DENVER — Colorado’s Democratic secretary of state issued an order on Monday ordering Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder, a Republican, to testify during a deposition about how he allegedly made a copy of a disc hard of the voting system.
Secretary of State Jena Griswold said copying the hard drive image could potentially violate election security protocols in the county election system. In addition to the order requiring Schroeder to be deposed about how the hard drive image was created, Griswold ordered him to provide information about how he made the alleged copy and demanding that surveillance county voting equipment video be enabled.
“The Elbert Court Clerk did not respond to both an email request and an election order requiring the disclosure of information about this potential violation. That is why I am now taking additional action,” Griswold said in a statement. “As Secretary of State, my top priority is to ensure that every eligible Coloradan – Republican, Democrat and Independent – has access to secure elections and I will always protect Colorado’s election infrastructure.”
Griswold’s office said she was made aware of the potential security breach due to an affidavitt Schroeder signed on January 7 as part of a trial filed by Schroeder, Rep. Ron Hanks, R-Fremont County, and Douglas County Clerk Merlin Klotz, among others, in November against Griswold, who claimed that election software used by Colorado counties in 2020 does not was not properly certified.
Griswold and the secretary of state’s office said the lawsuit was “based on multiple unsubstantiated election conspiracy theories.”
In the affidavit filed earlier this month, Schroeder said he “made a forensic picture of everything on the election server” ahead of a “trust building” of the county’s election system ahead of the 2021 election. He also said he wanted to create another forensic picture after building trust to ensure no 2020 election records were destroyed.
“The affidavit admitted that the Elbert County Clerk had made an image of the voting system’s hard drive some time before August 27, 2021, but he did not disclose how the copy was made or what measures of security had been taken at the time,” the secretary of the state office said in a news release.
Griswold’s office said Schroeder’s office did not respond to initial requests for information about how the hard drive was copied, nor did it respond to the requirement that CCTV be turned on and not be accessible to no single person.
Griswold’s office said that since the alleged breach occurred prior to the 2021 trust release, it does not believe a potential hard drive image “created an imminent or direct security risk to the election of the Colorado”.
The orders from the Griswold office come as Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is accused of helping a non-election worker copy the Mesa County voting system hard drive as well. She is currently under investigation by a grand jury in Mesa County, was blocked by Griswold from overseeing the 2021 election, and Griswold is asking the same for the 2022 election.
The Elbert County Clerk’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday afternoon.