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

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

Colorado Secretary of State's office wins top election award

DENVER, March 15, 2018 -- The Colorado Secretary of State's office today received a prestigious award for its work in conducting a post-election audit that ensured election machines tabulated ballots the way voters marked them.

The award was presented to Colorado SOS staffer Dwight Shellman on behalf of Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his staff at the 2018 Election Verification Network conference in Miami.

"Our staff takes great pride in being selected again and again as leaders in the field of election security and innovation," Williams said.

Colorado received a Public Service Award for being the first state to complete a risk-limiting audit -- a procedure designed to find an incorrect election outcome if one exists. The audit after the November 2017 off-year election attracted attention nationwide.

Mark Lindeman, a professor at Columbia University, author and co-author of a number of academic articles advocating risk-limiting post-election audits, helped with Colorado's audit procedures and was present for the event.

When Lindeman presented the award he said he heard that Shellman, the Secretary of State's county support manager, spent hundreds of hours working on getting the audit ready, but the professor was sure that number actually was in the thousands.

"All I know is that from my vantage as a citizen advocate, he was in the best sense insanely responsive. Even when he started to have to wave his hands bureaucratically, he always did so in a way that demonstrated he was an absolute stand-up guy -- just the dream partner from the elections side," Lindeman said. "So, I'm going to try not to tear up as I present this Public Service Award, which goes to the entire Colorado Department of State. But I can't think of a more appropriate person to hand it to than Dwight Shellman."

The Election Verification Network (EVN) is a national network of leaders, experts and policy makers working together to improve U.S. elections, according to its website. Susannah Goodman, the director of the Voting Integrity Program for Common Cause, chairs the EVN's awards committee.

"I think you and the whole team in Colorado are amazing, but I'm not the only one who thinks that. Everyone knows how hard the whole team worked as well as all the folks in the counties across the state," she said, in an e-mail.

EVN presented its Product Innovation Award to Free and Fair, a Portland, Ore., software company. In 2017, Secretary Williams engaged Free and Fair to develop the open source software that enabled the office to administer, and bipartisan audit boards in all 64 counties to conduct, the nation's first-ever statewide risk-limiting audit.

Prior to the awards ceremony, Lindeman moderated a panel discussion regarding the background, preparation for and implementation of risk-limiting audits in Colorado. The discussion included presentations by Jennifer Morrell, director of elections and recording for Arapahoe County, Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall, and Neal McBurnett , a computer scientist from Boulder County who helped Boulder County in piloting various methods of conducting risk-based post-election audits in 2008, and performed some of the software development for Free and Fair.

Attached is a link to a documentary on the 2017 audit.