After a months-long court battle, Colorado officials have finally recovered hard drives containing data that was smuggled from a county’s voting machines. But it’s still unclear who accessed the data or what a conspiratorial group of Coloradians hope to do with it.
Following a court order last Wednesday, Dallas Schroeder, clerk for Elbert County, Colorado, returned two hard drives containing data from his county’s election machine. Schroeder previously testified that he copied the sensitive data last August, with the help of two Colorado conspiracy theorists linked to MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Schroeder says he first gave a copy of the data to his attorney John Case and another to an unnamed attorney.
The identity of this anonymous lawyer was revealed to a judge under seal last week. Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists claim to have reviewed Elbert County voting machine data, even citing it in court.
Schroeder, who did not return a request for comment, is the second Colorado clerk charged with hacking into voting machines under his supervision. The other clerk, Tina Peters of Mesa County, is currently facing a barrage of criminal charges for allegedly stealing the identity of a local technician, illegally copying her county’s election data and leaking it to theorists. of the election fraud plot last spring. She then appeared at Lindell’s “cyber symposium” on alleged voter fraud where she implied, falsely, that the stolen data suggested election malfeasance against Donald Trump.
Two weeks after the symposium, Schroeder made copies of similar election data in his own county. Surveillance footage, reported by Reuters last month, shows Schroeder “playing with cables and tapping on his phone as he copies computer drives containing sensitive voting information.”
Some of Schroeder’s communications that day were with Shawn Smith and Mark Cook, a pair of election truth-tellers who promoted their conspiracy theories on Lindell’s “Lindell TV” web show. Smith, who previously said the Colorado secretary of state “deserves[s] hang” if he is involved in voter fraud, also leads Cause of America, a Lindell-backed voter denial group. Schroder testified that he copied the data from the voting machine using a “Logic Cube Forensic Falcon Neo Device”, a $4,000 device he borrowed and later returned to Cook.
Schroeder also testified that on September 2 he returned to make a second copy of the data, which he gave to an attorney whom he has so far declined to name publicly. He was allowed to give the lawyer’s name to a judge under seal last week, preventing the person’s name from entering the public record.
Although Schroeder testified that no one accessed his own copy of the election data, the leaked information nonetheless became fodder for conspiracy theorists who claim the breach could contain information that ultimately proves voter fraud.
The guys at Stop The Steal in Colorado have called for violations of voting machines based on a conspiracy theory that falsely accuses state officials of wiping the machines. (Peters, the Mesa County Clerk, also cited the theory in her alleged voting machine violation.) Schroeder, along with a small group of fellow Republican clerks, invoked the conspiracy theory in their own lawsuit against representatives of state in November. Ironically, Schroeder’s own affidavit in that case revealed that he made unauthorized copies of data from his county’s election machine.
Following the revelation of the Elbert County leak in January, fringe bloggers suggested without evidence that conspiracy figures had scrutinized the data. But one such recent claim has surfaced in a less obscure source: a Lindell-backed lawsuit by a pair of Arizona politicians.
Lindell endorses a lawsuit filed by Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem and Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, the Arizona Republic reported. The lawsuit seeks to ban the use of electronic voting machines, which have become a fixation of election truthers. An initial complaint in the case, filed late last month, purported to cite data from Mesa County and Elbert County voting machines as evidence that the machines were unreliable.
“Dominion Democracy Suite software was used to tally votes in 62 Colorado counties, including Mesa County and Elbert County, in the 2020 election,” reads the original complaint. “Subsequent examination of Mesa County and Elbert County equipment showed that the Democracy Suite software created unauthorized databases on the hard drive of the Election Management System servers.”
Never mind that the Mesa County election data didn’t show foul play — the Elbert County data isn’t supposed to be public at all, and even conspiracy theorists haven’t made concrete claims. about what they are supposed to reveal.
Reached for comment Monday, Lake and Finchem attorney Andrew Parker did not clarify the source of the alleged Elbert County data.
On April 4, Lake and Finchem amended their complaint. An updated version of the complaint only names Mesa County.