The Colorado Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal by Mesa County Clerk and Registrar Tina Peters to reinstate her to observe the November 2 county elections.
Peters, a Republican, filed an appeal against a district court ruling barring her and Deputy Secretary Belinda Knisley from observing the election and subsequent post-election processes in response to a lawsuit filed by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, in August. The judge’s ruling states that the trial “meets the burden of proving that Peters and Knisley committed a violation and neglect of their duty, as well as other wrongful acts.”
The clerk’s attorney, Scott Gessler, a former Republican secretary of state, said Monday in his trial transcript that the Mesa County District Court has no authority to remove or replace Peters or Kniesley.
“If allowed to remain in effect, the District Court’s ruling will fundamentally change how elections are held and how Colorado’s electoral law is applied,” he wrote in an appeal. “Colorado law explicitly requires the county clerk and registrar to fulfill the duties of the county (designated election official), and the court cannot overturn this statutory mandate.”
But on Wednesday, the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the case, first reported by The Colorado Sun.
“By the decision of the Supreme Court, Secretary Peters continues to be prohibited from any participation in this election,” Griswold said in a statement. “As Secretary of State, I will always work to ensure that elections are accessible and safe for all eligible Colorado residents.”
Peters and her team did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams will be designated Mesa County’s election official this year and will work with Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Rainer to observe the election.
The lawsuit was initiated by Peters, who allegedly allowed non-employees to gain access to a secure voting area to copy the hard drive. Passwords for Dominion Voting Systems equipment, which have since been replaced, have been posted online along with images of the equipment.
While Gessler does not dispute that Peters allowed someone access, he said that it was before the rules of the secretary of state’s office did not allow it, and that in part he should have ordered a potentially deleted data report. But he wrote that Peters did not authorize the publication of the information on the Internet.
Mesa District Court Judge Valerie J. Robinson, however, wrote in her ruling that Peters did not follow the rules set by the Secretary of State for allowing non-staff members to enter the safe area, and that Kniesley contributed to the cover-up by asking for cameras to be turned off. …
Local, state and federal investigations into Peters’ actions are ongoing. Knisley has been charged with allegations that she used Peters’ workstation and computer after she was suspended for another reason in August.
Peters, who spread unsubstantiated claims about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, traveled out of state and did not appear publicly for over a month during ongoing investigations and trial. On August 10, she attended a conference hosted by Mike Lindell, MyPillow CEO and conspiracy theorist, in South Dakota.