Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold speaks during a news conference about the the state's efforts to protect the process of casting a vote in the upcoming general election Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in downtown Denver. (David Zalubowski, AP Photo, File)

By James Anderson, The Associated Press

Colorado’s Democratic secretary of state filed a lawsuit on Thursday to compel a Republican elections clerk who says he copied his voting system’s hard drive to deliver those copies and other records related to the purported security breach. The copies got in the hands of two unauthorized attorneys after they were made.

Elbert County Clerk and Recorder Dallas Schroeder is the second Republican election clerk in Colorado associated with Donald Trump’s election falsehoods to be investigated for possible breaches of state election systems.

Elbert County is near Denver. In western Colorado, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is under investigation in connection to a breach of the system there. Peters has announced she intends to run for secretary of state this year despite the investigation.

Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s Elbert County District Court lawsuit contends that Schroeder didn’t comply with orders to answer questions and produce records about the alleged copying and distribution of the county’s voting system hard drives.

The lawsuit seeks to compel Schroeder to regain possession of any copies and deliver any devices used in the copying for inspection by her office.

It alleged that the attorneys still possess unauthorized copies of the hard drives.

In a statement, Griswold said that Schroeder “has created a risk that the copies of Elbert County’s voting system hard drives may be exploited to undermine confidence in Colorado’s secure elections.”

Last fall, Schroeder joined a lawsuit to compel an audit of Colorado’s elections system that was filed by supporters of former President Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud. Schroeder didn’t immediately return telephone messages Thursday and an email seeking comment.

According to Griswold’s suit, Schroeder has told her office that two copies of the voting system hard drive were made. One was provided to Schroeder’s attorney, David Case, and another to an attorney Schroeder didn’t identify, the lawsuit said.

Case said he was reviewing the lawsuit and couldn’t immediately comment.