Election 2018Hot SheetState agencies

Secretary of State Williams’ office lauded nationally for innovation

Author: Joey Bunch - August 24, 2018 - Updated: August 25, 2018


Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office has picked up national recognition for its statistical review to make sure vote-counting is as precise as it can be.

Colorado’s risk-limiting audit, as it’s called, is among the winners to be presented a Government Innovation Award in Washington, D.C., in November. (WATCH  a provided video below.)

The award is sponsored by Google Cloud.

“The Public Sector Innovation category focuses on transformative tech that is truly reinventing government — at the federal, state and local levels,” the award sponsors explain on their website. “That potentially mission-critical impact can stem from a new technology itself or from the innovative ways established tech is being leveraged to make government function better.”

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office explained that a “risk-limiting audit is a procedure that provides strong statistical evidence that the election outcome is right and has a high probability of correcting a wrong outcome. Risk-limiting audits require election officials to examine and verify more ballots in close races and fewer ballots in races with wide margins.”

The audits were created by the legislature in 2009, but the launch was delayed until last year. Colorado was the first state to use an election audit designed to apply a statistical review of experts and data to ensure accuracy and look for ways to improve the system.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams said he was proud of his staff and the county clerks for their work to make Colorado’s elections secure.

“It is an important step in assuring people who the votes that were cast were counted accurately and reported accurately,” he said of the risk-limiting audit in a promotional video to teach others about the concept. “People need to have confidence in the elections process. It is the basis of the democratic republic in which we live, so it plays a critical role in providing that assurance to every Coloradan, and, frankly, every American that our elections are run well in the state of Colorado.”

To read a full list of the winners, click here.

The Secretary of State’s office noted that in March, the Election Verification Network presented its Public Service Award presented to Colorado.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.