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Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters (R) offered terms to resume election supervision

A Mesa County judge formally stripped Peters of her designated election official status in October of 2021 in a civil case
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 10:45 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) is offering Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters (R) a path to resume her election supervision duties, if in a supervised capacity.

A Mesa County judge formally stripped Peters of her designated election official status in October of 2021 in a civil case. In that case, Griswold alleged Peters allowed a security breach in the elections office and compromised election system security in May of 2021.

Griswold alleged that Peters allowed an unauthorized individual named Gerald Wood access to county voting systems, among other charges.

For Clerk Peters to resume her election supervision responsibilities, she would have to agree to submit any written election-related communications she makes to the Sec. of State’s office by 4 p.m. each workday. Peters would also not be allowed to have any unsupervised access to Mesa Co.’s voting equipment, among other stipulations.

“The purpose I think of order issues today by the Secretary of State was to provide a path forward for Clerk Peters if she wants to be involved in the elections,” explained Mesa Co. Designated Election Official Wayne Williams.

The Mesa Co. Board of Commissioners appointed Williams to supervise the county’s November 2021 election when Peters was removed. His role in the county ends once the audit process of the that election concludes.

Once Williams’ time is up, this offer by the Sec. of State would allow Peters to then take over, according to Williams.

“So the way forward if she wants to be involved with the election according to the Secretary of State’s order is to sign a couple attestations that acknowledge this order exists and commit her to following it. Up to her whether she makes the decision to actually do that or not,” shared Williams.

In addition to agreeing to a number of terms that would require her to report election-related activities to the Sec. of State’s office, Peters would have to retract former statements regarding voting machines, such as, “We’ve got to get those machines so that they are transparent to the people and they’re not able to do what they’re designed to do,” which the Sec. of State’s office is saying Peters argued over a Facebook Live broadcast on Jan. 6, 2022.

If Peters does not agree to these terms, “Then I suspect as with prior orders that there will be something that follows up from that,” according to Williams.

These terms also prohibit two individuals, Belinda Knisley and Sandra Brown, from being involved with county elections. Knisley has been charged with second degree felony and cybercrime related to alleged activity at the elections office, and Brown was fired from clerk’s office in November of 2021.

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