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    Federal agents boxed him in as he waited in at Hardee’s drive-thru last week. They handed Mike Lindell a subpoena and confiscated his phone. What does the FBI want with the My Pillow Guy’s mobile? Lindell is the sugar daddy of the Big Lie. The eccentric pillow peddler claims that the nation’s voting machines hold proof of a stolen 2020 election. Since Trump’s defeat, he’s spent tens of millions of dollars bankrolling grassroots activists who pressure local Republican election officials to leak highly sensitive data from voting machines. This data, our data, finds its way to Lindell’s “cybersecurity experts” who write bogus reports crying fraud. These false claims are amplified by Trumpworld celebrities like Steve Bannon. Lindell is also spending millions to build his own right-wing media platform so that his credulous acolytes can absorb his lies without contradiction and nobody can deplatform him for spreading misinformation. READ MORE: How a rural Colorado county became an epicenter of Donald Trump's Big Lie Lindell’s phone was seized because of his links to Tina Peters, the clerk and recorder...
    Republican Tina Peters, who has been indicted on charges of tampering with voting machines, lost her primary for Colorado secretary of state. A right-wing conspiracy theorist who was indicted in March on criminal charges of tampering with voting machines to try to prove former President Donald Trump's lies of a stolen 2020 presidential election on Tuesday lost the Republican primary to run for secretary of state of Colorado, the person who oversees its elections. With 95% of the vote counted, Tina Peters, the clerk and recorder of Mesa County, Colorado, was in third place, trailing the winner, fellow Republican Pam Anderson, 43.2%-28.3%. Peters and her deputy, Belinda Knisley, were indicted on March 8. Peters was indicted on seven felony charges and three misdemeanors, including identity theft, criminal impersonation, attempting to influence a public servant, and official misconduct after she allegedly helped an unauthorized person gain access to a room that housed Mesa County's election equipment in August 2021 and gave an unauthorized person passwords for the equipment. Images of the voting machine data wound up being published by a Telegram social...
    Colorado Republicans on Tuesday rejected Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters for their secretary of state nomination, an election skeptic who has been barred by state courts from her role managing elections in the county due to a security breach of voting equipment data. Former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson, who is also a former head of the state's county clerks' association, won the Republican nomination in the race. Anderson defended the state's vote-by-mail system and the legitimacy of the 2020 results. Without any recent polling in the race, Anderson's victory is something of an upset as she was out-fundraised by Peters. SIX NOTABLE MOMENTS FROM HOUSE JAN. 6 HEARING FEATURING EX-TRUMP AIDE HUTCHINSON Peters was one of series of Republicans to seek the nomination for their state’s top elections role after denying the legitimacy of the 2020 election or circulating false claims about the results, but she was arguably the most controversial of these candidates, as she currently faces criminal charges. Peters was indicted earlier this year by a grand jury on felony charges including...
    DENVER (AP) — Prosecutors in a western Colorado county said Thursday they found no evidence of tampering in the 2020 presidential election as alleged by a clerk who has become a prominent voice among those promoting former President Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election. The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office presented its findings to county commissioners after investigating claims by Clerk Tina Peters, who is under indictment for providing unauthorized access to county voting equipment, a breach that led to a public release of sensitive information. Peters, who is running for the Republican nomination to become the state’s chief election official, had issued a report — known as Report 3 — in March claiming to have found evidence of “potentially unauthorized and illegal manipulation of tabulated vote data” during the 2020 presidential election and 2021 city elections. During a public meeting Thursday, District Attorney Daniel P. Rubinstein provided a detailed rebuttal of the allegations, utilizing video from inside the clerk’s office during the elections to show that workers followed proper protocols. For instance, time-stamped video of election workers...
