When Mesa County Colorado Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and her fellow deputy Belinda Knisley were busted for breaking all security protocols in order to tamper with voting machines, it led to questions about whether they were the only MAGA-aligned elections officials breaking the law. The answer was “probably not.” The fact that Peters is now campaigning to take control of the state’s entire election system—challenging Democratic incumbent Secretary of State Jena Griswold in the upcoming election—while also being arrested a bunch for obstruction of justice has simply reinforced the belief that many of these election fascists are true zealots. Even more distressing, but not surprising, is that Peters recently received 60% of the Colorado GOP’s delegates to run for that position.
Colorado Secretary of State Griswold has subsequently been successful in getting Peters banned from having any meaningful responsibilities in upcoming elections. On Wednesday, Mesa County District Judge Valerie Robison ruled that Peters and deputy Belinda Knisley will be barred from overseeing the upcoming midterm elections. “Based on the circumstances of this case … the Court determines that the Petitioners have met the burden of showing that Peters and Knisley have committed a neglect of duty and are unable to perform the duties of the Mesa County Designated Election Official,” Judge Robison wrote in her decision.
Secretary Griswold released a statement about the ruling, lauding the decision barring “Peters from further threatening the integrity of Mesa’s elections and ensures Mesa County residents have the secure and accessible elections they deserve.” Still, the Peters ruling is just one of the many MAGA-related elections security breaches being litigated and investigated by Colorado officials.
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In February, Colorado Secretary of State Griswold made it known that her office was investigating a handful of Colorado county elections officials for very similar breaches of security. Among those being investigated were Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz and Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder, who seemed to have the same plan to tamper with Dominion voting machines, breaking all security protocols and allowing random third-party actors access to their software, in order to prove that Dominion voting machines had … been tampered with.
On Tuesday, the Daily Beast reports that Colorado officials were finally able to get back the hard drive containing Elbert County voting machine data, that had been smuggled out of the country by Dallas Schroeder. Schroeder reportedly went to MyPillow guy Mike Lindell’s cyber make-it-up-as-we-go-along symposium last summer, where Peters flew in on a private plane to talk about how she was being persecuted for breaking the law. Schroeder was inspired by the idea of being persecuted too it seems and according to reports decided to break the law himself a couple of weeks later. As reported by Reuters in late April:
Previously unreported surveillance video captured one such effort in August in the rural Colorado town of Kiowa. Footage obtained by Reuters through a public-records request shows Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder, the county’s top election official, fiddling with cables and typing on his phone as he copied computer drives containing sensitive voting information.
Schroeder, a Republican, later testified that he was receiving instructions on how to copy the system’s data from a retired Air Force colonel and political activist bent on proving Trump lost because of fraud.
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The Daily Beast reports that investigators say Schroeder communicated with conspiracy theorists Shawn Smith and Mark Cook—men who have been connected to Trump’s ongoing behind-the-scenes attempts to overthrow our democracy. Smith is probably best known for speaking at Mike Lindell’s cyber-hoodwinkery event, and implying that Colorado Sec. of State Griswold was guilty of election fraud and should “hang” for it.
As with the rest of these bad actors’ activities, the fact that the data they stole and copied and supposedly showed to people, also proves that there was no secret Hugo Chavez’s ghost in the machine, flipping votes. But, as with the rest of these bad actors’ activities, the lack of proof is considered in fact … proof that a conspiracy happened.
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