In a letter written on Wednesday, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., shared the written concerns of the Colorado County Clerks’ Association (CCCA) regarding the upcoming 2020 election. The association has called on congressional leadership to immediately increase federal funding for election security in the build-up to the 2020 election.
“In Colorado, election security is not a partisan issue. It is an urgent challenge that requires sufficient funding to make sure we are prepared for the 2020 elections,” wrote Bennet. “Given Colorado’s leadership on election security, it is particularly alarming to hear our county clerks express concerns about ‘critical vulnerabilities’ that remain in our election systems due to inadequate support from Washington.”
The CCCA is a non-governmental, nonpartisan body representing all 64 Colorado counties. Its members include Democrats, Republicans and Independents. (Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell is a past president of the CCCA.)
In their letter framed to Bennet and Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., they urged the Senate to provide more federal resources to state and local governments to strengthen cybersecurity and election infrastructure.
Colorado is considered a national leader on election security. For example, Colorado was the first U.S. state to require risk-limiting audits after every election: audits which can directly verify election results back to specific cast ballots.
So when the CCCA, in their letter to Gardner and Bennet, says, “ Despite extraordinary progress by state and local election officials to improve election security, upgrade equipment and implement audit processes, critical vulnerabilities remain,” heeding their warning might be wise.
Earlier this week, Bennet, along with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and 37 of their colleagues, wrote to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees calling for increased election security funding down to the county level, ahead of the 2020 election. “As we approach the 2020 elections, we must ensure that they have the resources they need to combat foreign interference and ensure that every American has easy access to the ballot box,” wrote Bennet.
The full text of Bennet’s letter to Senate Leadership is available here.
The letter from the Colorado County Clerks is available here.