Supporters Of Mesa Clerk Rally Saturday, Speaker Says Security Breach Did Occur

Stina Sieg/CPR News
Supporters of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters rally outside her office, August 21, 2021.

More than 100 people rallied in Grand Junction Saturday in support of Mesa County clerk Tina Peters, who is being investigated to determine whether she participated in a security breach of her office’s election equipment.

“I came out because I wanted to learn more. Because I don't know as much as I feel like I should know… I want to meet other people and find out what's happening,” said Elizabeth Cockrill, who traveled to the rally from Basalt. 

Cockrill said she doesn’t support any illegal activity, but that Peters’ actions were in the service of “discovering truth.”

“I think if we look for the truth, we will find what people did wrong,” Cockrill said. “Whoever did anything wrong should be held accountable.”

An investigation by the Secretary of State’s office found that earlier this year Peters allowed an unauthorized man into a secure area where the election equipment is stored, and that he apparently made copies of hard drives ahead of an update by Dominion Voting Systems, the company that makes the equipment. Someone in the clerk’s office also ordered the cameras that monitor the equipment to be turned off for an extended period of time.

One of the speakers at Saturday’s rally appeared to confirm some of those events. 

“One thing you have heard about Tina Peters is true,” said Cory Anderson, who heads the local chapter of the Election Integrity Project, which has been trying to use voter canvassing to prove fraud. “There was a before and after image taken of the Dominion system in clerk Peter's office. I think we'll be very glad that happened. Preserving the truth is important to discovering the truth.”

The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI are both now involved in investigating the release of information from the election system, but those at the rally were focused on the unproven election conspiracy theories that have been circulated since last fall.

One of those claims that Dominion equipment was used to steal the presidential election and that the company’s routine software updates are actually an effort to erase the evidence. There has been no evidence presented that any of that is true, but that has not stopped it from gaining currency among some Americans.

Information from Mesa County’s drives was reportedly shared at a “cybersecurity symposium” put on by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Peters was a speaker at the conference, where she accused Secretary of State Jena Griswold of planting evidence against her. Last week Lindell told Vice News he had flown Peters to Texas because she is “worried about her safety.”

She provided no evidence of wrongdoing by Griswold. Peters is also being investigated by the Mesa County District attorney and the FBI.

Rallygoers seemed to generally agree with Peters’ decision not to return to Mesa County during the investigation.

“Given how everything is blown up by the Left, she needs to stay safe at this moment,” said Mike Miller of Clifton. 

Miller compared what Peters is accused of doing to running a stop sign, versus the scope of election fraud he believes occurred. 

“I'm not saying Tina Peters broke the law, but I am saying if those things come out, I believe it'll show the bigger, egregious situation lies at the doorstep of (Secretary of State) Jena Griswold.” 

Stina Sieg/CPR News
Mesa County GOP First Vice Chair Jacqueline Anderson addresses the crowd at the rally in support of clerk Tina Peters, August 21, 2021.

The controversy with Mesa County’s voting machines poses a difficulty for some local conservative leaders, who’ve voiced support for Peters while still trying to convince Republican voters to participate in upcoming local elections.

“Keep in mind that no matter what happens with our upcoming election in November... you have to vote. You have to make sure that you show up,” Mesa County GOP first vice chair Jacqueline Anderson told the flag-waving crowd. “There is one thing that I have learned in the few short months I've been on the board, is that Republicans, over and over, fail to show up to the ballot box. So what you have to do is go out and support your conservative candidates.” 

The state announced earlier this month that Mesa County can not use the compromised Dominion machines in its upcoming election and that Peters and two of her employees are barred from overseeing the vote.