Colorado Election Security Act Advances

GOP election conspiracy theories on full display as Republican lawmakers oppose bipartisan, common-sense measures to protect elections from insider threats

DENVER, CO –  The House today advanced the Colorado Election Security Act on a preliminary vote. 

“Colorado is taking steps to defend our elections from insider threats and “Big Lie” conspiracy theorists who have used their positions to jeopardize our elections,” said Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver. “Our gold standard elections system leads the way nationally when it comes to voter access and election security. This common sense legislation strengthens our elections system and will hold people accountable when they break the law and tamper with election equipment. It also bars anyone convicted of an election crime from overseeing our elections.” 

“Conservative leaders in the legislature used the debate on this bill to attack our election system and spread baseless and unproven conspiracy theories,” said Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood, chair of the House State, Civic, Military and Veterans Committee that held the initial hearing on the bill. “It’s important to pass this common sense legislation, which is supported by the county clerks, to prevent insider threats and protect our democracy. It’s a shame that GOP lawmakers refuse to support this bill and have become too blinded by partisan rhetoric to see that this bill is simply common sense and should have their support.” 

SB22-153, the Colorado Election Security Act, is sponsored by Representative Lontine. The bill will improve election security by, among other measures, prohibiting anyone from serving as an election official if they have been convicted of any election offense or any offense or conspiracy to commit sedition, insurrection, treason, or conspiracy to overthrow the government. 

Republicans ran an amendment that would allow county clerks to copy sensitive hard drives with voting information and provide them to whomever they wish–the exact actions Clerk Tina Peters has been accused of taking that led to her indictment. 

SB22-153 also prohibits election officials or candidates from physically tampering with voting equipment, and from having access to or being present in a room with voting equipment without being accompanied by one or more persons with authorized access.

The Colorado Election Security Act further seeks to protectColorado’s gold standard elections by improving training for clerks and election workers, and penalizes anyone who interferes with or obstructs the notification of a potential violation, or retaliates against someone providing notice.

The bill also prohibits accessing electronic equipment or a reporting system without authorization, makes knowingly publishing passwords or other confidential information a class 5 felony, and directs the District and Supreme Courts to expedite scheduling and issuance of final rulings of any orders in connection with a violation of election code.

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