Colorado official accused of leaking voting equipment logins to QAnon

A Colorado county clerk accused of leaking voting machine login codes to QAnon could face criminal prosecution.

In that state, county clerks run local elections. They’re elected officials, and therefore likely to be partisan.

In Mesa County, which borders Nevada, the county clerk is Tina Peters. She’s a Trump supporter with a checkered history, the target of a previous recall effort, and participated in MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s spurious “stolen election” symposium in August 2021. (Read about her here.)

While she was attending and speaking at that gathering in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, billed by Lindell as a “whistleblower,” law enforcement raided her office and seized voting equipment, surveillance camera footage, and records (read story here).

Peters is accused of breaching election security protocols in three respects:

  • She allowed an unauthorized person to attend a closed meeting in which the login codes were visible.
  • Her office’s security cameras were turned off during the meeting.
  • Tamper-proof seals were not put on the voting machines until a couple days after the meeting.

She told her staff that person was a county employee; at Lindell’s event, she described him as a Dominion Voting Systems employee. She’s a liar; he’s neither.

The login codes subsequently appeared in a video “put forth in a Telegram channel affiliated with a leading figure in the QAnon movement,” identified by a local newspaper as Ron Watkins, who is widely believed to be “Q,” the mysterious figure behind the QAnon movement (see story here). Telegram is a type of instant messaging software (details here).

Peters’ mission at Lindell’s event was to cast doubt on the security of America’s elections, and specifically, it’s voting machines and vote tallying equipment. It’s not much of a stretch to suspect she sabotaged her own office’s election security in order to “prove” the point she was trying to make.

In 2019, she “overlooked” 574 ballots in a drop box right outside her office (details here). That’s highly suspicious; Republicans don’t like drop boxes. It sent a message that in her county, if you use a drop box, your ballot might not be counted.

Tina Peters is a scumbag, but she was elected to her position, which complicates things. The Colorado secretary of state, a Democrat, says that voting equipment can’t be used again, and ordered Mesa County to either replace it at county expense, or hand-count ballots in future elections. In November 2020, that was over 90,000 ballots.

Meanwhile, the district attorney is looking into possible criminal charges against her.

Update (8/17/21): The FBI has entered the investigation, suggesting federal laws were violated (read story here).

Photo: Tina Peters at the South Dakota symposium put on by the discredited Mike Lindell, who had called for overthrowing the 2020 election with a military coup (details here), and now is being sued for defamation by Dominion Voting Systems (details here)

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