Colorado drills doomsday hacking scenarios with election officials

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Cyberattacks. Voter database infiltration. Fake results.

These are real-world scenarios for modern-day election officials and on Thursday, most of them in Colorado gathered at the Hotel Inverness in Englewood  for training.

"It gets election officials into a mindset they are ready for anything," said David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research.

"There was no doubt there was interference in 2016."

The training -- hosted by the Colorado Secretary of State's Office -- featured officials from the Department of Homeland Security who drilled election officials so they can handle irregularities should they occur.

Concerns range from hackers accessing voter databases and wiping out information to initial results of races being inaccurate.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams said Thursday's training should further Coloradans confidence in election results.

"We've been called the safest state in America to vote by the Washington Post," Williams said.

After the election scenario training, attendees were greeted by a surprise guest -- Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who briefed them on the threat of attacks after Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

"The progress is real, but we have to do more," Nielsen said.

"I don't think any of us would say we are in the clear, we have not seen any attempt an the moment -- and we would update you if that would change -- but we have not seen any attempt to date that matches the scale of what we saw in 2016."

Colorado's mail-in ballot system automatically creates a hard copy should issues arise -- making Colorado more secure than other states.

Voters and election officials are reminded that should any issue arise on Election Day, voters are entitled to a provisional ballot.

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