Tina Peters, the Mesa County Clerk, is under investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office as well as the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office for allegedly participating in a bizarre incident that resulted in online posting of county election software passwords.
Ms Peters attended Mr Lindell’s cyber symposium, where he pledged, but did not provide, data that would prove the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.
Mr Lindell’s symposium drew mockery and derision from online criticism, especially from cybersecurity experts. The event was a mix of Mr Lindell’s breathless conspiracy theories and a few bizarre twists and turns, including unfounded allegations that antifa was threatening people in the parking lot and a claim by the CEO of the pillow company according to which he had been attacked in front of his hotel room.
While the event was treated as a spectacle by many, Ms. Peters’ situation is no laughing matter.
According to CBS Denver, Mesa County will have to replace all of its electoral equipment due to a security breach.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office instructed its staff to stop video surveillance of their voting equipment just before updating the machines on May 25. By cutting the video stream, it is impossible for the county to “check the chain of custody of the machines”. In other words, they cannot be sure that the machines were not tampered with while the video was turned off.
Ms Griswold believes the machine’s passwords were stolen during the time the video was closed. She also claimed that an unauthorized person was present during the update session.
The Secretary of State blamed the password theft on “conspiracy theorists” and suggested Ms Peters may have been complicit in what happened.
Ms Peters denounced the investigation while attending Mr Lindell’s symposium. She called the investigation a “raid” and launched conspiratorial accusations that the agencies reviewing it were working in coordination with Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion has been at the center of several widely publicized conspiracy theories in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
“I don’t know what they did, I don’t know what they did, but I can tell you that I don’t trust them,” she said at the event.
The security breach did not occur during an election period, so Colorado officials are confident no election was compromised.
If the state attorney general’s office finds out that Ms Peters was directly involved in the offense, she could face criminal charges.
Meanwhile, at the symposium, Mr. Lindell’s “absolute proof” fizzled out. Many election voting software experts and cybersecurity experts – which Mr Lindell invited to attend – were promised evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election, but ultimately received nothing.
Even conservative expert Steve Bannon criticized the event, saying Mr Lindell had to bring “receipts” if he was to continue to assert his rights.