DENVER (AP) — A Colorado judge has barred a Republican running for secretary of state from overseeing this year's election in her home county due to her role in breaking into election equipment and subsequent indictment.
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was already prohibited by a judge from managing last year's local elections in her western Colorado county. She's become a hero to election conspiracy theorists following the lead of former President Donald Trump, and is running for the GOP nomination to become the state's top elections official despite the finding she's unfit to run an election.
The secretary of state's office asked the same Mesa County judge, Valerie J. Robison, to block Peters from administering the midterm elections. In a ruling releases Tuesday evening, Robison agreed. “Peters and Knisley have committed a neglect of duty or other wrongful act such that they are unable to perform the duties required under the Election Code due to the allegations of criminal acts that are currently pending,” wrote Robison. Knisley was Peters' deputy and is charged with cybercrime for activities related to the break-in.
Data from Mesa County's voting machines appeared on election conspiracy websites last summer shortly after Peters appeared at a symposium about the election organized by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.
Peters' campaign did not immediately comment Tuesday night. Peters is running against two other candidates for the GOP nomination for secretary of state. The winner will face the incumbent, Democrat Jena Griswold, in November.