Colorado Lawmakers Send Bills on AI, Deepfakes to Governor | Government Technology

During a busy legislative session, Colorado lawmakers are addressing various technological issues, including deepfakes, facial recognition, and consumer protection from AI. Senate Bill 24-205, which has cleared the legislature, regulates “high-risk AI systems” impacting critical infrastructure, mandating risk management policies and impact assessments to prevent discrimination. House Bill 24-1147, targeting deepfakes in political communications, criminalizes deceptive portrayals of presidential candidates and imposes civil penalties for misusing deepfake technology. Read Article

Colorado Lawmakers Pass First-in-Nation Mandate for Voting Centers in Jails | Alex Burness/Bolts

Scott Deno, overseeing Colorado’s largest jail in Colorado Springs, emphasizes facilitating voting for incarcerated individuals, yet a recent admission reveals zero votes cast in the last election among the jail’s population. This issue extends statewide, with only 231 jail votes in Colorado during the 2022 general election, despite a daily jail population of 6,000, disproportionately Black and Latinx. The passage of Senate Bill 72, awaiting Governor Jared Polis’s signature, aims to rectify this, mandating polling stations in local jails during general elections and establishing ballot drop-off locations, making Colorado the first state with such a requirement. Read Article

Colorado officials warn of new frontier in election denial as more Republicans refuse to certify vote totals | Nick Coltrainb/The Denver Post

Colorado election officials from both major parties say a typically innocuous step in the certification of vote totals has increasingly been seized upon by activists to cast doubt over state elections. Since 2020, a small but growing number of county canvass boards have had Republican members refuse to sign off on vote tallies, according to state records. Those objections haven’t jeopardized the actual certification of elections, and Colorado’s system has additional processes in place to stop rogue canvass boards from preventing the finalizing of results. But it serves as an ill omen of potential efforts to sow distrust in voting heading into this year’s primary and general elections, several state and county election officials said in interviews with The Denver Post. Read Article

Colorado Secretary of State launches election security grant program amid 2024 threats | Chase Woodruff/Colorado Newsline

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold launched a grant program aimed at enhancing election security, enabling local clerks in the state’s 64 counties to apply for reimbursement for security expenses such as locks, surveillance cameras, and cybersecurity infrastructure. Accessibility upgrades like additional handicap parking or language assistance at voter service centers are also eligible for funding. The $3.5 million grant, sourced from federal funds provided under the Help America Vote Act, seeks to safeguard Colorado’s reputation as a leading state in elections administration amidst evolving threats. Griswold emphasized the importance of innovation and adaptation to counter dangers and threats facing elections, especially in the wake of the unprecedented efforts to undermine the 2020 election results. Read Article

Colorado secretary of state urges Supreme Court to keep Trump off the ballot | Lawrence Hurley/NBC

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold has urged the Supreme Court to affirm that the state can legally prevent former President Donald Trump from being on the Republican primary ballot due to his actions leading up to the January 6 Capitol attack. The case revolves around whether Trump “engaged in insurrection” under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which would disqualify him from serving as president. Griswold defended Colorado’s process for determining candidate eligibility and argued that the state should not be forced to include a candidate found to have violated his oath by engaging in insurrection. Read Article

Colorado: Sweeping overhaul of elections gets initial nod for ballot from state Title Board | Chase Woodruff/Colorado Newsline

The “Colorado Equal Election Access Amendment,” backed by Colorado multimillionaire Kent Thiry, has gained initial approval from the state’s Initiative Title Setting Review Board. The proposed constitutional amendment aims to revamp primary and general elections, eliminating party primaries and introducing “all-candidate primary elections.” Candidates would petition onto the primary ballot through signature campaigns, and the top four candidates would advance to the general election, determined by ranked-choice voting. Thiry’s proposal also seeks to eliminate the vacancy committee system, where parties fill vacant seats, and is part of his broader efforts to reform Colorado’s election laws. The amendment needs 55% voter approval to be included in the state constitution. Read Article

Colorado GOP’s appeal to U.S. Supreme Court likely guarantees Trump will be on state’s presidential primary ballot | Jesse Paul and Brian Eason/The Colorado Sun

The Colorado Republican Party has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the state Supreme Court’s decision blocking Donald Trump from appearing on the Republican presidential primary ballot due to a violation of the “insurrection clause” in the Constitution. The Colorado court ruled that Trump’s engagement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection disqualified him from running. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision may impact Trump’s candidacy nationwide, as the case challenges the application of the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause to presidential candidates. Read Article

