The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has announced an investigation into Mesa County’s election office after passwords for its voting systems ended up online.
The story: The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office announced Monday that it’s probing a “serious breach of voting system security protocols.”
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said the alleged breach involved passwords from Mesa County’s voting equipment. Images of the software, which included the passwords, were posted online on Aug. 2 on the messaging software platform Telegram and The Gateway Pundit.
The posts did not mention Colorado or Mesa County but the passwords included in the images were specific to individual hardware stations of the county’s voting system.
“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,” the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office said in a statement.
The statement highlighted that the alleged breach “has not created an imminent direct security risk to Colorado’s elections, and did not occur during an election.”
Griswold said the information was likely obtained on May 25 during the installation of the new Dominion Voting Systems software.
The investigation: Griswold asked Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters to provide surveillance video of the election equipment between May 24 and Aug. 9., as well as any communication in which she and her staff talked about Dominion or the alleged breach. Her office also wants Peters to hand over background checks on clerk’s office employees.
“Confidence in the election process is paramount. 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,” Peters said in an email, the Denver Post reports.
Why it matters? The investigation might lead to criminal charges and force Mesa County to replace election equipment.
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