A Wisconsin lawmaker took the microphone and aimed a pointed question this week at Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams: What is the state doing to protect its voting systems against internet hackers and election manipulation? It’s become a familiar one for the Republican elections chief, and he told a conference for state lawmakers Monday in Boston what he has tried to tell President Donald Trump and others who continue to question the integrity of the nation’s election system. “Thanks for the question,” started Williams, a featured speaker at the annual summit for the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. “Colorado is very aggressive at protecting the online voter registration database.” The exasperation in Williams’ voice is thinly veiled after more than a year of answering questions on the topic, most of them in response to Trump’s accusations, and he doesn’t seem to relish the role.
“The frustrating part is when people hear the election was hacked and what they mean is they hacked the (Democratic National Committee) server for information — that’s very different from saying the elections machines were hacked,” he said in an interview afterward.
“The frustration most of us in the election community have … is if you tell people their vote is at risk of being hacked they are less likely to vote. And we want people to feel confident when they cast that vote, that vote’s going to count.”
In the discussion, Williams went to great lengths to make his case — offering little-known details about how his office worked to prevent cyberattacks in the 2016 election that drew 2.9 million votes in Colorado.