    Washington (CNN)Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, along with her deputies Belinda Knisley and Julie Fisher, will not be allowed to oversee 2022 elections in the county, a Colorado district judge ruled Tuesday, marking the second time Peters has been removed from the same post.Judge Valerie Robison's ruling follows two days of testimony last month in a lawsuit brought by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold to prevent Peters, Knisley and Fisher from being the designated election official in the upcoming Mesa County primary and midterm elections. "The Court's decision today bars Peters from further threatening the integrity of Mesa's elections and ensures Mesa County residents have the secure and accessible elections they deserve," Griswold said as part of a statement released by her office following the ruling. "Clerk Peters' actions compromised Mesa County's voting equipment and election security constituting one of the nation's first insider threats where an election official, risked the integrity of the election system in an effort to prove unfounded conspiracy theories," Griswold continued, adding, "Clerk Peters subsequently refused to affirm that she would comply with Colorado...
    DENVER (AP) — A Colorado county clerk who made copies of voting system hard drives has turned over two copies to state officials under a judge’s order. Court records show that Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder provided the copies in separate, sealed metal containers before Wednesday’s deadline along with information in response to questions from Democratic Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, including about who had custody of them. The filings are not available to the public. Schroeder also submitted a protest letter, according to a list of the items received. In a statement Thursday, the Secretary of State’s Office said officials were reviewing the copies. Schroeder’s lawyer declined to comment. It’s one of a handful of cases across the United States in which authorities are investigating whether local officials directed or aided in suspected security breaches at their own election offices. Some of them have expressed doubt about the results of the 2020 presidential election. Schroeder, a Republican, is part of a separate lawsuit trying to compel an audit of Colorado’s elections system following the 2020 presidential election....
    (CBS4) — A first-of-its-kind election security bill in Colorado is aimed at combating insider threats. The Colorado Election Security Act would require 24-hour video surveillance and key card access to rooms that store voting equipment and training and certification for election officials before they can run an election. The bill also makes tampering with voting equipment or publicly posting confidential information — such as voting system passwords — a felony, bars those convicted of election offenses — such as treason and conspiracy to overthrow the government — from working as election officials, and provides more protections for whistleblowers and expedited judicial reviews of any complaints. (credit: CBS) The bill was triggered by a case involving Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters. She was indicted by a grand jury in a case involving allegations of election equipment tampering and official misconduct. Secretary of State Jena Griswold says the case was a wake-up call, “The idea that someone elected to uphold elections would try to destroy from in as shocking to election community.” While the bill sponsors — Senate President Steve Fenberg and...
    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado county elections clerk who was jailed after being accused of plotting to breach voting system technology that is used across the U.S. made her first court appearance by video Thursday. Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters made no comment during the brief hearing before District Court Judge Matthew Barrett as she watched remotely from the county detention center. Peters surrendered to authorities Wednesday following a grand jury indictment alleging she was part of a “deceptive scheme” to breach state elections systems in the western Colorado county. The judge reduced Peters’ bail from $500,000 to $25,000 but ordered her to surrender her passport and not to leave Colorado pending her next court date on May 24. He did tell Peters’ attorneys he would consider a request to allow Peters to travel to North Carolina to attend the funeral of her father, who according to her attorneys passed away overnight. Peters wore a yellow jail shirt and watched patiently during the hearing. The judge ordered her not to have any contact with elections employees, witnesses...
    Mesa County, Colorado Clerk Tina Peters and Deputy Belinda Knisley were indicted on Tuesday for a slate of criminal charges for secretly copying hard drives inside Dominion Voting Machines after the 2020 election. Peters is a Republican candidate for secretary of state, a powerful role that includes overseeing the Centennial State's elections. She has been an outspoken proponent of former President Donald Trump's false assertions that the election was rigged. Prosecutors allege that Peters was attempting to prove Trump's lie that voter fraud cost him a second term. "In an 18-page indictment, a county grand jury accused Peters of sneaking someone who was not a county employee into secure areas of her office in May, before and during a manual update of Dominion voting machines known as a 'trusted build,'" The Washington Post reported on Wednesday. "Peters was charged Tuesday evening with 10 counts, seven of them felonies," the Post learned from the filing. "They include conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation and attempting to influence a public servant, stemming in part from her allegedly attempting to deceive state elections...
    DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s Democratic secretary of state filed a lawsuit on Thursday to compel a Republican elections clerk who says he copied his voting system’s hard drive to deliver those copies and other records related to the purported security breach. The copies got in the hands of two unauthorized attorneys after they were made. Elbert County Clerk and Recorder Dallas Schroeder is the second Republican election clerk in Colorado associated with Donald Trump’s election falsehoods to be investigated for possible breaches of state election systems. Elbert County is near Denver. In western Colorado, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is under investigation in connection to a breach of the system there. Peters has announced she intends to run for secretary of state this year despite the investigation. Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s Elbert County District Court lawsuit contends that Schroeder didn’t comply with orders to answer questions and produce records about the alleged copying and distribution of the county’s voting system hard drives. The lawsuit seeks to compel Schroeder to regain possession of any copies and deliver any devices used...
    Denver — The FBI said Wednesday its agents are joining a criminal investigation into an alleged security breach of a rural Colorado county's voting equipment. The agents are working with Mesa County prosecutors to determine if there was a criminal violation, FBI spokeswoman Courtney Bernal said in a statement. The federal probe comes after Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold alerted federal cyber security officials within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of the suspected May breach. No elections have occurred since, and the federal officials confirmed the alleged breach posed no significant risks "at this point," Griswold said earlier this week. The allegations involve images of election management software used by Mesa County election's equipment that were obtained by conspiracy theorists. Griswold's office said it believes one of the images was taken on May 23 from a secure room where the equipment was stored and accessed by Peters, another county elections worker and a non-employee. Griswold's office identified the non-employee but refused to say anything more about who he is or why he was there. The Associated Press...
    Officials in Mesa County, Colorado, confirmed Tuesday that local prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into the county clerk's office after a breach in security protocol resulted in elections equipment passwords being published online. Republican Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubenstein and his office "obtained and executed search warrants" to process evidence as part of the investigation into how the sensitive information was accessed, a county spokesperson told the Washington Examiner. The district attorney's office is "in the process of identifying and interviewing potential witnesses," the spokesperson added. The FBI is also involved in the investigation, a spokesperson for the agency's Denver office told CNN Tuesday. COLORADO SECRETARY OF STATE ORDERS COUNTY TO STOP USING VOTING EQUIPMENT AFTER SECURITY BREACH Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who announced her own investigation into the security breach on Aug. 9 after the passwords appeared on the social media site Telegram, implicated County Clerk Tina Peters and two others on Monday as responsible for the security breach. Griswold's office said her investigators determined the online images...
    The FBI has joined a Colorado district attorney office's investigation into how voting machine login information wound up on a QAnon-affiliated video, CNN reports. Courtney Bernal, an FBI spokesperson for the Denver field office,  told CNN that the agency is assisting Mesa ​County district attorney Dan Rubinstein's office "on the forensic review and analysis of county voting systems to determine if there was a potential federal criminal violation." Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) launched an investigation last week into photos that appeared to show passwords for Dominion Voting Systems software specific to Mesa County's voting system posted online. The photos were posted on a QAnon-affiliated Telegram channel as well as on a conservative blog. Dominion told The Hill that the company is also "fully cooperating with authorities on this matter.” Griswold blamed Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, accusing her of bringing a "non employee" to a meeting where voting machine credentials were visible. The meeting in question was a "trustee build," described as a routine meeting between county and state officials to update voting machine software, CNN reports. "I think this is troubling for the entire state of Colorado, to have...