Colorado Supreme Court justices face a flood of threats after disqualifying Trump from the ballot | Ryan J. Reilly/NBC

In the 24 hours following the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s Republican primary ballot, social media platforms have experienced an influx of threats against the justices involved in the case. A report by nonpartisan organization Advance Democracy reveals a notable increase in violent rhetoric directed at the justices and Democrats, often linked to Trump’s posts on his Truth Social platform. Some users even shared personal information of the justices, including email addresses, phone numbers, and office addresses. The threats, including calls for violence and harm, align with a pattern observed after legal actions against Trump, raising concerns about the normalization of such violent rhetoric and the role of social media platforms in its dissemination. Read Article

Colorado county clerks call on officials to defend election system against ‘dishonest actors’ | Marianne Goodland/Colorado Politics

The Colorado County Clerks Association is taking a stand against what they label as “dishonest actors, grifters, and bullies” who they claim undermine voter confidence in the state’s election system. The association’s executive board, dominated by Republicans, sent a letter to all election officials in the state, urging them to participate in a coordinated effort to counter misinformation and regain trust in elections. The letter addresses claims of vulnerabilities in the 2023 election and questions the credibility of such assertions, pointing to the defeat of Proposition HH, endorsed by Democrats. The clerks criticize Republicans in certain counties who initially refused to certify election results, citing concerns about voting equipment and voter rolls. Read Article

Colorado: In new lawsuit, Tina Peters sues local, state and federal officials to stop criminal investigations into her conduct | Bente Birkeland/Colorado Public Radio

Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters has filed a federal lawsuit, seeking to prohibit the government from pursuing criminal proceedings against her. The suit contends that investigations into her conduct as clerk are unlawful and retaliatory for her exercise of free speech, freedom of association, and the right to petition the government. The primary focus of the complaint is Peters’ alleged involvement in an illegal scheme to copy the hard drives of her county’s voting equipment after the 2020 election, purportedly to aid in the search for voter fraud. Peters, who is facing ten state charges, argues that her actions were within her legal obligations to preserve election records. Prosecutors claim she assisted in identity theft and violated state rules during a voting system software update. Read Article

Colorado: More than a third of state’s election officials have left office since 2020 — sparking concerns ahead of 2024 | Seth Klamann/Denver Post

Over the past three years, more than a third of Colorado’s local election officials have left their positions, driven by factors like term limits and harassment-related fatigue. This high turnover rate raises concerns as the state approaches the 2024 presidential election, with nearly half of Coloradans now living in a county with a new election clerk. Threats and harassment directed at election workers since the 2020 election have been cited as significant factors in these departures, with the state losing 24 top election officials in this period, impacting 38% of its counties. The bipartisan reform group Issue One is advocating for increased federal funding and protections to address this issue and strengthen the democratic process. Read Article

Colorado: Georgia indictment shows that alleged crimes in Coffee County were ‘template’ for Mesa County | Quentin Young/Colorado Newsline

The recent indictment of former President Donald Trump and others in Georgia, which alleges a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election, has ties to Colorado. Colorado’s connection to this alleged conspiracy is revealed through several aspects of the indictment. Specifically, the indictment mentions security breaches involving Dominion Voting Systems equipment, similar to what occurred in Colorado’s Mesa County. Some of the same figures and actors are also involved in both cases. The Georgia indictment highlights a larger conspiracy involving multiple states, underscoring the ongoing threat to democracy as the country approaches the 2024 presidential election. Read Article

Colorado counties awarded nearly $1M to boost election security | Hannah Metzger/Colorado Politics

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has awarded more than $945,000 in grants to 56 counties in the state to enhance the physical security of their election offices. The grants were established in response to alleged election security breaches in Mesa and Elbert counties. These grants, ranging from $2,669 to $36,500, were used to fulfill new security requirements, such as implementing key card access systems and 24/7 video surveillance for rooms housing election equipment. The grants were created through the Colorado Election Security Act, which aims to safeguard the state’s election systems from insider threats and unauthorized access to voting equipment. Read Article

Colorado election bill would bring county clerks financial relief, but wouldn’t change the rules for recounts | Bente Birkeland/Colorado Public Radio

For the first time in more than a decade, Colorado counties could get more money from the state to help cover the cost of elections. Election officials from both political parties requested the change and say it’s especially important to help counties meet new demands. Democratic Boulder County Clerk Molly Fitzpatrick said election administrators have continued to make improvements to the election system, despite huge challenges, like running the 2020 general election in the middle of a pandemic. “And since then, facing massive amounts of mis- and disinformation and threats to our staff and to clerks themselves,” said Fitzpatrick. “If the last few years have proven anything, it’s that we have continued to do more with less and it’s not sustainable.” Senate Bill 276 would nearly double the funding counties receive from the state. Colorado currently chips in $0.80 for each active voter in large counties. Smaller counties get $0.90. Clerks say that covers only about a fifth of what it actually costs to run their elections. Under this new measure, the state would pick up closer to half or 45 percent of the total cost.

