Elbert County clerk ordered to turn over copies of voting hard drives by judge

· May 2, 2022, 9:37 pm
In-person voting at Arapahoe Administration building in Littleton on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

By COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — A judge has ordered a county clerk who copied his voting system's hard drives to turn over his copies to Colorado's secretary of state by the end of the day Wednesday.

Secretary of State Jena Griswold sued to force Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder to turn over the external hard drives containing the copies and Judge Gary M. Kramer ruled late Friday that Schroeder must follow her lawful orders. Kramer also ordered Schroeder to answer Griswold's questions about who has had access to the copies in filings.

It's one of a handful of cases across the United States in which authorities are investigating whether local officials directed or aided in suspected security breaches at their own election offices. Some of them have expressed doubt about the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Schroeder's lawyer, John Case, declined to comment on the order Monday.

Schroeder has said he copied the hard drives because he wanted to preserve the results of the 2020 election. He first made a copy of the hard drives of the election server, the image cast central computers and the adjudication computer before the state updated voting software. He then made a copy of that set of copies.

During a hearing Friday before the judge issued his order, Case urged Kramer not to allow both copies to be in the same place at the same time in case some disaster like a fire might destroy them. He also asked that Griswold return them to Schroeder after looking at them. Kramer’s order did not address those concerns.

While Schroeder has said that he gave one copy to Case and the other to an unnamed lawyer, Case told Kramer that one copy was now in Schroeder’s office and the other was under his control but not in his possession, without elaborating.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Hunt argued that unless the copies were under Griswold’s control they could end up being used to hack the state’s voting system.

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