Debate over who will supervise Mesa County elections

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo – Colorado Secretary of State’s office has decertified voting equipment in Mesa County and now must appoint a designated election official to oversee the upcoming 2021 election.
“I have issued an election order to prohibit the use of these voting system components in Mesa County. This means the voting equipment in Mesa County can no longer be used,” Jena Griswold, Colorado Secretary, said.

The investigation for criminal activity continues, but the status of voting equipment in Mesa County has not changed.
“The security of Mesa County’s voting equipment components cannot be verified, and chain of custody for the for the voting system components cannot be verified,” Griswold, Secretary of State, said. “Integrity and security of these components cannot be established.”

While Department of State staff continues to conduct analysis and awaits additional information, an ongoing criminal investigation has prompted substantial concern regarding the ability of the Mesa County clerk and recorder’s office to execute a secure election. Colorado Secretary of State, Jena Griswold has appointed Sheila Reiner and a three-person advisory committee to supervise Mesa County elections.
“I am here with 20 years of election experience, I’ve maintained my certification privately after I left the Clerk and Recorder’s office,” Sheila Reiner, Mesa County Treasurer said.

Although Reiner is the state’s designated official, Mesa county Commissioners want to appoint Wayne Williams, former Secretary of State as the Mesa County’s election official.

Reiner says – Williams plans to move forward with replacing Mesa County’s voting equipment and she is in full agreement.
“That is the direction that we will go,” Reiner said. “I would also like to add, Mesa County can’t be in any better position at this point. We’ve really got the A-team that all agreed that we would come to the table and work together.”

County Commissioners are waiting to hear from the state as to who will oversee Mesa County elections, but conducting secure elections is the priority of all those involved.
“The voters should feel very confident and we are working on getting the elections office reopened to the public and we will be solving this problem,” Reiner said.

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