Full Article: Colorado election bill would bring county clerks financial relief, but wouldn’t change the rules for recounts | Colorado Public Radio

Former Colorado County ClerkTina Peters Is Sentenced in Obstruction Case | Neil Vigdor/The New York Times

Tina Peters, a Trump loyalist who was barred from overseeing elections in a Colorado county after her indictment on charges related to tampering with voting equipment, was sentenced on Monday to home detention after she was convicted in a separate obstruction case. Ms. Peters, the former clerk in Mesa County, was given four months of house arrest and 120 hours of community service in connection with her February 2022 arrest in Grand Junction, Colo., on a misdemeanor obstruction charge, according to court records. A jury convicted Ms. Peters last month of stonewalling investigators from the district attorney’s office in Mesa County when they tried to seize an iPad from her that she had used to record a court proceeding. According to an affidavit, police officers responded to a local bagel shop where they said that Ms. Peters, a Republican, resisted while she was being searched and was taken into custody.

Full Article: Tina Peters, Former Colorado County Clerk, Is Sentenced in Obstruction Case – The New York Times

Colorado’s top election official continues to worry about misinformation going into 2024 | Dylan Anderson/SteamboatToday

Colorado’s top election official says she is still concerned about misinformation as she looks ahead to the 2024 presidential race. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, said that while many election deniers lost in the 2022 midterms, there are still many of them in prominent positions. “There’s 150 election deniers in the U.S. Congress,” Griswold told the Steamboat Pilot & Today. “There are five or six secretary of state election deniers. The top of the ticket presidential on the Republican side could be an election denier. Their lies incited violence. Griswold, who was in Steamboat Springs to meet with business leaders and election officials on Tuesday, April 4, said she thinks Colorado will continue to see election misinformation as the next presidential election approaches, which she said takes a toll on election workers. Griswold noted that two people have been arrested for threatening her life. “They’re causing election workers to step down; it’s causing attacks to election infrastructure,” Griswold said. “As secretary of state, my job is to make sure that every eligible Republican, Democrat and unaffiliated voter has access.”

Full Article: Pushing for reforms, Colorado’s top election official continues to worry about misinformation going into 2024 | SteamboatToday.com

Colorado Secretary of State settles lawsuit with conservative watchdog over voter roll maintenance practices | Matt Bloom/Colorado Public Radio

A conservative watchdog group has come to terms with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office in a lawsuit over its voter registration list maintenance practice after years of litigation. The suit, brought by Judicial Watch in U.S. District Court in 2020, alleged that Sec. Jena Griswold violated the National Voter Registration Act by failing to remove ineligible voters from the state’s rolls. That discrepancy led to artificially high registration rates in many counties, the lawsuit claimed. As a part of its agreement to dismiss the case, Griswold denied all claims that Colorado violated federal laws that govern voter roll maintenance. But her office agreed to provide Judicial Watch with public data from a federal survey on an annual basis for the next five years. “We have a very rigorous list maintenance process and I do not believe that this litigation is about anything based in fact,” Griswold said. Her office settled the lawsuit to prevent “further unnecessary drain” on state resources, she said. She also characterized the lawsuit as a meritless attack on democracy. “Election disinformation continues to plague the nation and Colorado, and organizations like Judicial Watch share responsibility for the ongoing threats to democracy,” she said.

Full Article: Colorado Secretary of State settles lawsuit with conservative watchdog over voter roll maintenance practices | Colorado Public Radio

Colorado’s top election official wants to change law allowing candidates can request a recount even if they’ve lost by a wide margin | Bente Birkeland/Colorado Public Radio

Colorado lawmakers will consider whether to make it harder for candidates who lose by a wide margin to request a recount. The proposal stems in part from a statewide recount last year that was conducted at the request of former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters. She lost the Republican primary for secretary of state by 88,579 votes, or around 14 points. The recount found 13 additional votes for Peters and the primary’s winner, Pamela Anderson. Right now any candidate can request a discretionary recount, as long as they have the funds to pay for it. State rules require publicly funded recounts when the margin in a race ends up less than 0.5 percent apart. Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold said she’s concerned discretionary recounts can be used to spread distrust in the election system. “Democracy should not be exploited by candidates who lost by massive margins to spread disinformation, but also to really just make it harder for county clerks and election officials to do their job,” said Griswold. The legislation has not yet been introduced, but under Griswold’s proposal, discretionary recounts would only be allowed if the original margin is within 2 percent.

