This past week, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office asked a judge to ban Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters from the upcoming November election. This comes more than a month after reports surfaced that Colorado officials were investigating a “serious breach” of elections security by Peters. This came after delicate information and passwords were leaked on a random elections conspiracy theorist website. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced that as a result of an investigation the county would have to “replace 41 pieces of election equipment and get them certified by Aug. 30, or hand count ballots in the next election, because the security of the voting systems cannot be verified.”
Subsequently, it became clear that the breach was not simply a matter of neglect on the part of the MAGA-leaning Republican official, but an active breach of security protocols. Secretary of State Griswold filed a lawsuit earlier this month to have Peters removed from her position overseeing the upcoming elections. Tina Peters’ attorneys responded by going full Big Lie and saying the secretary of state’s office is the one guilty of wrongdoing and that the “security breach” Peters was involved in was a technicality but shouldn’t matter, because she was trying to ensure that important election records weren’t wiped out by Dominion Software.
Peters’ attorneys’ response comes just after her coworker, Mesa County Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley, already suspended for engaging “in inappropriate, unprofessional conduct in the workplace,” was charged with felony burglary and a misdemeanor cybercrime. The charges allege that Knisley was futzing around with Tina Peters’ work computer after Knisley had been suspended from her position and barred from having access to things like Tina Peters’ computer. And while those charges are independent of the current Peters security breach investigation, Knisley and Peters seem to be as thick as thieves.
“It appeared Knisley was using Peters’ Mesa County work station to access the secure Mesa County computer network while she was in Peters’ office earlier on 8/25/21,” the affidavit adds. “Upon further investigation, Mesa County IT discovered that during the 08/25/21 session logged into Peters credentials, items were sent to the print server, but were not ultimately printed. What those items were was not immediately clear and remains under investigation.”
Tina Peters has admitted to having “commissioned somebody to come in” and copy secure files before a trusted build (software upgrade) to election equipment was performed. But her lawyers are arguing that Peters is allowed to commission a third party for the work and that this is all a technicality, not an election security crime. According to Secretary of State Griswold, Peters allowed a person, Gerald Wood, into a secure space by passing him off as having security clearance, and let him copy important election machine software. She did this before the “trusted build” upgrade of the software took place.
Oh, and she made sure to turn off security cameras beforehand. Which is weird, if you’re allowed to do this and all.
According to the MAGA-driven, Big Lie-created Arizona audit of election results, President Biden beat Donald Trump by more votes than previously counted. But unable to come even remotely close to proving their election fraud claims, the new goal posts hope to further erode trust in the election security of our country. Peters and her lawyers (paid for by? I don’t know but I’m going to just lay my head down on a soft pillow and think about that for a while) are now pushing forward with this QAnon-level conspiracy that “nearly 29,000 election files were deleted during a routine upgrade” of the election machines that Peters’ security shenanigans have now gotten decertified—which Mesa County will have to pay to replace.
A lot of what is now being investigated reportedly began in April, months into the Biden administration and Trump delusion 2.0. According to The Washington Post, Douglas Frank, a scientist and physics teacher who is folded into the Mike Lindell Big Lie camp, reportedly convinced Tina Peters that his abusively bad math claims were proof of election fraud. She in turn tried to get people under her to buy into this bulls!@†. Also forgot to mention that Douglas Frank, the math guy with the bad election fraud claims, told the Post that he put Peters in touch with Mike Lindell’s folks after he had convinced her that Dominion software’s upcoming upgrade could erase evidence of fraud.
And a reminder: Peters had security cameras to the areas where the trusted build was to take place turned off a couple of days before the trusted build. Peters’ defense for turning off the cameras is that … nobody said you couldn’t. Weird, huh?
According to state officials, the files deleted were common log files, the kinds of computer files that are deleted and replaced every time one does an upgrade to any software. To put this into a simpler computer analogy, Peters is basically alleging the equivalent of you upgrading your email app and suddenly all of your old emails are deleted and gone forever. The state is saying that when you upgrade, all kinds of old, frequently redundant files are deleted.
As news of Peters’ dubious reporting and clerking began coming out, she was whisked away to perform at MyPillow conman Mike Lindell’s Cyber Symposium bafoonery emporium. Lindell reportedly gave Peters a private plane ride to the event and has housed her out of state while she’s laid semi-low. Her return comes along with a new lawsuit brought against Secretary of State Griswold by Tina Peters and Belinda Knisley claiming that their illegally copied hard drives proved election records were destroyed in “violation” of state law. As the Denver Post reports:
Griswold’s office said counties are directed to save a copy of data needed to audit and verify a previous election before the routine upgrade. The data can be restored after the upgrade, according to the office. In a court filing, the secretary of state’s office says there’s no proof in the report that election records were deleted.
This new information paints the very real conspiracy of GOP officials and conspiracy theorists working, very deliberately, to subvert election law in order to prove something they have no rationale for in the first place. So far, Peters’ only real response has been very conservative Christian hypocrite of her, hoisting herself up on a cross of her own creation: “They will stop at nothing to shut this up. I’m willing to go as far as it takes to do what needs to happen. I mean, God’s called me, He’ll sustain me and He’s surrounding me with His people. So, I feel very good.”
God called her. Called her up and said: Turn off those cameras!
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.