    (CNN)The FBI Denver field office has joined a Colorado district attorney's investigation into the County Clerk's office and how voting machine logins from the county wound up in a QAnon-affiliated video, an FBI spokeswoman told CNN. Voting machine logins from Mesa County were featured in an August 3 video posted on a QAnon-affiliated Telegram ​channel about 2020 election fraud claims. In a press conference last week, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold blamed Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters for the leak, saying the secretary of state's office could not establish a verifiable chain of custody ​for the machines, and that Peters brought a "non-employee" to a May 25 "trusted build" meeting where closely guarded voting machine login credentials were visible to attendees. Griswold said her employees had been misled to believe that the "non-employee" in question was a county employee.Griswold's office said Monday that the secretary of state would appoint a new person to oversee elections in Mesa County.Dan Rubinstein, the Mesa ​County district attorney, had previously confirmed to CNN that the secretary of state's office contacted him last week,...
    (CNN)In announcing the revoking of some Mesa County voting machines -- their logins appeared in a video by an individual affiliated with QAnon -- Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold on Thursday also accused the county's clerk, Tina Peters, of assisting in the election system security breach.During a news conference detailing her order, Griswold said her staff had inspected the county's voting machines and video surveillance system on Tuesday, but could not "establish a verifiable chain of custody for any of the voting systems components in Mesa County and cannot establish confidence in the integrity or security of those components."More on Voting Rights Senate GOP blocks effort by Dems to advance voting bill 56 years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, lawmakers struggle to find common ground Eighteen states have enacted new laws that make it harder to vote Griswold went further and accused Peters of having a hand in facilitating the leak."I think this is troubling for the entire state of Colorado, to have someone in a trusted position, literally trusted to protect democracy, allow this type...
    MESA COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– When passwords were accessed and recently posted online on a website known for conspiracy theories, it set off alarm bells in the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. It was determined to come from a private voting machine session called a “trusted build,” said Jena Griswold. (credit: CBS) “It appears that a week before the trusted build, the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office directed Mesa County staff to turn off the video surveillance of their voting equipment.” READ MORE: Colorado Could Soon Pay Students To Get Tested For COVID She added the clerk’s office allowed an unauthorized person into the machine update session. The sensitive information that can access the machines turned up on the website Gateway Pundit, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. “Today I have issued an election order to prohibit the use of these voting systems in Mesa County. This means that the voting equipment in Mesa County can no longer be used.” (credit: CBS) Matt Crane is the head of the Colorado clerk’s association, he said at a news conference, “It...
    DENVER (AP) — What began as an investigation into how election equipment passwords from a rural Colorado county got posted on a right wing blog has turned into a feud between the state’s Democratic secretary of state and the county’s conservative clerk. The elections chief for the northwestern county that includes the city of Grand Junction, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, escalated the dispute this week with an appearance at an event hosted by one the biggest backers of baseless election fraud conspiracies promoted by Trump supporters, My Pillow company CEO Mike Lindell. Peters slammed the investigation of her office, claiming that Griswold is attempting a takeover of Mesa County’s elections in one of Colorado’s last Republican strongholds. Colorado’s Democratic Secretary of State Jenna Griswold then took her turn in the war-of-words Thursday at a news conference, when she said that Mesa County would have to replace its voting equipment and that Peters was responsible for the security breach. Griswold said evidence showed that Peters’ office directed staff to turn off video surveillance of its voting equipment...
    Colorado's top elections official prohibited Mesa County from using 41 pieces of voting equipment in future elections after sensitive password information associated with the machines was published online. Secretary of State Jena Griswold ordered the devices to be taken out of commission on Thursday after a preliminary investigation by her office was unable to verify the security of the voting systems. Griswold, a Democrat, announced her investigation on Monday, ordering Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters to provide surveillance video and other documentation to help investigators determine whether the voting devices' passwords, posted on social media site Telegram on Aug. 2, were exposed due to a breach in security protocol. JUDGE DENIES EFFORTS BY POWELL, LINDELL, AND GIULIANI TO DISMISS DOMINION LAWSUITS The secretary's order said it was "clear" the information was "collected during the limited access trusted build installation of the Democracy Suite version 5.13 in Mesa County on May 25, 2021." Democracy Suite is used in Dominion Voting Systems machines. The order Griswold issued Thursday decommissioning the equipment revealed multiple findings, including that Mesa...
