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Mesa County drops lawsuit against Tina Peters over voting services contract

Clerk and recorder had not signed off on new voting services contract
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters speaks during a rally organized by the Truth & Liberty Coalition in support of her. The rally took place Dec. 1, in front of the old Mesa County courthouse in Grand Junction. (Sharon Sullivan for Colorado Newsline)

Mesa County will no longer pursue a lawsuit against Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters after she attested to county commissioner documents.

The original lawsuit, filed on Dec. 21, alleged that Peters neglected her duty as clerk by failing to attest to legal action the county’s commissioners took to extend a contract with ​​Runbeck Election Services, as first reported by The Daily Sentinel. The company will print ballots and envelopes for the 2022 primary and general elections.

Though Peters was stripped of her status to run elections in the county for the 2021 coordinated election, her duties as clerk still involve attesting to documents signed by the board.

The deadline to attest to the voting services contract was Dec. 20, which Peters missed. That prompted the lawsuit.

“Peters finally did attest to the Runbeck contract on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, a week after all other documents were attested, one day after the given deadline and several hours after the county filed the lawsuit with the court,” Mesa County attorney Todd Starr wrote in a statement.

It was necessary to expedite the contract with Runbeck because of a possible shortage of ballot envelopes and inserts next year, county officials said.

“Legally Clerk Peters must attest to BOCC decisions, regardless of personal opinions,” he wrote. “We are thankful the clerk has complied with her duties, so we don’t have to spend tax dollars on further litigation with the clerk.”

Peters is still facing various investigations into her conduct as clerk and recorder that allowed sensitive passwords to get posted online during a voting system software update, as well as lawsuits over alleged campaign finance violations. While she was removed as the county’s designated election officials for the November 2021 election, the Secretary of State’s Office has not taken action to bar her from overseeing the 2022 primary and general elections.

To read more stories from Colorado Newsline, visit www.coloradonewsline.com.