Signs of vote hacking present in Colorado general election

This article is part of a larger study on voting machines and election systems detailing information that points to or otherwise confirms hacking in the 2016 Election.

I have previously reported on the following states: Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, and California. There may be other explanations for some of the circumstances offered, however, the information presented will indicate characteristics of hacking. When combined with other states, this evidence substantially increases the likelihood of systems vulnerability and election hacking.

On March 1, 2016, various reports are made regarding voter registration systems on the Secretary of State’s office going offline. Additionally, there were scattered reports regarding voting machine problems.

It is not unusual for systems to go offline, however, it is concerning because whenever this occurs there is potential for voter disenfranchisement. Just because it is common for machines to go offline, does not mean it is acceptable.

There has been no official response as to the reason why systems were down.

On November 8, 2016, Election Day, at approximately 10:04 AM, Colorado’s election system went down for approximately 26 minutes. This information was not reported until the conclusion of voting. There was no explanation of this issue, however, the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed that 2/3 of election judges were kicked out of the election systems and were required to log back in again. The judges were working on processing voters and the ballots prior to the system going offline. No reasonable explanation for the voting systems being down could be found from the Secretary of State’s website, twitter feed or reporting to the press.

Democrats filed suit to extend voting in the state. In their filing they claimed that the system:

“has crashed or locked up or become overloaded or may have been the target of external system intrusions.”

The request was denied.

At 3:05 PM, Colorado’s election system went down for a second time. A local reporter explained that the state made an announcement that ALL state systems went offline.

At 3:31 PM, Secretary of State Wayne Williams confirmed via Twitter that the voter registration system went offline and that they would be looking into the issue.

At 3:20 PM, Tauna Lockhart, the spokeswoman the state IT office issued an explanation that her office had been monitoring the network and activity and that there were “no blips or anything.” However, there has not been any update regarding the reason why the systems were down from the Secretary of State’s or IT’s office. This important matter needs some follow up explanation.

Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz explained that there were numerous issues with the database housing election results. He explained that there was software trouble with the database and that it was necessary to obtain another server from the Secretary of State’s Office. In short, Ortiz had to install another server in order to get the counting going. There has yet to be a reasonable explanation as to why there was an issue with the database or the software issues which caused the voting systems to go down.

Colorado election systems integrity advocate Harvie Branscomb, who obtained his Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T. and holds a regular hacker’s conference, wrote an open letter to the Secretary of State’s Office which describes the problems and vulnerabilities with the system and complained that he had not received adequate answers regarding the issues. He detailed a list of observed issues in 34 of Colorado’s counties. Again, there has been no indication of why the systems went down or any reporting to the media regarding.

On December 14, 2016, local media reported that the Secretary of State’s office rejected 21,000 signatures because of mismatching of the ballot versus the original voter registration on file.


Unexplained down time in the Colorado election system and no explanation for the issues, creates a real question of vulnerability of both voter registration systems, election databases, and voting machines.

We cannot continue to settle for an explanation that the results would have been the same irrespective of hacking or other voting/election systems compromise. How would voters know there was a problem with these systems if there were no accountability — no reporting of their causes? The fact remains that voting systems are relatively simple to hack and penetrate. Therefore, we must take immediate action to ensure their security.

April 10, 2016 Update

On March 29, 2017, National Association of Voting Officials Board Members Brian Fox and Brent Turner received a response to their request to perform an forensic, independent analysis of the voting machines. The requests were denied.






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