    DENVER (AP/CBS4) — Colorado state officials are investigating a county election office after passwords for its voting systems were posted online, the Secretary of State announced Monday. The breach included specific passwords from Mesa County’s voting equipment, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a statement. The passwords were posted on a far-right blog, according to a spokesperson from Griswold’s office. READ MORE: School Mask Mandates: Students In Neighboring Districts Have Different Rules Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (credit: CBS) Griswold called it a “serious breach” in a statement, but said it did not happen during the past election or create any risk to state elections. It is likely that the passwords were collected during software updates to voting equipment in Mesa County on May 25, 2021, Griswold said. “Yesterday I ordered the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder to comply with inspection of election equipment, video footage, and other documents in the county. The Clerk’s Office must prove that chain of custody remains intact and that there has been no unauthorized access to voting equipment in the county....
    Colorado’s secretary of state has launched an investigation into an alleged security breach of a county’s election office after passwords for Dominion Voting Systems software were posted online.  Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) said in a press release Monday that she had issued an order “in response to a potential chain-of-custody and security protocol breach for Mesa County’s voting system components.”  Griswold referenced photos that were posted online showing passwords “specific to the individual hardware stations of Mesa County’s voting system.”  The images were posted earlier this month to social media platform Telegram and conservative blog The Gateway Pundit, which reportedly used the photos to advance a debunked conspiracy theory that Dominion, which provides voting machines to several states across the country, has remote access to their machines.  Griswold said that the breach of the machines from Dominion likely occurred during the installation of machines in Mesa County in May 2021.  The company has consistently been targeted by former President TrumpDonald TrumpWatchdog sues FEC for closing investigation into Rick Scott, allied super PAC Iowa man sentenced to 10 years...
    DENVER (AP) – Colorado state officials are investigating a county election office after passwords for its voting systems were posted online. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold says the breach included specific passwords from Mesa County’s voting equipment. Griswold called it a “a serious breach” in a statement Monday. Griswold says it did not happen during the past election or create any risk to state elections. It is likely the passwords were collected during during software updates to voting equipment in Mesa County on May 25, 2021. If violations are found during the investigation, it could lead to a decertification of the county’s voting machines.
    Colorado’s voter services and polling centers (VSPCs) opened Monday for early in-person voting, as the Secretary of State’s Office continues to process over 642,000 mail-in ballots it has already received. “Coloradans have been incredibly engaged this election, and we expect that will continue,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, said in a statement. “This year, there are an additional 42 voting centers for the convenience of Colorado voters, for a grand total of 342 statewide.” Griswold says the additional 42 voting centers are necessary to accommodate the state’s growing registry of voters. Since 2019, active voters have grown 10%, now totaling over 3.6 million. Some 40% of active voters are unaffiliated. Nearly 50,000 voters are pre-registered as well. Colorado law allows youths enrolled in public schools between 16 and 18 years old to preregister to vote, even if they won’t turn 18 by the next election. However, no one under the age of 18 may vote in any election. In terms of participation, the 642,000 mail-in ballots turned in so far represents a 50% spike since...
    Ballots are arriving at homes across Colorado this week. The state has had all-mail ballot elections since 2014, which has resulted in record turnout and, this year, many sighs of relief from people who do not have to vote in person during a pandemic (though vote centers will be open in every Colorado county for those who like the personal touch, lost their ballot...or even want to register on election day, as you can if you've lived in this state for 22 days by November 3). But this year, you’ll want to have plenty of time to consider your ballot, and maybe a few beers on hand (as well as the 2020 State Ballot Information Ballot, aka the “Blue Book,” that also arrived through the mail) as you dig deep into the issues. In addition to the contests between congressional candidates (the race for the U.S. Senate between Cory Gardner and John Hickenlooper, as well as all seven U.S. Representative seats), you’ll be voting on state legislative races, RTD board seats, judicial retention questions and a slew of municipal questions...
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