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Denver Elections Division Conducts War Games to Test Contingency Plans for November

Denver – Civil unrest? Flood? Fire? Cyberattack? Power outage? In these extraordinary times, it's more important than ever for local governments to expect the unexpected. With this in mind, the Denver Elections Division recently completed a tabletop exercise to prepare for any unforeseen events or emergencies that may arise during the upcoming 2020 General Election.

The tabletop exercise provided Elections Division staff with the opportunity to work together using established standard operating procedures (SOPs) to respond to several simulated emergency events that could impact the election. Due to the continued, real-life threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the exercise was held virtually.

In addition to planned scenarios that dealt with technology outages, facility closures, and the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, the exercise also simulated a variety of unplanned scenarios that test an organization’s ability to work with standard procedures, each other, and applicable state and federal governing bodies to react to unforeseen circumstances. These scenarios included power outages, adverse weather events, escalating protests, and a local COVID-19 outbreak.

“Just like we stress test our election system, we also wanted to stress test our team to make sure they were locked in and ready to deal with any contingencies that pop up,” said Paul López, Denver Clerk and Recorder.

The tabletop exercise was conducted in addition to the numerous legally-required pre-and post-election voting systems tests, including the Logic and Accuracy Test and the Risk Limiting Audit.

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