In the newest battle over former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election defeat, a Republican county clerk in Colorado has been accused of permitting unauthorized entry to voting machine passwords that ended up on the social media account of a QAnon chief.
An investigation led by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold concluded that Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters allowed an unidentified, unauthorized particular person to attend a software program replace in May for election gear made by Dominion Voting Systems. That individual allegedly took photos of software program passwords, which had been then posted on-line early this month, Griswold detailed in a press conference Thursday.
Those passwords had been shared by conservative weblog The Gateway Pundit, in accordance to The Denver Post. In addition, images and movies of the Dominion software program replace session had been posted on the social media page of influential QAnon chief Ron Watkins, Colorado Public Radio reported.
Speculation on the id of “Q,” the legendary authorities insider who gave the conspiracy concept its identify, has long centered on Watkins, a web site administrator of far-right message board 8kun, a hotbed of extremism the place QAnon flourished early.
“To be very clear, Mesa County’s clerk and recorder allowed a security breach and, by all evidence at this point, assisted it,” Griswold mentioned. She accused Peters of “actively working to undermine confidence and spread disinformation.”
Griswold mentioned that one week earlier than the breach, Peters ordered her employees to flip off the video surveillance system that screens the voting machines, and that it was solely just lately turned again on.
The compromised voting gear was decertified following what Griswold known as a profound “breach in security.” Griswold mentioned her workplace “cannot establish a verifiable chain of custody for any of the [current] voting systems components in Mesa County and cannot establish confidence in the integrity or security of those components.”
Local prosecutors have launched a criminal probe into the suspected breach. A probe by Griswold’s workplace is continuous.
Peters, who has baselessly challenged the election results, issued a press release merely saying that “citizens of Mesa County have been critical of election integrity. They have brought me their concerns and I have told them I will do everything in my power to protect their vote.”
At the time of Griswold’s press convention, Peters was attending MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s weird “Cyber Symposium,” reported the Colorado Daily Sentinel. Lindell had promised, once more, to lastly reveal proof that the presidential election was fraudulent — which he failed to do.
A Colorado affiliation of county clerks is backing Griswold’s investigation. “We offer our full support to this inquiry and hope that a thorough investigation will provide clear answers to the concerns raised by the Secretary of State’s office,” it mentioned in a press release.
Concerns concerning the voting machine breach are comparable to these stoked by the controversial Arizona recount of Maricopa County votes, which was launched earlier this 12 months by Republicans furious over Trump’s November defeat within the state.
Auditors of the inexperienced, extremely partisan Cyber Ninjas firm, headed by QAnon disciple and Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, have been allowed largely unfettered, unsupervised access to ballots and different gear. Election officers there have additionally mentioned that these voting machines are not usable as a result of they’ve also been comprised by a partisan operation.
Griswold’s full press convention on the safety breach may be seen within the video up prime.
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