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Third Colorado Clerk Under Investigation for Election Security

The Secretary of State’s office is now reviewing the actions of a third county clerk, Douglas County’s Merlin Klotz, for allegedly breaching election security protocols. The previous two clerks were from Elbert and Mesa counties.

(TNS) — A third Colorado county clerk and recorder is now under investigation by the secretary of state's office over allegations of potentially breaching election security protocols.

A social media posting attributed to Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz said that a "full image backup of our server before a trusted build was done this year," according Secretary of State Jena Griswold's office. When her office found out about it on Jan. 28, they asked Klotz to submit more information by Jan. 31, but he did not respond, her office said.

Klotz, a Republican, is one of the plaintiffs who sued Griswold, a Democrat, in November in an attempt to launch an Arizona-style audit of the 2020 election results.

"To ensure the security of Douglas County's voting equipment, I am issuing an Election Order requiring the Douglas Clerk to disclose information regarding the imaging of the election equipment server," Griswold said in a written statement. "As Secretary of State, I will continue to protect Colorado's election infrastructure to ensure that every eligible Coloradan — Republican, Democrat, and Independent, alike — has access to secure elections."

Earlier this month, Griswold ordered Elbert County Clerk and Recorder Dallas Schroeder to appear at a deposition and answer questions about allegedly making a copy of the Dominion Voting Systems hard drive. Like in the case of Elbert County, Griswold's office said it didn't believe that the alleged unauthorized imaging "has created an imminent or direct security risk to Colorado's elections" because it's said to have occurred prior to the 2021 "trusted build" of the county's voting equipment.

Griswold's office also investigated Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters last year over a possible breach and copying of a voting equipment server. Passwords for the voting equipment were later leaked online, according to the secretary of state's office. A judge later barred Peters from overseeing the 2021election, and Griswold has sued Peters again to stop her from overseeing the 2022 election after Peters refused to agree to new election security measures. Peters is also being investigated by a grand jury over the possible breach.

(c)2022 The Denver Post. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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