The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office asked a Mesa County District Court judge again this week to officially keep county Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters from overseeing the November election and instead appoint former Secretary of State Wayne Williams.
It’s the latest in a legal tangle over allegations that Peters let an unauthorized man access a secure area at the county election office on May 25 and that passwords from the voting equipment were published online in early August by a leader in the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Mesa County resident Heidi Jeanne Hess filed a lawsuit Aug. 30 to keep Peters and Deputy Clerk and Recorder Belinda Knisley from handling the next election.
Last week, Peters — who had been out of the state for more than a month and has become popular among 2020 election conspiracy theorists — responded to the lawsuit by providing to commissioners and the court a report that alleges wrongdoing by the secretary of state’s office and says that a state upgrade wiped out election records that elections officials are required to keep.
The Mesa County Board of County Commissioners appointed Williams in August as the designated election official and asked the court to affirm that decision, but Peters’ attorney argued this week that commissioners don’t have that authority. Wednesday night’s filing from Griswold’s office asked for the court to make a decision on the removal — and responded to allegations of wrongdoing by Peters.