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Colorado County Clerk Indicted in Voting Security Breach Investigation

Tina Peters, a county clerk running as a Republican for secretary of state of Colorado, was indicted Tuesday evening on 10 criminal counts related to allegations that she tampered with election equipment after the 2020 election.

The indictment, which the district attorney of Mesa County, Colo., announced on Wednesday, is connected to Ms. Peters’s work as a top county election administrator, a role in which she promoted former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims that the election had been stolen.

A grand jury indicted Ms. Peters on both felony and misdemeanors charges, including of attempting to influence a public servant, criminal impersonation, conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, identity theft, first-degree official misconduct, violation of duty and failing to comply with the secretary of state. Neither Ms. Peters’s campaign nor her lawyer immediately responded to requests for comment.

The grand jury also indicted Belinda Knisley, Ms. Peters’s deputy, on six counts. A lawyer for Ms. Knisley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ms. Peters’s case was a prominent example of how Republican-led reviews of the 2020 vote count have prompted election-security threats involving the integrity of voting machines, software and other equipment that make up the nation’s election infrastructure. And in running for secretary of state, Ms. Peters has been an example of the brazenly partisan candidates who claim that Mr. Trump won the election and who are transforming races around the country for the once-little-known office.

In May 2021, the authorities say, Ms. Peters entered a secure area of a warehouse where voting machines were stored, and copied hard drives and election-management software from the machines. She is also accused of recording a voting machine maintenance procedure.

Then, in August, a conservative website published passwords for Mesa County election machines. The indictment connects Ms. Peters’s and Ms. Knisley’s actions to the leak of the passwords.

Ms. Peters is running for secretary of state against the incumbent, Jena Griswold, who is a Democrat.

Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting.

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