Full Article: Right now, candidates can request a recount even if they’ve lost by a wide margin. Colorado’s top election official wants to change that | Colorado Public Radio

Colorado: Federal judge refuses to dismiss defamation suit by former exec of Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems | Michael Karlik/The Gazette

Dominion Voting Systems executive against an Oklahoma podcaster who spread unproven statements about election-rigging in the wake of the 2020 presidential race. Eric Coomer, the former director of product security and strategy for voting technology supplier Dominion, sued Clayton Thomas “Clay” Clark and his “Thrivetime Show” podcast for promoting the rumor that Coomer allegedly confessed to ensuring former President Donald Trump would not win reelection. Those assertions of “treasonous behavior” resulted in death threats against Coomer, who lives in Colorado. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Senior Judge William J. Martínez denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Clark and Thrivetime argued they had “every reason to believe” the dubious allegations about Coomer, and the lawsuit could not survive because it stemmed from their protected First Amendment activity. But the judge found “no real dispute” that some of the defendants’ comments about Coomer amounted to defamation.

Full Article: Defamation lawsuit by former Dominion exec remains intact | Courts | gazette.com

Colorado election denier former clerk Peters guilty of obstruction | Associated Press

A former Colorado clerk who has become a hero to election conspiracy theorists was convicted Friday of a misdemeanor obstruction charge for trying to prevent authorities from taking an iPad she allegedly used to videotape a court hearing. The case is separate from Tina Peters’ alleged involvement in a security breach of voting machines. Jurors found Peters guilty of obstructing government operations but acquitted her of obstructing a peace officer, The Daily Sentinel reported. She was charged last year after allegedly recording a court hearing involving a subordinate who was also charged in the alleged voting machine breach. Testimony during the two-day trial included that Peters repeatedly told investigators that the iPad did not belong to her and that she could not provide the password because it belonged to someone else named Tammy Bailey. Peters’ lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, said that was an alias used by Peters, suggesting it was created for security reasons.

Full Article: Election-denying former Colorado clerk guilty of obstruction | AP News

Colorado GOP ‘election integrity’ bill backed by conspiracy theorists defeated by Democrats | Chase Woodruff/Colorado Newsline

Lawmakers in the Colorado House of Representatives on Monday defeated a Republican proposal for a sweeping overhaul of state election laws backed by conspiracy theorists who baselessly allege that recent election results are illegitimate. House Bill 23-1170, sponsored by Republican state Rep. Ken DeGraaf of Colorado Springs, would have required elections officials in Colorado’s 64 counties to count votes using a “distributed ledger,” a decentralized verification system similar to blockchain technology. DeGraaf said the bill would allow any voter to verify that their vote was counted for their chosen candidate. … But Caleb Thornton, a legal, policy and rulemaking manager for the Colorado secretary of state’s office, said the “unvetted and untested components” proposed by the bill were both impractical and unnecessary. “The department has been unable to find any technology currently in existence that could be deployed for use in the way required by this bill,” Thornton said. “Colorado’s election system operates with several layers of safeguards and protective measures that already achieve what this bill seeks to do.”

Full Article: GOP ‘election integrity’ bill backed by conspiracy theorists defeated by Colorado Democrats – Colorado Newsline

Colorado: Judge refuses to toss voter intimidation claims against election-skeptic group’s founders | Michael Karlik/Colorado Politics

A federal judge has refused to throw out claims of voter intimidation brought against the founders of a Colorado organization that believes the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent. On Jan. 31, U.S. District Court Judge Charlotte N. Sweeney agreed it is a matter to be decided at trial whether Shawn Smith, Ashely Epp and Holly Kasun are liable for violating the Voting Rights Act and the Reconstruction-era Ku Klux Klan Act. The facts are disputed, Sweeney wrote, about whether agents of the defendants’ organization, the U.S. Election Integrity Plan, went door-to-door in the wake of the election and intimidated voters by interrogating them about their voting history. However, she agreed to dismiss USEIP itself from the lawsuit. While Sweeney believed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit requires her to rule that unincorporated groups, such as USEIP, are not “persons” to be sued, Sweeney took the unusual step of openly criticizing the 10th Circuit for restricting plaintiffs’ ability to hold alleged civil rights violators accountable. Under the 10th Circuit’s precedent, she wrote, “civil rights organizations cannot seek relief against unincorporated associations … to halt an allegedly discriminatory conspiracy committed by the group’s members — which is entirely contrary to the purpose and history of the Ku Klux Klan Act.”

