By Ali Swenson, The Associated Press
CLAIM: “The Colorado Secretary of State is DELETING DOMINION DOCUMENTS from the official Colorado Secretary of State website.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: Missing context. A 2015 request-for-proposal document from the election technology firm Dominion Voting Systems was temporarily removed from the Colorado secretary of state’s website on Friday. However, it was only taken down for a day, to redact personal information of Dominion employees, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold told The Associated Press. The redacted version was restored to the document’s original web address on Saturday.
THE FACTS: The temporary removal of a five-year-old Dominion document from the Colorado secretary of state’s website became the catalyst for baseless theories over the weekend as internet sleuths presumed it was a sign of nefarious activity.
“@JenaGriswold What are you trying to hide?” read a tweet shared more than 21,000 times on Sunday.
Other social media users falsely claimed the move was “proof” of a behind-the-scenes link between Dominion and a competing election technology company, Smartmatic.
As it turned out, the real reason for removing the document was to protect Dominion employees from the harassment they’ve faced from supporters of President Donald Trump who are unwilling to accept the election results.
“My team decided to pull it down to redact personal biographic information of Dominion employees because we are under the understanding that they are getting pretty aggressive threats,” Griswold told the AP in an interview.
A redacted version of the document went live on the Colorado secretary of state website on Saturday, according to Griswold.
Dominion says these claims have led to “persistent harassment and threats against personal safety” toward its employees.
“Dominion employees are being forced to retreat from their lives due to personal safety concerns, not only for our employees themselves, but also for their extended families,” the company said in a statement on its website.
There’s no evidence that any voting system “deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” read a statement emailed to reporters on Nov. 12 by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, a federal agency that oversees U.S. election security. “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” the statement said.
Colorado uses Dominion technology in 62 of its 64 counties. The 2020 election in the state was “extremely successful, holding true to our state’s high standards of election turnout, accessibility, and security,” Griswold said in a statementon Friday.