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Reaction to decision removing Mesa Co. Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters (R) as designated election official

District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison ruled in the civil case on Oct. 13
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 10:32 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Reaction is continuing to come in since District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison removed Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters (R) as Mesa County’s Designated Election Official last on Wednesday, October 13.

This ruling concerns the civil case involving Peters. District Attorney Dan Rubinstein’s (R) criminal investigation is ongoing.

Mesa Co. Commissioner Cody Davis shared his reaction to the ruling. He is stressing that voters can be assured a secure, fair election will take place in a couple weeks. His message: get out and vote. According to him, “I personally take no position either way other than we want to have a safe election this fall. And we want people to believe in their elections. So, again, I’ve said this a lot... But we’re taking extra measures this fall, counting it three different ways and then putting all the ballot images online so people can trust that process. It’s transparent; it’s open.”

Scott Beilfuss, Co-Chair of the Mesa Co. Democrats, is saying he supports the judge’s decision regarding Clerk Peters. He explained that, “You know, the Mesa County Democrats don’t have any concerns about the integrity of the election. Quite frankly, we lose most elections around here. We should be the ones complaining about this whole thing.”

David Levine, Elections Integrity Fellow with the German Marshall Fund, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C., shared his view that Mesa Co. is in good shape with Wayne Williams (R) taking over Peters’ election oversight responsibilities. Levine also commented on what the ruling regarding Peters means not only for Mesa Co., but also the nation, in his opinion. “I think the other thing that’s really important about this too is not only for the rest of Mesa County but nationally, I think it sends a message that there can be accountability for people... Who are part of the election processes, whether that’s election administrators, people who are running for office, or anyone else, there can be accountability for those who are trying to subvert American election processes.”

This whole situation arose after Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) alleged that a security breach at the Mesa Co. Clerk and Recorder’s Office occurred in May of 2021. The court found that “Peters and [Deputy Clerk Belinda] Knisley have committed a breach and neglect of duty and other wrongful acts.”

Clerk Peters did not respond to a request for comment on the judge’s ruling.

More information on Colorado election administration can be found here. Information specific to Mesa Co. can be found here. Montrose County election information can be found here. Delta County election information can be found here.

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