Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold to Launch Misinformation Initiative

DENVER, Colo- Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced today that her office is expanding its efforts to combat foreign influence operations leading up to the November General Election.  The initiative includes social media and digital outreach and a website to help voters identify foreign misinformation. The initiative further encourages voters to access accurate information as well as tips on how Coloradans can fight back and stop the spread of incorrect material.

“Colorado is considered the safest state in which to cast a ballot, and we continually innovate to maintain our leading cyber preparedness. Foreign adversaries are conducting influence operations to try to undermine Americans’ confidence in the electoral process, and states must act” said Secretary Griswold. “That’s why we are launching efforts to combat misinformation. It’s important that voters have accurate election information.”

The Federal Government has consistently warned that foreign countries are targeting our election. Just last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency provided the most pointed warnings to date, noting foreign actors may try to undermine confidence in election results by spreading disinformation on fake websites, altering existing legitimate websites, sending fraudulent emails, or releasing articles in fake online journals. In response to the threat environment, Secretary Griswold created the Rapid Response Election Security Cyber Unit (RESCU) earlier this summer to help combat foreign misinformation and emerging cyber threats.

Academic studies and our allies’ experiences indicate that mitigating foreign misinformation and disinformation requires ensuring citizens are aware of the threat, think critically about what they see on social media, and know where to find reliable information.

As a result, the RESCU team is, in coordination with partners in and outside of government, advancing numerous initiatives to increase voter’s resilience to such threats, including a public outreach effort.  The expanded initiative to combat misinformation will help Coloradans understand that when it comes to registering, voting, and election results, “opinions are fun, but facts are better,” inspiring voters to seek reliable electoral process information from trusted sources.  A special website has also been created to help voters further be able to identify and combat foreign disinformation.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office is also working with governmental partners such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on additional election security measures.

For more information, please visit, www.GoVoteColorado.gov.