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No outside interference in Mesa County's 2020 election, investigation finds

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is currently facing criminal charges, claimed to have proof of election fraud that occurred.

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — There was no outside interference with Mesa County's 2020 election or Grand Junction's 2021 election.

Republican Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein reported the conclusions of his office's investigation into claims that there was criminal activity involved in those two elections.

He presented his findings to the Mesa County Commissioners on Thursday morning.

>The video above is a prior report about election fraud claims.

Rubinstein launched a criminal investigation based on a report by Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who herself, is facing felony charges for tampering with election equipment.

RELATED: Judge rules Tina Peters can't oversee Mesa County's upcoming elections

Credit: AP
Mesa County, Colo., clerk Tina Peters, who was indicted in March on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges related to allegations she and others tampered with secure voting equipment and software, acknowledges well-wishers at a rally staged to voice concerns about free and fair elections on the west steps of the State Capitol, Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in downtown Denver. Peters and Mike Lindell, MyPillow chief executive officer, spoke at the rally, which drew several hundred attendees. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The findings presented Thursday are not related to the criminal case against Peters, but rather her claims that she found proof of election fraud.

Peters' report claimed to have proof of criminal actions, based on a review of the election machine server that she admitted to copying.

Rubinstein concluded that the conclusions from that report were false.

"Finally, and most significantly, this investigation uncovered no evidence that would indicate outside interference with the election, and further has found evidence specifically contradicting the assertion that ballots could have been preloaded," Rubinstein said in his written report.

During the commissioners meeting, Rubinstein and DA investigator Michael Struwe, used surveillance video from inside the election tabulation room, to show why former election manager Sandra Brown was responsible for the anomalies claimed by Peters in her report.

Brown, who was fired last year, is accused of being part of the security breach that led to the copying of the election equipment hard drive.

RELATED: Passwords linked to Mesa County's voting systems posted online in 'serious breach' of security

Peters' report claimed that election files were created by an "external trigger," "signal" or "software algorithm" and not because of human error.

Rubinstein concluded that the files were caused by Brown using a "nuclear option" to troubleshoot issues processing returned ballots.

The "nuclear option" was a stop and restart function. That created the new file scrutinized by the Peters report.

The Peters report also detailed that election workers were questioned and that human error was ruled out.

Rubinstein said in his report, "despite repeated claims that there was extensive questioning of the Mesa County election officials, we were not able to locate a single person who said that they were interviewed by the drafters of Report 3."

Struwe interviewed 11 people who were in that room.

"All of them told him that they were not interviewed," the DA's report said.

According to Rubinstein, Brown refused to talk to DA's investigators through her attorney. Peters declined to cooperate. The drafters of the Peters report were contacted. One said he did not conduct any of the interviews, while the other declined to be interviewed and referred investigators to Peters' attorney.

Click here to read a summary of Rubinstein's findings and conclusions.

The DA's investigation concluded that anomalies in the election logs were caused by intentional actions by Brown, but that no evidence exists that indicate Brown had any criminal motive for her actions, simply attempts to troubleshoot.

Rubinstein found no evidence that votes were intentionally counted improperly.

"At this time, no evidence suggests that these actions negatively impacted the election," the DA report concluded.

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