Full Article: Judge refuses to toss voter intimidation claims against election-skeptic group’s founders | Courts | coloradopolitics.com

Colorado’s clerks hope they’ve turned a corner on election disinformation: ‘The temperature has gone down a little bit’ | Bente Birkeland/Colorado Public Radio

The last few years have been tough ones for the officials who run Colorado’s elections; in the wake of the 2020 election they’ve endured threats and hostility, had to push back against misinformation and disinformation, and been left always wondering — what comes next? This week, with the 2022 midterm election in the rearview, county clerks met for their winter conference in Colorado Springs and many said they’re breathing a bit of a sigh of relief that election deniers lost momentum electorally and no outside disruptions impacted a smooth, fair and accurate election process. “I wasn’t feeling hopeful, but then after the election, I do feel like we’ve made progress,” said Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, a Democrat from Salida, about fighting disinformation. “I thought it would happen at some point, but maybe not this quickly. I do feel that the temperature has gone down a little bit.”

Full Article: ‘The temperature has gone down a little bit’: Colorado’s clerks hope they’ve turned a corner on election disinformation | Colorado Public Radio

Colorado: Pueblo County election tampering case bound for competency court | Justin Reutter/The Pueblo Chieftain

A Pueblo man’s competency to stand trial in an election tampering case is still up in the air and has been bound over to competency court by District Judge William Alexander. An initial report from the Colorado Department of Human Services has been ordered to opine on the initial likelihood of restoring to competency suspect Richard Patton, 31, to stand trial. However, no findings have yet been made, according to Colorado court records. At a hearing Dec. 29, Alexander also ordered Patton to undergo outpatient mental health treatment in hopes of restoring legal competency in the case. A Jan. 18 competency court hearing has been set in front of District Judge Allison Ernst, according to Alexander. Patton was found to be incompetent to stand trial following a December evaluation by a behavioral health expert.

Full Article: Pueblo election tampering case bound for competency court

Colorado: Claims of interference in El Paso County recount ‘not supported by evidence’: 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office | Breeanna Jent/Colorado Springs Gazette

Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen said this week he will not pursue criminal charges against the Colorado secretary of state or the El Paso County clerk and recorder following allegations they interfered with a recount of the June 28 primary election. Allen said in a Dec. 5 letter of review released to the media Tuesday that after his office completed a “thorough investigation” of the complaints lodged against Secretary of State Jena Griswold, El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman and his staff “there are no reasonable grounds to pursue criminal charges based on the allegations” raised, which “are not supported by evidence.” Hugh Goldman submitted an affidavit to Allen’s office on Oct. 4 alleging Griswold interfered with the recount in El Paso County by “rewriting” state statutes governing recounts “into rules that materially and substantially misrepresent the statute, then officially distributed said rules to the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.”

Full Article: Claims of interference in El Paso County recount ‘not supported by evidence’: 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office | Election Coverage | gazette.com

Colorado election worker pleads guilty in election equipment tampering case | CBS

A former elections manager who prosecutors say assisted in a security breach of voting equipment in a Colorado county pleaded guilty on Wednesday under a plea agreement that requires her to testify against her former boss. Sandra Brown is one of two employees accused of helping Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters allow a copy of a hard drive to be made during an update of election equipment last year in search of proof of the false conspiracy theories spun by former President Donald Trump. Brown, 45, pleaded guilty to attempting to influence a public servant, a felony, and official misconduct, a misdemeanor, but will not be sentenced until right after she testifies at Peters’ trial next year so her performance on the witness stand can be considered. “There were things going on that I should have questioned and I didn’t,” Brown told Judge Matthew Barrett.

