying an exorbitant cost when it arrived at your door — because you have enough on your plate as a business owner, so you wouldn’t notice the deception. These solicitations are meant to look official and make a quick buck off your limited bandwidth.

If you’re a business owner yourself, you’ve probably received one of these solicitations in the mail and asked yourself, “is this real?” And maybe you’ve even said, “Yes, this is real, and I should pay it,” only to discover you’ve been deceived out of earnings you worked hard for. 

The truth is that my office makes online filing available to business owners at low costs — or even for free, in many cases — but bad actors would rather profit off your hard work than direct you to us. The Deceptive Solicitations Act, Senate Bill 23-037, establishes criteria for solicitations like these, and penalties for failing to meet them.

With limited exceptions, such as registered agents, any solicitation from a third party related to documents filed with or provided by the Secretary of State’s office must now include:

  • A written disclaimer in 24-point font declaring that the solicitation is an advertisement.
  • Information explaining that you can file and retrieve documents directly with my office.
  • Contact information of the person soliciting the fee or sending the solicitation.

It is also now illegal for these solicitations to imply the document is issued by a state agency or local government, or that it imposes a legal duty on the business.

With these changes in Colorado law, business owners in the Centennial State can rest easy knowing that they can remain focused on what matters most: their customers and the people they serve. Colorado’s business owners are the backbone of our great state’s economy, and I’m proud to work on their behalf so they can continue to grow and thrive. 


Jena GriswoldJena Griswold is Colorado’s 39th Secretary of State. She was first elected in 2018. She was reelected to the office in 2022 and is the youngest elected Secretary of State in the United States. Since taking office, Secretary Griswold has overseen seven statewide elections, protected Coloradans Constitutional right to vote and supported the State’s business community by cutting red tape and the cost of starting a business.