DENVER (AP / CBS4) – Colorado state officials are investigating a county election office after the passwords for its voting systems were posted online, the secretary of state said on Monday. The breach included specific passwords for Mesa County voting equipment, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a statement.
The passwords were posted on a far-right blog, according to a spokesperson for Griswold’s office.
Griswold called this a “serious violation” in a statement, but said it had not happened in the last election or created a risk for the national election.
It is likely that the passwords were collected during software updates to voting equipment in Mesa County on May 25, 2021, Griswold said.
“Yesterday I ordered the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder to comply with the inspection of election materials, video footage and other documents in the county. The clerk’s office must prove that the chain of custody remains intact and that there has been no unauthorized access to voting materials in the county. Failure to do so will result in the decertification of Mesa-specific voting equipment. Colorado has the best electoral system in the country, with built-in security redundancies. As Secretary of State, my number one priority is to ensure that all electoral security protocols are followed and to protect the Coloradan’s right to vote, ”Griswold said in a statement.
Officials demanded to inspect county election materials and other relevant documents from the county clerk and registrar, including records and surveillance documents. If violations are found, it could lead to the decertification of the county’s voting machines.
Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein has opened a criminal investigation. He said he had not spoken to Tina Peters, the Mesa County Clerk and Secretary, for some time.
Mesa County is a predominantly rural county in western Colorado that includes the city of Grand Junction.
State Republicans have called for an audit of the Dominion’s voting systems after the 2020 election, but election officials have repeatedly denounced statements questioning Colorado’s electoral integrity, and the Dominion has refuted them. statements regarding any deleted or amended votes.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)