DENVER — With news of the FBI investigating computer hacks in the election offices of Arizona and Illinois, questions are swirling regarding whether an election hack could happen in Colorado — impacting voter registration data or even the election.
“We know that we have to be vigilant,” said Ben Schler with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. “We’re pretty regularly thinking about it. Before this general election, folks will be out in each one of Colorado’s counties.”
IT officer Rich Schliep with the Secretary of State’s Office said meetings routinely occur — like in most offices– not only to stop a hack but also to make sure officials know if one does occur.
“Between the counties and us, we would know if something were to happen,” Schliep said.
Schliep emphasized while hacking is always possible, he believes no hacker could actually change the outcome of an election.
Amber McReynolds, the director of elections in Denver, said voters should not be worried.
“Voters should be assured we are doing everything we can,” McReynolds said.
McReynolds showed the computer setup, which features election computers running on an in-house network that is “air-gapped.” Additionally, every vote in Colorado has a paper trail — even votes cast on Election Day.
“We constantly evaluate and test our systems,” McReynolds said.
The hacking efforts in Illinois and Arizona involved voter registration data and not election results.