Grand jury will investigate election equipment tampering - Albuquerque Journal

Grand jury will investigate election equipment tampering

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — A grand jury will investigate allegations of tampering with election equipment and official misconduct in a Colorado county where the clerk is being investigated for an alleged security breach of elections equipment, prosecutors said Thursday.

In joint statement, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said a grand jury in Mesa County accepted the case Wednesday and will assist in an ongoing investigation into the allegations, which has been underway for several months.

“This investigation will be thorough and guided by the facts and the law. More information will be made available when the prosecutors are ethically and legally permitted to provide additional details,” they said in the announcement, which was first reported by The Daily Sentinel.

The statement did not say who will be investigated but it comes as Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is being investigated by the FBI and by Colorado officials in an alleged security breach involving elections equipment in Mesa County in May. Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, successfully sued to have Peters and a deputy, Belinda Knisley, removed from administering the November midterm election. Peters has denied any wrongdoing.

A telephone message left for Peters’ attorney was not immediately returned.

Peters rejected a state settlement offer that would have allowed her renewed access to the county elections division under strict state supervision, The Daily Sentinel also reported Thursday. The offer from Griswold’s office called on Peters to “completely repudiate, retract and disavow” some statements she’s made about voting security.

Peters has become an advocate for those who believe, without evidence, that the 2020 election was fraudulent — although she has said elections in Mesa County, which voted overwhelmingly for then-President Donald Trump, were secure and accurate. Democrat Joe Biden handily defeated Trump in Colorado in 2020.

Knisley was subsequently suspended and charged with felony second-degree burglary and a cybercrime misdemeanor count by Rubinstein’s office. Knisley also has denied wrongdoing.

In November, an FBI-led law enforcement task force searched four western Colorado locations, including Peters’ home, in the investigation.

Griswold sued to remove Peters as county clerk and recorder after Griswold said images of election equipment management software from Mesa County were obtained by elections conspiracy theorists and posted on far-right blogs.

Griswold’s office has said one of the images was taken May 23 from inside a secure room in Mesa County where the voting equipment was stored and had been accessed that day by Peters, who allowed a non-employee into the room.

Griswold’s office has identified the person it says was allowed into the secure room but has refused to say anything more. The Associated Press isn’t naming the person until more information becomes available. He has not been charged with a crime.

In one of the statements that Griswold’s office called on Peters to back away from under the settlement offer, Peters recently said that “we’ve got to get those machines so they are transparent to the people and they’re not able to do what they’re designed to do,” the Sentinel reported.

Peters said in a statement she rejected the offer because it called on her to disavow her beliefs.

“Please name one time in the history of the world in which the side demanding you ‘repudiate’ your beliefs, especially beliefs for transparency, in exchange for return of your rights, have been the good guys,” Peters said in the release.

“I’m not surprised that the radical secretary of state wants to muzzle her and sweep all election questions under the rug,” said her attorney, former GOP Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

Peters first commented about the FBI-led searches during an appearance on an online channel operated by Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO and a supporter of Peters and Trump who has repeatedly made discredited claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop


Air Force team helps Yuma hospital care for COVID ...
Around the Region
Needing assistance due to staff shortages ... Needing assistance due to staff shortages and increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients, including some requiring high levels of care, Yuma Regional Medical Center applied ...
Driver arrested in crash that killed motorcyclist in Phoenix
Around the Region
A driver has been arrested in ... A driver has been arrested in connection with a crash that killed a motorcyclist in Phoenix, according to police said. Police said 29-year-old David ...
MLK III: History to remember Sinema unkindly over filibuster
Around the Region
Martin Luther King III came to ... Martin Luther King III came to Arizona with harsh words for Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, whose refusal to change the Senate's Jim Crow-era filibuster ...
25-year-old Colorado skier found dead near Lost Trail resort
Around the Region
A 25-year-old Colorado skier who went ... A 25-year-old Colorado skier who went missing Thursday from the Lost Trail Ski Area on the Montana-Idaho border has been found dead. The man's ...
Phoenix police: Teen worker shot through drive-thru window
Around the Region
A 16-year-old working a fast-food restaurant's ... A 16-year-old working a fast-food restaurant's drive-thru window was shot and seriously wounded by a customer following an argument about an order, Phoenix police ...
Arizona judge upholds Ducey's cut of extra jobless benefits
Around the Region
An Arizona judge has upheld Republican ... An Arizona judge has upheld Republican Gov. Doug Ducey's decision last year to cut $300 in supplemental monthly unemployment benefits provided by the federal ...
Arizona Treasurer Yee drops out of GOP race for ...
Around the Region
State Treasurer Kimberly Yee announced Saturday ... State Treasurer Kimberly Yee announced Saturday she is dropping out of Arizona's crowded race for the Republican nomination for governor and will instead run ...
Pandemic stress drives some Colorado teachers from classroom
Around the Region
Diane Santorico was a year shy ... Diane Santorico was a year shy of completing her third decade as a teacher when the profession that once gave her so much joy ...
Navajo Nation: All government workers must have booster shot
Around the Region
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has ... Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has signed an executive order requiring all government workers on the tribe's vast reservation to have a booster shot. ...