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Arizona

Pueblo Clerk Bo Ortiz disputes ‘misinformation’ from Tina Peters

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Embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who decisively misplaced the Republican main for Colorado Secretary of State in June, continues to be inflicting controversy within the closing phases of the 2022 common election.

Peters, who has been barred from contacting present staff of the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, introduced in an Oct. 24 press launch that she was resigning from the Colorado County Clerk’s Association, during which she slammed the CCCA and its present president . Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz, Secretary of Pueblo County.

CCCA Executive Director Matt Crane advised the chief that Peters was beneath an ethics violation filed by one other member of the group, which is made up of Colorado’s 64 county officers. Peters resigned from the group earlier than the criticism may very well be voted on, Crane mentioned.

Ortiz mentioned Peters’ letter was “misinformation.”

Election Guide 2022: What you need to find out about Pueblo County’s prime races and voting points

“Is it any wonder she twists the truth? She does,” Ortiz mentioned.

Peters didn’t reply to a follow-up request for remark from the chief.

Without offering proof, Peters accused the CCCA of collaborating with Dominion Voting Systems, the Colorado-based firm with which a lot of the state’s counties have contracts for voting gear and software program. Dominion has filed a number of defamation lawsuits towards Fox News and conservative figureheads for repeatedly alleging, with out proof, that the corporate is concerned in voter fraud.

“For many months it has been clear that Tina Peters violated her oath of office and failed to meet the high standards that officials across the state place on their offices and their employees,” the CCCA mentioned in a press release on Peters’ resignation.

“She has admitted this in public statements and court documents. Her claims about the club to justify her resignation are peppered with untruths and conspiracy theories. Their understanding of the association and how it works is almost as bad as their understanding of how the Colorado elections work. Serious people are doing the hard work of conducting elections in November. Tina is not one of them.”

Peters’ assertion associated to latest voting errors and claimed that Ortiz dedicated potential state and federal crimes. She questioned why the CCCA continued to assist Ortiz regardless of the errors made beneath his management.

Ortiz was elected president of the CCCA in January 2021 and have become president in 2022: earlier than the errors had been made, he burdened.

Ortiz mentioned the ballots, which had been misprinted and never mailed to voters within the June 2022 main, had been shredded in accordance with the legislation. He mentioned that the errors beneath his path had been errors by himself and his staff in addition to the print supplier, versus Peters’ actions.

“Why would the CCA expel me from their group if I made errors? Everything she did was intentional and unlawful—the issues that occurred in Pueblo County had been errors. There’s an enormous distinction between the 2,” Ortiz said.

While Colorado law requires that most ballot records be retained for a minimum of 25 months, unused ballots can be destroyed after a contest period. Federal law also requires that ballots containing candidates for national office be retained for at least 22 months and that “negligent errors” by election officials are not punishable.

Peters was indicted by a grand jury and has pleaded not guilty to multiple felonies and misdemeanors related to a voting equipment violation in May 2021. Photos of sensitive Mesa County election information, including passwords, have been leaked to a conservative website. A trial is planned for March 2023.

Other mistakes in election administration prior to the 2021 incident were also reported: Hundreds of ballots were left in a ballot box dropbox, led by Peters.

Peters lost in the GOP primary as secretary of state to Pam Anderson, a former city and county clerk who has distinguished himself from other Republicans by claiming Trump didn’t win in 2020.

The Peters campaign funded a recount of the primary elections in all 64 Colorado counties, resulting in minimal change in the final vote counts.

Peters also claimed Dominion was considering hiring Ortiz after his term expired in January 2023, which he denied. He said he was not contacted by the company about a position.

“That’s humorous,” Ortiz said of Peters’ allegation. “I don’t know how to write software. I’m a district clerk and I’m not even that great at Excel. Dominion needs people who can write programs. That is not me.”

Anna Lynn Winfrey reviews on politics for the Pueblo Chieftain. She will be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @annalynnfrey.

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