Court Boots Wingnut CO Election Official For Patriotically Breaking County's Voting Machines

Court Boots Wingnut CO Election Official For Patriotically Breaking County's Voting Machines
Tina Peters hugs MyPillow guy at Fraudapalooza.

Colorado election ratfucker Tina Peters was officially removed from overseeing elections as election chief in Mesa County, Colorado, yesterday when a court held that she'd "committed a breach and neglect of duty and other wrongful acts."

Peters had a star turn at Mike Lindell's Cyber Hootenany Hoedown in August, where the Pillow Pumper lauded her as a brave whistleblower.

He also broadcast video of Mesa County's election equipment, including the passwords, which had more than a little to do with Colorado District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison's telling Peters and her assistant Belinda Knisley to GTFO.

The court's opinion is pretty damning. Peters, who was elected in 2018, became convinced that there was something nefarious going on with the Dominion Voting machines used in Mesa County, despite the fact that Trump won there by 28 points. Since the machines aren't connected to the internet, they have to be manually updated in a highly secure process known as a "trusted build" which requires state and county officials to be physically present in the room while Dominion employees update the hard drives.

The week before the trusted build, Knisley asked for the security cameras in the building to be deactivated, which is just a lilbit sus' as hell. Then Peters gave someone going by the name "Gerald Wood" electronic access to the building, which he appears to have used to take a forensic image of the Dominion machine's hard drive over the weekend. Subsequently, Peters brought "Gerald Wood" to the trusted build and said he was an administrative assistant who'd just moved over from the motor vehicle division, allowing him to observe the entire four-hour procedure. "Gerald Wood" then took another digital image of the Dominion hard drive, and then posted both versions online.

By the time the shit hit the fan, Peters had faffed off to Sioux Falls to tell her tale of woe to Lindell and his followers. And she appears to have remained outside the jurisdiction for much of the time since then, possibly holed up in a stash house by Lindell himself, despite the fact that her office is supposed to be running an election in November of 2021. Or, as Judge Robison put it, "There has been no assertion that Peters attempted to perform her duties as [Designated Election Official] after August 17, 2021, and was prevented from doing so."

In the meantime, Knisley was charged with second-degree burglary and cyber crime, in addition to being placed on administrative leave for "numerous workplace harassment complaints" and allegedly trying to sneak back onto the county's servers using Peters's login, the AP reports. And when state officials showed up to examine the machines, they found that the security settings had been altered, according to the court.

The Department of State employees went through 9 computers. On the server computer there were two settings that were incorrect: the secure boot setting was disabled, and the boot from the optical drive setting was enabled. The combination of the changes to the two settings resulted in enabling of a security vulnerability if someone had physical access to the system. Additionally, the enabled security vulnerability of the server computer created a vulnerability for the other computers.

Which meant that Mesa County had to go out and buy new machines from Dominion. So, all in all, not a great look for the elected official charged with ensuring secure and efficient election administration.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold filed this suit to enjoin Peters and Knisley from doing any election work, formally stripping them of their official duties. And the court agreed to allow the acting officials (one is a Republican former state secretary of state) to keep on keepin' on pending the outcome of next month's election to fill Peters's spot as County Recorder.

Naturally Peters vows to appeal, wailing that she's being persecuted by evil Dems intent on stealing elections from saintly Republicans.

"This power grab is a stunning abuse of office and overreach by Secretary of State Jena Griswold, which should alarm all Coloradans," she huffed. "If this decision stands, it will fundamentally shift the power of running local elections from the county clerk to a Secretary of State in Denver, eroding the checks and balances that make our elections fair. I intend to appeal this decision, and am hopeful the Colorado Supreme Court will restore control of local elections to locally elected officials."

Which is cool and all, but Peters already conceded all the facts in this case, obviating the need for discovery or even a real trial. In plain English, prosecutors don't have to prove what happened if you admit that you did all the things they say you did. So good luck persuading an appeals court that actually it was totes fines to allow an unauthorized "consultant" [cough cough] to make copies of confidential election data and post it on the internet.

Girl, please. You dance with the Pillow Man, that Pillow Stank is gonna rub off on ya.

[Colorado Sun / Griswold v. Peters, Order]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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