Mesa County Court Judge Rules in Favor of Removing Peters as Designated Election Official

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DENVER, Colo. — Today, a Mesa County Court Judge ruled in favor of removing Tina Peters as the Designated Election Official (DEO) and has granted the Secretary of State’s requests that Wayne Williams is appointed as the DEO and Sheila Reiner be appointed as the election supervisor for Mesa County.

A Designated Election Official is a person responsible for running elections for a local government, like a municipality or a county. They make determinations regarding elections issues for their municipality or county. The Court’s decision legally bars Peters from serving as DEO, after she allowed breaches to election security, disregarded election rules and orders of the Secretary of State, and risked the integrity of Mesa county elections.

“Clerk Peters seriously compromised the security of Mesa County’s voting system. The Court’s decision today bars Peters from further threatening the integrity of Mesa’s elections and ensures Mesa County residents have the secure and accessible election they deserve,” said Secretary Jena Griswold. “As Secretary of State, I will continue to provide the support and oversight needed to ensure the integrity of Colorado’s elections.” Although the Secretary of State’s Office can require supervision of a county clerk’s conduct, this legal action was necessary to ensure the removal of a sitting county clerk from acting as the Designated Election Official.

Attorney General Phil Weiser released the following statement regarding the Mesa County District Court confirming the appointment of Wayne Williams and Sheila Reiner as the designated election officials in Mesa County for next month’s election:

“The State, in alignment with the Mesa County Board of County Commissioners, asked the court to confirm the appointment of former Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and former Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner as the designated election officials for next month’s election in Mesa County. I am grateful the court has done so today. Williams and Reiner are both dedicated public servants who will carry out their duties with integrity and according to law.

“Because they breached their duties and committed wrongful acts, Tina Peters and Belinda Knisley cannot be allowed to manage the election in Mesa County. The freedom to vote is one of the most sacred rights we have as Americans. Today’s ruling gives the voters in Mesa County the reassurance they need that the upcoming election will be free and fair, and administered in a manner that they and all Coloradans can trust.

“My department continues its work with the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office on the criminal investigation into the alleged elections system security breach in Mesa County. This is an ongoing investigation, and we have no further comment at this time.”

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