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Bill introduced to bolster Colorado election security measures

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Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – A bill that seeks to bolster Colorado's election security measures was introduced by lawmakers Monday. 

Senate Bill 22-153, also known as the Colorado Election Security Act, would prohibit anyone from serving as a local designated election official if they have been convicted of an election-related offense or have been convicted of conspiracy to commit sedition, insurrection, treason, or conspiracy to overthrow the government.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, and Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, is a legislative response to several cases in Colorado where Republican county clerks have been accused of breaching security by posting sensitive election materials online.

If passed, SB22-153 would also bar election officials from taking unauthorized images of voting equipment.

“Colorado sets a national example when it comes to holding free, fair, and secure elections, and we want to keep it that way,” Fenberg said in a statement. “But unfortunately, there are folks both inside and outside the election system seeking to tamper with and undermine trust in our elections.”

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold last year sued to remove Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters as the county’s election official over an alleged election system breach in the county. Similar investigations occurred in Elbert and Douglas counties. 

Last week, Peters, along with her deputy clerk, was indicted by a federal grand jury on several charges stemming from the alleged election system breach.

Griswold said in a statement Monday that the bill "will strengthen the laws that protect voting equipment and election systems from insider threats and will expand the physical security requirements around voting systems equipment."