electionlineWeekly

Creating a culture of proactive security
Colorado’s EPIC TTX prepares for almost any scenario

There was a fire, a tornado, and the heating system went down in the ballot-tabulation room. There was fake news on social media and real news media in the room. Polls opened late and stayed open late.

The state voter registration database went down. Tabulation machines failed to tabulate. There were concerned citizens and advocates demanding to know what was happening.

And then there was Olga from Sputnik News who seemed overly curious about everything.

Those were just some of the scenarios and situations faced by Colorado county elections officials and staff participating in the secretary of state’s EPIC table top exercise last week in Englewood.

The day-long EPIC TTX was based on a similar tabletop training exercise conducted by the Belfer Center in March of this year with 38 state elections officials and was designed to help prepare county elections officials and their staff for any and every possibility.

And based on reactions from county clerks in attendance, the effort of the secretary of state’s office was well worth it and many county clerk left Englewood vowing to put what they had learned into action immediately.

“I immediately met with my county administrator to discuss cyber security within my office and throughout our county offices, for both right now and what it could look like in the future,” said Eryn Wintz, Mineral County clerk and recorder. “I also had a very honest discussion about my security and contingency plan that included actual practices and how to protect myself and by reflection the state by not being the "weakest link" because of limitations set by logistics or financial restraints.” Read more…