GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KREX) — The road to overseeing the 2022 elections is getting rockier for Tina Peters, Belinda Knisley, and Julie Fisher. Peters and Knisley already face 13 criminal charges for tampering with election equipment and engaging in official misconduct.

Monday, testimony started at Mesa County’s Justice Center to decide who will be Mesa Counties’ new designated election official for 2022. Todd Starr, the Mesa County Attorney, “evolves out of a lawsuit that was filed from the Colorado Attorney General, generally for the purpose of ensuring that Tina Peters, Belinda Knisley, and Julie Fisher not be allowed to perform the role of  the designated election official for the 2022 election.”

Mesa County officials stepped in with support for Brandi Bantz, to protect the county and local government’s rights to choose their own officials. Something Starr says helps ensure the right people are running local elections when challenges like this current situation arise.

Starr also says, “the county injects itself in the lawsuit and says hey judge, you’re going to be making this decision if you do remove them and you appoint someone, we Mesa County believe it is the counties authority to appoint a designated election official, not the Colorado Secretary of State.”

The person county commissioners believe is the perfect fit is, Brandi Bantz. Commissioner Cody Davis says, “easily the most qualified in Mesa County to run elections.”

Commissioner Davis says despite the outside noise, politics, and rhetoric, the case boils down to one decision. Commissioner Davis added, “part of the conditions of their bond hearings is they can have no access or no contact with county employees, so this whole court process is like I said, a bit moot, in the sense that it’s already done. Right now, it’s just confirming our selection of the DEO in Brandi Bantz.”

A ruling that could happen as early as Thursday or within the next 10-15 days.