A judge in Colorado ruled Wednesday that the Mesa County’s chief electoral officer, who made unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, was unable to monitor the November election after giving an unauthorized person access to voting machines.
District Court Judge Valerie Robison ruled in favor of Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who had asked the court to forbid Tina Peters, civil servant and clerk in Mesa County, and her assistant Belinda Knisley, from overseeing the upcoming elections because of the integrity of theirs Choose.
“Peters employee has seriously compromised the security of Mesa County’s electoral system,” Griswold said in a statement Wednesday. “Today’s court decision prevents Peters from further threatening the integrity of the Mesa election and ensures that Mesa County’s residents have the safe and accessible choices they deserve.”
In their 22-page judgment, Robison wrote that plaintiffs had demonstrated that both Peters and Knisley had committed negligence and neglect, as well as other unlawful acts.
According to the court document, Peters was “untrue” when she enlisted a man named Gerald Wood as an administrative assistant and gave him access to Dominion Voting Systems machines, which were due to be updated on May 25th without performing a background check.
Days before the so-called Trusted Build update was due to begin, Wood, who was equipped with an access card to the secure voting system areas, copied the hard drives of the voting machine computers, wrote Robison.
During the trusted build, confidential passwords were posted online, prompting State Department officials to conduct an investigation, and they found two settings in the voting machines that were incorrect, creating security flaws, Robison wrote.
Regarding Knisley, Robison said she unfoundedly disabled cameras in the electoral department from May 17 to August 1.
“Peters failed to follow the secretary’s rules and directions by giving a non-employee (Gerald Wood) access to a secured area through a Mesa County access card with no disclosed background check. Knisley helped Peters with her wrongful acts. ” by demanding that the cameras be disabled, “said Robison.” With this, Knisley ensured that Peters’ wrongdoing could not be seen.
Robison ruled that former Secretary of State Wayne Williams will serve as the chief clerk for the November 2 election and that Sheila Reiner will serve as the Mesa County election director.
Peters described the verdict in a statement to the Denver Post as a “steal of power” and a “numbing abuse of office and overreach”.
“If this decision stands, it will fundamentally shift power in running local elections from a county official to a Denver Secretary of State, undermining the controls and antagonisms that make our elections fair,” she said. “I intend to appeal this decision and I hope the Colorado Supreme Court will return control of the local elections to locally elected officials.”
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said in a statement that he was “grateful” to the court for its decision.
“Freedom of choice is one of the most sacred rights we Americans have,” he said. “Today’s ruling gives Mesa County voters the confidence they need to know that the upcoming election will be free, fair and conducted in a manner that they and all of Coloradans can trust.”