Arapahoe County adopts new domain for elections website to stymie disinformation “bad actors”

As part of an effort to combat ongoing election misinformation, Arapahoe County recently changed the domain of its elections website to give it the imprimatur of a “government-operated, trustworthy” source of voter information.

The URL was changed to

“Unlike .com domains, .gov domains can only be used by websites that have been thoroughly vetted to ensure they are the property of an official government office,” the Arapahoe County Elections Division said in a press release.

Colorado’s third most populous county says its elections site saw more than 128,000 visitors in the month before the 2020 election and another 27,000 in the month before last year’s off-year election. Voters can learn how to register and where to cast ballots on the site, and sample ballots, voter turnout data and election results will be posted there.

“The website also publishes in-depth information on elections transparency, including explainers on mail ballot voting, equipment testing and post-election audits,” the county said.

National elections security organizations, such as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, have been urging local governments to upgrade website URLs to .gov domains as a tactic to counter the efforts of “bad actors” trying to sow disinformation and promote distrust of elections, according to the release.

Arapahoe County appears to be the first metro area county to make the change, with other counties in and around Denver still using .com, .org and .us as suffixes for their elections websites.

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