From Mesa County, Colorado: “Decertified election equipment could prove costly to county “

Thanks again to Rick for allowing me to take the helm for a couple of weeks. It’s now back over to him for the daily grind. My last update for the weekend comes from Mesa County. The latest, after Monday and Thursday news, from Colorado, with front-page coverage at the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

Mesa County isn’t just on the hook for replacing all of its expensive election equipment, but also for up to $170,000 in money the Clerk’s Office received in COVID-19 aid, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

In the wake of Thursday’s announcement from Secretary of State Jena Griswold to decertify the county’s election equipment because of a security breach that Griswold said Clerk Tina Peters had aided, the county may have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace that equipment.

Some of the money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability Act, known as the CARES Act, approved by Congress and signed by then-President Donald Trump in March 2020 went to purchasing some of the now-decertified election equipment.

And some of that equipment is brand new.

A year ago this month, the Mesa County Board of Commissioners approved three grant applications that Peters and her Elections Division had applied for: $70,000 for six electronic ballot marking tablets from Dominion Voting Systems and ballot drop boxes, $69,996 for 22 additional Dominion voting tablets, and $10,000 for a new drop box and security equipment in Palisade.

All of that equipment came from CARES Act funding, and all of the requests came from Peters, who now is publicly challenging whether Dominion voting equipment is reliable.

Because that equipment was paid for through grants provided by Griswold’s office, some of it may have to be paid back to the state, and the county will have to use its own money to replace them.

Also over at the Daily Sentinel: “Griswold: Election office cameras turned off before security breach,” and “Timeline of Tina Peters’ tenure.”

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