Mesa County Elections Clerk Tina Peters Indicted in Voting System Breach

A Colorado grand jury indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters on counts related to an investigation into alleged election equipment tampering and official misconduct.

The Mesa County sheriff said that Peters has turned herself into the Mesa County Detention Facility.

Peters faces 10 counts in relation to a probe into an election security breach in the county’s office last year that was influenced by former President Donald Trump’s false claims that he won the 2020 election.

The charges include attempting to influence a public servant, criminal impersonation, conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, identity theft, first-degree official misconduct, violation of duty, and failing to comply with the secretary of state.

Mesa County Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley also faces charges in the indictment.

Peters and Knisley “devised and executed a deceptive scheme which was designed to influence public servants, breach security protocols, exceed permissible access to voting equipment, and set in motion the eventual distribution of confidential information to unauthorized people,” the indictment alleged.

According to the indictment, Peters and Knisely helped an unauthorized person make copies of sensitive voting-machine hard drives and attend an annual software update.

The information from the machines and secure passwords were then leaked to election conspiracy theorists online, according to the indictment.

“This investigation is ongoing, and other defendants may be charged as we learn more information,” Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said in a joint statement.

In February, Peters, a Republican, announced that she was running to become Colorado’s secretary of state.

In a statement on March 9, Peter’s campaign accused the Democratic Party of “using a grand jury to formalize politically-motivated accusations against candidates.”

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