Full Article: Worker pleads guilty in Colorado election equipment tampering case – CBS News

Colorado: Lauren Boebert-Adam Frisch race appears headed to a recount in Congressional District 3 | Megan Verlee and Caitlyn Kim/Colorado Public Radio

The congressional race in Colorado’s 3rd District appears set to go even further into overtime. Final vote counting on Thursday has shrunk Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert’s lead over Democratic challenger Adam Frisch to fewer than a thousand votes, pushing it under the threshold for an automatic recount. Colorado law mandates a recount if the margin of votes in a race equals less than half a percent of the votes received by the leading candidate. However, it will be a while before the state makes it official — the Secretary of State officially certifies the vote count on Dec. 5, and only at that point will she order any automatic recounts. But as of Thursday afternoon, that result was looking more and more likely. Clerks in the 27 counties that make up the 3rd District have spent the day tallying their final ballots, which came from a mix of sources — military and overseas voters, ballots that were originally uncountable but were fixed by voters, and some regular ballots held back to ensure the final counts are fully anonymous.

Full Article: Lauren Boebert-Adam Frisch race appears headed to a recount in Colorado District 3 | Colorado Public Radio

Colorado clerks say Election Day went smoothly despite threats from election deniers | Saja Hindi and Conrad Swanson/Daily Record

Colorado county clerks say the surge of motivated election deniers bent on intimidating voters and election judges did not materialize during Tuesday’s election, but they did report record numbers of ballots turned in on Election Day. The election workers had expressed concern that the deniers — part of a nationwide attempt to manufacture evidence of election fraud — would swarm polling places Tuesday. To prepare, clerks ramped up training efforts to help staff de-escalate potential conflicts, tightened security measures and invited deniers into their offices to show them how Colorado’s voting system works. Executive Director Matt Crane of the Colorado County Clerks Association said for the most part, Election Day went smoothly for county clerks across the state. “We were very pleasantly surprised, not too many issues across the board,” he said. “I think there may have been a couple of ballot boxes with some aggressive watchers, but certainly nothing like we were expecting quite frankly, which is good.” Clerks across the state, including in Larimer County, echoed those sentiments. “I always tell our election judges, ‘don’t let the noise get in your head because it never materializes.’ And we’re ready if it does … but it just never materializes,” said clerk Angela Myers. “And this year was no different. We had virtually no issues whatsoever.”

Full Article: Colorado clerks say Election Day went smoothly

Colorado man arrested on suspicion of tampering with voting machine | James Anderson/Associated Press

A Colorado man who is a registered Democratic voter has been arrested on suspicion of tampering with voting equipment by allegedly inserting a USB thumb drive into a voting machine at a polling station during the primary election in June, authorities said. No elections data were accessed, and the June 28 incident didn’t cause any major disruption to voting, authorities said. But it heightened concerns among election officials and security experts that conspiracy theories related to the 2020 presidential election could inspire some voters to meddle with — or even attempt to sabotage — election equipment. Experts say even unsuccessful breaches could become major problems in the days leading up to and on Tuesday’s midterm election, causing delays at polling places or sowing the seeds of misinformation campaigns. Richard Patton, 31, of Pueblo was arrested on Thursday by members of the Pueblo Police Department High-Tech Crime Unit for investigation of tampering with voting equipment, a felony, and cybercrime-unauthorized access, a misdemeanor, the department said in a statement. Court records indicate Patton was being held without bond at the Pueblo County Judicial Center pending an advisement hearing later Friday in which he will hear the pending charges against him. Patton was being represented by an attorney from the public defender’s office, which does not comment on pending cases.

Full Article: Man arrested on suspicion of tampering with voting machine | AP News

Colorado Secretary of State appoints election supervisor in Elbert County, where Republican clerk copied voting machine hard drives | Bente Birkeland/Colorado Public Radio

Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold has appointed a supervisor to help oversee elections in Elbert County, the second such order she’s issued this week. On Monday, she appointed a supervisor in Pueblo County. In each case, Griswold cited mistakes made by the clerks. Both will still be involved with running the upcoming midterm elections in their respective counties but with additional oversight. Griswold said her decision to issue an order in Elbert County is due to the ongoing investigation into the actions taken by the Republican clerk Dallas Schroeder when he made copies of the county’s voting machine server. While it’s not illegal to capture an image of the hard drive, Schroeder told state investigators that he made copies with two county employees present and two outside people guiding them by phone, and then gave the duplicates to two attorneys. “The decision to appoint a Supervisor in Elbert County follows a 2021 election security protocol breach where Republican Clerk Dallas Schroeder violated Colorado Elections Rules by giving unauthorized individuals copies of images of the county’s voting system hard drives,” said a statement from Griswold’s office.

Full Article: Secretary of State appoints election supervisor in Elbert County, where Republican clerk copied voting machine hard drives | Colorado Public Radio