Voting equipment in a Colorado county inspected with an investigation underway

Mesa County's Clerk and Recorder is Tina Peters.
Mesa County's Clerk and Recorder is Tina Peters.(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 8:17 PM MDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2021 at 5:39 AM MDT
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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is reporting there was a breach in security protocol for Mesa County involving election office passwords. It is important to note the breach did not create an imminent direct security risk to the state’s elections and did not occur during an election, according to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

On Tuesday, civil servants with the Secretary of State’s Office inspected voting equipment and other documents. The visit came a day after an order by Griswold to the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder to comply with inspection of election equipment, video footage and other documents in the county. The Mesa County Clerk and Recorder failed to respond to the order, according to a news release. Officials from Mesa County did accompany the civil servants.

“Several items were published online that constituted a breach in the security protocols for Mesa County voting system components,” part of a news release sent out by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office Monday reads. “The posted images depict the BIOS passwords specific to the individual hardware stations of Mesa County’s voting system. The public disclosure of the BIOS passwords for one or more components of Mesa County’s voting system alone constitutes a serious breach of voting system security protocols, as well as a violation of Election Rule 20.6.1. This breach in security protocol has not created an imminent direct security risk to Colorado’s elections, and did not occur during an election.”

The news release adds it was likely the information was collected on May 25.

The investigation is ongoing. If violations are found during the investigation, it could lead to a decertification of the county’s voting machines.

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