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Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters

Screenshot from Tina Peters for Colorado Youtube

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Republican operatives are spending their time in the minority ginning up more confusion and bogus anti-democracy conspiracy. The GOP in Arizona are running an excruciatingly incoherent and at times farcical recount of ballots. While it has been called an audit by the people creating theatrics around it, most experts see it as something more akin to dangerous experimental theater. The danger is what it represents to our democracy.

The Grand Junction Sentinel reports there's finally been a break in the Kraken case investigation into a Colorado election system "breach!" Guess what? "Secretary of State Jena Griswold released an order at 10:15 a.m. today calling on Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters to supply surveillance videos and documents showing how the breach occurred, and how security information ended up on a social media post."

According to The Bulwark's Tim Miller—a former communications director for Jeb Bush 2016 (a campaign not known for its socialism)—Peters is a "fervent supporter of Donald Trump and amateur vaccine science aficionado." Miller reports that The Gateway Pundit posted video and screenshot proof that Dominion has remote access to voting machines. The whistleblower who provided this evidence reportedly appears in this "explosive" evidence that Hugo Chavez (or some kind of socialist spider monkey) could have accessed and overturned millions of votes in favor of Joe Biden.

The grainy, shaky video presented a conversation between an election official and a Dominion employee, in which the election official asks a series of leading questions in order to demonstrate how, with the help of someone on the inside, the machine could hypothetically be tampered with over the internet using the BIOS motherboard settings.

Unfortunately, they also left a trace of what they were doing, which actually is a security breach of our election systems.

When the official shared this "bombshell" video with CodeMonkey Watkins they included in it an image of their election system's BIOS password, which is, of course, a massive breach of voting system security.

Peters is not specifically on the hook for this breach of security, but she is the head of the office where the breach took place. According to Miller, the information posted in those screenshots and video was only accessible by a very select group of people "who have passed background checks."

Griswold told the Sentinel: "We have these security protocols in place for a reason. This is a very serious breach in chain-of-custody and security protocols. That's why I will be issuing this order and investigating. On top of that, "If the Mesa County clerk cannot show proof in the chain of custody or if the voting equipment after inspection, if there is anything that comes to our attention, the voting equipment will be de-certified." Decertification of those election machines would force the county to pay up for refitting of all their machines. Trump and MAGA hit the taxpayers again!

Previously, Peters made headlines as an election official promoting the Stop the Steal conspiracy theories leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection. Back on January 5, the Sentinel reported on a tweet (since taken down) by Peters attacking Colorado-based Dominion Voting Systems executive Eric Coomer: "Shame on you! As one that administers elections in my county, you apparently have no idea how it is possible to 1) tabulate more than once ballots favoring a candidate 2) change algorithm in a voting machine (see Eric Coomer from Dominion's Facebook ranks) UR Dirty or ignorant."

Colorado Pols has some more tweets that Peters has since deleted:

  • On Dec. 13, 2020: "Also, the vaccines are troubling in the mechanics in the RNA. I don't want anyone messing with my RNA, my DNA or anything else – MY BODY, my right!"
  • On Jan. 3, 2021: "Their intent is not to "overturn" the election. This was not an election. This was planned fraud on a grand scale. If you refuse to acknowledge that you WILL NOT be re-elected. We need others in your place that uphold the Constitution and preserve our Republic."

While there is an ever-increasing mountain of evidence showing that Donald Trump—along with his fascistic cult of minions, administration officials, and Republican Party officials—attempted to pull off a coup d'etat, the MAGA-minded amongst us continue to believe whatever it is they tell themselves they believe. If we believe in our Constitution as a foundational document laying out the basic legal principals of our democracy, we must hold accountable those who evidence and reality tell us must be held accountable for these crimes.

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 · 2:45:50 PM EDT · Walter Einenkel

Peters emailed a statement to the Denver Post:

Saying that citizens of Mesa County have voiced concerns over the election: "I have told them I will do everything in my power to protect their vote. I will share more information once the investigation has concluded."

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Eric Holder

The failure of major federal voting rights legislation in the Senate has left civil rights advocates saying they are determined to keep fighting—including by suing in battleground states. But the little bipartisan consensus that exists on election reform would, at best, lead to much narrower legislation that is unlikely to address state-level GOP efforts now targeting Democratic blocs.

“This is the loss of a battle, but it is not necessarily the loss of a war, and this war will go on,” Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general and Democrat, told MSNBC, saying that he and the Democratic Party will be suing in states where state constitutions protect voting rights. “This fight for voting rights and voter protection and for our democracy will continue.”

“The stakes are too important to give up now,” said Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which for years has operated an Election Day hotline to help people vote. “Our country cannot claim to be free while allowing states to legislate away that freedom at will.”

In recent weeks, as it became clear that the Senate was not going to change its rules to allow the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to pass with a simple majority, there have been efforts by some lawmakers, election policy experts, and civil rights advocates to identify what election reforms could pass the Senate.

“There are several areas… where I think there could be bipartisan consensus,” said David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, in a briefing on January 20. “These areas are all around those guardrails of democracy. They are all about ensuring that however the voters speak that their voice is heard… and cannot be subverted by anyone in the post-election process.”

Becker cited updating the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which addressed the process where state-based slates of presidential electors are accepted by Congress. (In recent weeks, new evidence has surfaced showing that Donald Trump’s supporters tried to present Congress with forged certificates as part of an effort to disrupt ratifying the results on January 6, 2021.) Updating that law could also include clarifying which state officials have final authority in elections and setting out clear timetables for challenging election results in federal court after Election Day.

Five centrist Washington-based think tanks issued a report on January 20, Prioritizing Achievable Federal Election Reform, which suggested federal legislation could codify practices now used by nearly three-quarters of the states. Those include requiring voters to present ID, offering at least a week of early voting, allowing all voters to request a mailed-out ballot, and allowing states to start processing returned absentee ballots a week before Election Day.

But the report, which heavily drew on a task force of 29 state and local election officials from 20 states convened by Washington’s Bipartisan Policy Center, was notable in what it did not include, such as restoring the major enforcement section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was removed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. It did not mention the Electoral Count Act nor growing threats to election officials from Trump supporters.

“This won’t satisfy all supporters of the Freedom to Vote Act, but this is a plausible & serious package of reforms to make elections more accessible and secure that could attract bipartisan support,” tweeted Charles Stewart III, a political scientist and director of the MIT Election Data and Science Lab. “A good starting point.”

The reason the centrist recommendations won’t satisfy civil rights advocates is that many of the most troubling developments since the 2020 election would likely remain.

Targeting Battleground States

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Former president Donald Trump

By Rami Ayyub and Alexandra Ulmer

(Reuters) -The prosecutor for Georgia's biggest county on Thursday requested a special grand jury with subpoena power to aid her investigation into then-President Donald Trump's efforts to influence the U.S. state's 2020 election results.

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