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Colorado Secretary
of State Jena Griswold
www.coloradosos.gov
www.sos.state.co.us

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Picture of Secretary of State Jena Griswold

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Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

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News Release

Media contact
303-860-6903

Annie Orloff
annie.orloff@coloradosos.gov

Steve Hurlbert
steve.hurlbert@coloradosos.gov

State of Colorado
Department of State

1700 Broadway
Suite 550
Denver, CO 80290

Jena Griswold
Secretary of State

Chris Beall
Deputy Secretary of State

Colorado state seal

News Release

State of Colorado
Department of State

1700 Broadway
Suite 550
Denver, CO 80290

Jena Griswold
Secretary of State

Chris Beall
Deputy Secretary of State

Media contact
303-860-6903
Annie Orloff - annie.orloff@coloradosos.gov
Steve Hurlbert - steve.hurlbert@coloradosos.gov

Secretary of State Files Opening Brief in Lawsuit to Remove Peters as Designated Election Official

Denver, September 23, 2021 - Today, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold filed an opening brief in the lawsuit to remove Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters as the Designated Election Official (DEO). In the brief, the Secretary of State outlined how Peters disregarded rules and compromised the security of Mesa County’s voting system.

The brief further states that:

  • Clerk Peters and Deputy Clerk Knisley breached their duties in connection with the May 25, 2021 trusted build.
  • Clerk Peters is absent and is unable to perform her duties.
  • Deputy Clerk Knisley is also absent and unable to perform her duties.
  • Peters’ claim of destruction of election records is false and without merit.

The brief states “there is nothing further from the truth” in regards to Peters’ false claims about the destruction of election records during the routine trusted build. Election records are required to be maintained by county clerks for up to 25 months.

According to the Colorado Election Code, election records include items such as: accounting forms, certificates of registration, pollbooks, certificates of election, signature cards, all affidavits, voter applications, other voter lists and records, mail ballot return envelopes, voted ballots, unused ballots, spoiled ballots, and replacement ballots. None of these items were named in the “report” produced by Peters. As the brief states, “there is not a single allegation in the counterclaims or anything in the ‘report’ attached to the counterclaims showing that any such record was destroyed during the trusted build, or that any record similar in kind to those listed in the statute was destroyed.”

“The Secretary would have no objection to a county backing up its log files for its voting systems—in fact, Larimer County requested to backup their log files prior to a trusted build, and the Department of State helped Larimer County perform such a backup,” the brief states. “Instead, Peters made copies of the entire hard drive, exposing the security of the entire election system when those copies were posted on the Internet.”

“As a result of their own actions and choices, Respondents Peters and Knisley are absent and unable to perform their duties with respect to the 2021 coordinated election. The Court should therefore apply a substantial compliance standard to the Election Code and appoint Wayne Williams as the chief designated election official and acknowledge Sheila Reiner as the election supervisor,” the brief concludes.