DENVER, Colo. (KREX) — The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has concluded its investigation into a potential breach of security protocols for voting system equipment in Douglas County. On the morning of Feb. 10, the Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold released the following statement.
“After receiving responses from Douglas County, my office is satisfied that there is no current threat to the county’s election system. We have concluded our investigation,” said Secretary Jena Griswold. “As Secretary of State I will always do what is required to ensure that every Colorado voter, no matter their political affiliation, zip code, or amount of money in their bank account can make their voice heard in accessible and secure elections.”
The office was made aware of the potential breach on January 28, 2022. A social media post by Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz stating “we, as always, took a full image backup of our server before a trusted build was done this year.” was alerted to the office who subsequently emailed Klotz for more information on the matte. Upon receiving no response from Klotz, Griswold then issued an official order requiring the disclosure of information regarding potential copying of the election server, requiring that video surveillance of voting equipment is activated and that no one access the voting equipment unaccompanied. The order was issued on Feb. 3, 2022.
Klotz’s response would come five days later on Feb. 8, 2022, in the form of a signed statement from both Klotz and Douglas County Deputy Clerk for Elections Jack Twite as well as a direct letter from Klotz himself. The Douglas County Attorney’s Office presented these on behalf of the county.
The statements attest that Klotz did not have access to the voting equipment. In addition to this, it also stated that only specifically designated and authorized County elections staff have had access to the hardware components of the county’s election systems. Said individuals that did have access were subsequently contacted and confirmed to not have taken any pictures of the hard drives as well as confirming no unauthorized person had physical or system access of any kind at any point.
After reviewing a full year’s worth of access records the county reported that it “detected no unauthorized access”. The building where the voting system hardware is kept was confirmed as secure 24/7 with only one card-controlled access as well. Merlin Klotz has since recanted his statement that an image was taken in the first place.
With the information and cooperation provided by Douglas County satisfying the February 3rd order, the investigation is officially closed. The investigation ultimately concluded that neither Klotz nor any third person had access to create unauthorized images.