Judge bars county clerk after voting machine passwords leaked to QAnon

In August, QAnon conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins shared a video he claimed confirmed poll machines from Dominion Voting Systems may very well be remotely accessed to tamper with the outcomes of a vote. At the time, he stated the knowledge got here to him from a “whistleblower.”

This week, a Colorado decide barred Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters from overseeing the county’s upcoming November election in relation to a leak of voting machine BIOS passwords. Peters, who tweeted in support of former President Donald Trump’s election conspiracy theories, invited a person named Gerald Wood to a meeting involving a “trusted build” software replace that was meant to make sure the safety of the county’s voting machines. Peters claimed Wood was an “administrative assistant” transitioning to her office, however then later described him as a “consultant” she employed to copy info from the computer systems.

Ahead of the meeting, Belinda Knisley, Peters’ deputy, despatched an e-mail to employees asking that they flip off the safety cameras within the Election Department and never flip them again on till after August 1st. Knisley didn’t clarify the rationale for her request, however it was carried out both means. On the day of the meeting, Wood photographed a spreadsheet that contained the passwords to the machines and copied over their exhausting drives. Following the meeting, the passwords have been publicly posted to an “online social media site.”

“Peters directed the creation of the images of the hard drive, which was not authorized by law and which directly led to the decommissioning of Mesa County’s voting systems, facilitating the leak of sensitive data and exposed the county’s voting system to compromise,” Judge Valerie Robinson wrote in a decision noticed by Ars Technica.

In an announcement, Peters said she plans to attraction the “decision to remove a duly elected clerk and recorded from her election duties.” She went on to described herself as a whistleblower and referred to as the case in opposition to her a “power grab” by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

“Clerk Peters seriously compromised the security of Mesa County’s voting system,” Griswold stated in an announcement. “The Court’s decision today bars Peters from further threatening the integrity of Mesa’s elections and ensures Mesa County residents have the secure and accessible election they deserve.” The FBI and Mesa County district legal professional are investigating Peters, however no felony expenses have been filed but.

All merchandise really useful by Engadget are chosen by our editorial workforce, impartial of our dad or mum company. Some of our tales embody affiliate hyperlinks. If you purchase one thing by means of one in all these hyperlinks, we could earn an affiliate fee.

Exit mobile version