DENVER, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Colorado’s secretary of state on Thursday ordered a county to scrap and substitute its election gear that she stated was compromised with the help of its elected clerk, and an area prosecutor has launched a legal investigation into the safety breach.
Jena Griswold, the Democratic secretary of state, ordered an investigation this week after pictures of Mesa County’s election gear passwords have been posted on a right-wing weblog.
“Video and pictures have been posted on-line by a identified conspiracy theorist,” Griswold informed a information convention on Thursday.
Griswold accused Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, a Republican and supporter of former President Donald Trump, of permitting the breach, and “by all proof up to now, assisted it.”
Peters didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
The breach occurred in Might throughout an replace of software program offered by Dominion Voting Methods, and never throughout an election, Griswold stated.
Denver-based Dominion has been the goal of some Trump supporters who declare with out substantiation that the voting gear firm rigged the 2020 presidential election in opposition to Trump.
The corporate has filed a number of defamation lawsuits in opposition to Trump allies and conservative networks over these claims, which it says are false.
Peters criticized the secretary of state’s investigation earlier this week at a symposium held in South Dakota and hosted by Mike Lindell, founding father of the MyPillow bedding firm and a outstanding Trump supporter.
Griswold had introduced her workplace was inspecting voting gear and paperwork earlier than Peters appeared on the occasion on Tuesday, when she referred to as the inspection a “raid” and stated Griswold was coordinating with Dominion, in line with the Gazette, a Colorado publication.
“We do not know what they have been doing in there as a result of for a number of hours they would not even let my chief deputy, who’s the appearing clerk for Mesa County after I’m absent, they would not let her observe what the secretary of state and Dominion have been doing in my workplace,” Peters stated on the occasion, the Gazette reported.
The Mesa County District Lawyer’s Workplace has opened an impartial investigation, Griswold stated.
District Lawyer Daniel Rubinstein informed Reuters by cellphone he was contacted by investigators with the secretary of state’s workplace, who stated that they believed against the law might have occurred. His workplace has executed search warrants on the clerk’s workplace, he stated.
In her order decertifying the gear, Griswold stated the clerk’s workplace ordered video surveillance cameras to be turned off previous to the replace, and an unauthorized particular person was current through the improve, in violation of accepted protocols.
“Due to this, the division finds that it can’t set up a verifiable chain of custody for any of the elements … and can’t set up confidence within the integrity or safety of these elements,” the order stated.
The Mesa County board of commissioners has scheduled a closed-door session on Friday to look into the matter, a spokesperson for the county authorities stated.
“There are nonetheless many unanswered questions, and the board is working carefully with authorized counsel to find out the following steps,” spokesperson Stephanie Reecy stated in an e-mail.
Mesa County, in western Colorado on the border with Utah, has a inhabitants of about 150,000.
Reporting by Keith Coffman; Enhancing by Daniel Trotta and Peter Cooney
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