Mesa County must replace election equipment due to security breach

Mesa County must replace its election equipment because it is no longer secure, the secretary of state’s office said Thursday.

“It is clear at this time that the security of Mesa County’s voting systems components cannot be verified,” the order states. Forty pieces of equipment, including a server, scanners and tablets, will have to be removed, according to the order.

Jena Griswold’s office believes a security breach occurred at the county clerk’s office May 25 during an update of Dominion Voting Systems’ software. On Aug. 2, images posted to the social media site Telegram and right-wing blog The Gateway Pundit included election equipment passwords from Mesa County.

The secretary of state’s office alleged Thursday that the clerk’s office allowed a non-employee to attend the update May 25, which is a violation of state election rules, and falsely claimed later that the unidentified person was an employee.

The order also alleges that video surveillance of the voting equipment was turned off by the county clerk’s staff before the May 25 update and not turned back on until August.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, a Republican, has not complied with the secretary of state’s investigation. She instead flew to South Dakota to speak at a conference focused on unbacked claims of hacking in the 2020 presidential race. Peters is an elected official who can be recalled by voters but not removed by the secretary of state.

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