Thursday, March 09, 2006

Colorado political party hires Colorado's Elections Director

Colorado’s Director of Elections, Bill Compton is leaving to become Political Director for the Colorado Democratic Party

Is it proper for a high ranking Colorado election official to move to a high ranking position with a Colorado political party? It does not matter which party -- it does raise serious questions.

Can Colorado's 2006 elections be trusted? Compton is not the only employee to leave, and Secretary of State Gigi Dennis is new to the office. Who will be running the 2006 elections, certifying equipment and elections, and resolving election disputes?

Knowledge and contacts learned while serving as top election official could be used to tip election results. The Secretary of State must take specific actions to protect the people of Colorado from this threat.

• Not all election information has been released to the public. For example, detailed databases have not been released to the public, and they can give an edge to a campaign.

• Confidential knowledge of voting equipment is not public and can be used to secretly manipulate elections.

• Weaknesses in Colorado’s election system are known to Compton and can be exploited without much risk of detection.

Compton leaves behind an election system that is not secure, not accurate, not verifiable, not transparent, and not private. The system is open to error, fraud and abuse.

There is no reason to believe that Compton would abuse his knowledge, but the state has an obligation to take steps to protect the people.

The Secretary of State should get a written agreement from Compton attesting that he retains no access to or copies of files/records that are unavailable to the general public. This is typical for private sector key employees. It is vital that Compton be explicitly instructed and bound to protect this valuable information.

• Is Compton prohibited from keeping copies of files/documents for his own use?
• Is Compton prohibited from sharing insider information?
• Is there a clear identification of confidential information?
• Are high level employees bound by non-disclosure agreements?
• Who is responsible for protecting insider information?

All political campaigns (candidate as well as issue) should immediately take steps to protect themselves. Contact the Secretary of State and confirm that Colorado’s valuable election information will be protected from the revolving door of election officials.