Breaking News from Colorado Secretary of State
Jena Griswold & Chris Beall, Deputy Secretary of State
Given Quickly Approaching Deadlines for the November 2021 Coordinated Election, the Secretary of State Proceeds with Lawsuit to Remove Peters as Designated Election Official
Denver, August 30, 2021 - Today, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold proceeded with a lawsuit to remove Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters as the Designated Election Official (DEO). In the filing, the Office requests that Wayne Williams be appointed as the DEO and Sheila Reiner be appointed as the Director of Elections for Mesa County to ensure the smooth and secure operations of the November 2021 elections.
A Designated Election Official is a person responsible for running elections for a local government, like a municipality or a county. They make determinations regarding elections issues for their municipality or county.
“My priority is ensuring that the voters of Mesa County have accessible and secure elections. With the quickly approaching election, I am taking action to ensure that the county’s election office can provide great elections for Mesa voters,” said Secretary Jena Griswold. “As Secretary of State, I will continue to provide the support and oversight needed to ensure the integrity of Colorado’s elections.”
This legal action is necessary because although the Secretary of State’s Office can require supervision of a county clerk’s conduct, it cannot remove a sitting county clerk from acting as the Designated Election Official. Secretary Griswold’s prior order installed Sheila Reiner as supervisor of the Mesa County Elections and barred two employees from participating in election administration of any kind. This legal action seeks to legally bar Peters from serving as DEO, as she is not fit to serve as the DEO after allowing breaches to election security protocol.
Given the quickly approaching deadlines for the November 2021 Coordinated Election, it is paramount that a structure is in place to give Mesa County residents the secure and accessible election they deserve. The legal action outlines the structure and roles under which Treasurer Reiner and Councilor Williams can operate.