The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office found no evidence of a breach in security protocols for voting system equipment in Douglas County, it said Thursday.
“After receiving responses from Douglas County, my office is satisfied that there is no current threat to the county’s election system,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a statement. “We have concluded our investigation.”
The quick conclusion comes as Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder remain under investigation by Griswold’s office for allegedly making unauthorized copies of election system servers.
Peters has been under criminal investigation by local, state and federal authorities for months since she allegedly allowed an unauthorized person to attend a sensitive Dominion Voting Systems software update in May. She is an ally of pillow magnate and 2020 election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, and has echoed his baseless claims about the 2020 presidential election being stolen.
Schroeder said in a sworn statement submitted on Jan. 7 that he made a “forensic image” of a voting system hard drive before a software update was completed by the Secretary of State’s Office and requested that he be allowed to make another copy now that the update has been completed.
Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz came under scrutiny last month when the Secretary of State’s Office was alerted to a social media post with a statement attributed to Klotz asserting that his office had made “a full image backup of our server” before a software update last year.
Griswold had emailed Klotz’s office for more information Jan. 28, and followed up with an order last week directing Klotz to answer questions about the matter.
The Douglas County Attorney’s Office provided a response to Griswold on Tuesday informing her that county officials looked at a year’s worth of access records and had not detected any unauthorized access. The county’s response also included a letter from Klotz explaining that the statement was made in an email to a voter, that it was “never intended to be an exacting recitation of events” and that he incorrectly used the phrase “full image” to describe how he backed up data.
“The information provided by Douglas County has satisfied the February 3, 2022 Order and the Secretary of State Office’s investigation into the potential breach in election security protocol has concluded,” a news release from the Secretary of State’s office reads.
Klotz, Schroeder and state Rep. Ron Hanks, R-Fremont County, sued Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, in November claiming that the election system software used in Colorado in 2020 was improperly certified and that the Secretary of State’s Office illegally destroyed election records. Griswold has strongly denied the claims, saying they are based on debunked conspiracy theories.