As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, facing multiple criminal investigations into potential state and federal law violations related to the theft and distribution of proprietary voting machine data, may soon be permanently relieved of the job of overseeing elections in Mesa County:
About the same time the Mesa County commissioners were voting to remove Clerk Tina Peters permanently as the top election official on Tuesday, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office filed a new lawsuit seeking to do the same thing.
Similar to its lawsuit against Peters last year that led to her being temporarily removed as the county’s designated election official for the 2021 Coordinated Election, this new lawsuit details things Peters has done and said in an effort to show she isn’t trustworthy to oversee elections.
Peters is facing numerous investigations into possible criminal misconduct and wire fraud, including a local grand jury probe into allegations she and at least four others engaged in tampering with election equipment and official misconduct.
After being temporarily barred from overseeing elections last November, Clerk Peters was offered a set of terms by Secretary of State Jena Griswold by which Peters could resume some of the election responsibilities Peters would normally manage in her duties as county clerk while the criminal investigations into her misconduct continue. Peters rejected Griswold’s offer last week:
Those terms would have required Peters to retract certain statements made regarding voting machines and submit election-related communications to the Sec. of State’s office on a daily basis, among other requirements. In exchange, Peters would have been able to resume her role in supervising Mesa Co. elections…
In a statement on this matter, Peters said quote, “Please name one time in the history of the world in which the side demanding you ‘repudiate’ your beliefs, especially beliefs for transparency, in exchange for return of your rights, have been the good guys?”
There’s an argument to be made that having freely confessed to allowing unauthorized access to proprietary election system data in a fruitless attempt to prove fraud in the 2020 presidential election, thereby creating an actual security risk for future attempts to compromise voting machines, Clerk Peters has disqualified herself from ever having administrative access to a voting machine again. It’s in deference to the fact that Peters was duly elected to carry out those responsibilities, as well as being innocent until proven guilty in the multiple criminal investigations against her, that any offer was made to allow Peters to continue overseeing elections.
If Peters won’t agree to a few basic stipulations that include not digging her rhetorical hole any deeper, which if she had a better lawyer than Scott Gessler they would have been pleading with her to do months ago, anyone in oversight has not just the option but the responsibility to not let Clerk Peters near Mesa County’s voting machines.
Most people resign at or even well before this point, not to mention she’s also a flight risk. Unless/until the justice system renders the discussion moot, it’s time to take the necessary precautions to ensure Mesa County’s elections are in competent hands.