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Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Picture of Secretary of State Jena Griswold

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Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

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Colorado state seal

News Release

Media contact
(303) 860-6903

Lynn Bartels
lynn.bartels@sos.state.co.us

Julia Sunny
julia.sunny@sos.state.co.us

State of Colorado
Department of State

1700 Broadway
Suite 250
Denver, CO 80290

Wayne W. Williams
Secretary of State

Suzanne Staiert
Deputy Secretary of State

Colorado state seal

News Release

State of Colorado
Department of State

1700 Broadway
Suite 250
Denver, CO 80290

Wayne W. Williams
Secretary of State

Suzanne Staiert
Deputy Secretary of State

Media contact
(303) 860-6903
Lynn Bartels - lynn.bartels@sos.state.co.us
Julia Sunny - julia.sunny@sos.state.co.us

Secretary Williams to White House commission: "Elections are working well in Colorado"

DENVER, July 14, 2017 -- Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams told a White House commission today that "elections are working well in Colorado," and he outlined a series of recommendations the federal government could adopt to help states run elections.

Williams also addressed the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity's request for publicly available voter data. He said because the data won't include confidential voter information, such as the last four digits of a voter's Social Security number, it can’t be used to effectively assess the accuracy of voter rolls. He offered a solution -- the Election Registration and Information Center.

"Elections are working well in Colorado," Williams wrote to the commission. "By every relevant metric, our state ranks as a leader in election administration. Thanks to sound policy and the hard work of our 64 county clerks and recorders, Colorado is often ranked first and always ranked in the top five in the nation in both voter turnout and percentage of eligible Coloradans who are registered to vote."

President Trump created the commission on May 11, charging it with "studying the registration and voting processes used in federal elections. The commission vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, on June 28 sent a letter to state elections officials (PDF) asking for "publicly available voter data" and their "views and recommendations" on seven issues. 

The voter roll data, which is public under Colorado law, was to have been delivered to the commission today, but the request is on hold because of a legal challenge filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The letter Williams sent to the commission today addresses the seven issues. In it, he touted the Election Registration and Information Center or ERIC, which Colorado belongs to. The nonprofit organization assists states in improving the accuracy of voter rolls and increases access to voter registration for eligible citizens.

"Because states election officials are the experts at maintaining clean voter rolls, and ERIC is a powerful tool to facilitate this, the Commission should reach out to ERIC to better understand its processes and security protocols," Williams said. "The Commission has requested states’ public voter roll data. While this data may serve a purpose, a single request for data that lacks the non-public data necessary to accurately match voters across states can’t be used to effectively assess the accuracy of voter rolls."

Williams reminded the commission that the official voter rolls of Colorado remain in "our control and our custody."

"Neither the federal government nor any other entity can make any change in Colorado's voter rolls," he said.

Here is Williams' letter:

Colorado Secretary of State's Commission response (PDF)