The Mesa County Commission voted 3-0 to extend its hardware contract with Dominion Voting Systems until 2029 -- despite the all-Republican commission having been besieged by 34 residents loudly protesting against using Dominion again.
Here's how the Denver Post reported it:
"The Mesa County Commission will replace 41 pieces of election equipment that were compromised during an alleged security breach — the latest in a saga that includes a pillow salesman, County Clerk Tina Peters in hiding and QAnon." The commission voted to replace its Dominion Voting Systems hardware and extended the county's contract with Dominion through 2029 at a cost of $825,281.
"Thirty-four Mesa County residents spoke to the commission before the vote and all opposed the Dominion contract, quoting from the Declaration of Independence and Scripture as they urged the commission to choose a different equipment company or use hand counts instead of Dominion."
The chaotic situation in the Colorado county that's home to Grand Junction was made even more colorful by mystery over the whereabouts of County Clerk Tina Peters. She faces a potential criminal investigation over the online posting last week of passwords for the election equipment.
Peters has reportedly gone into hiding with the help of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell after attending one of his "Big Lie" events, adding an intriguing story line. Here's how the Post reported that:
"Peters has been traveling outside Mesa County since Aug. 10, when she flew to a conspiracy theory symposium in South Dakota hosted by Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow and an election conspiracist. He then arranged for her to stay in Texas but she moved last week after Lindell's security team leaked details of her whereabouts, he told Vice News.
"It's not clear where Peters is now, but she may not be there for long. The clerk told Lindell on Monday that she believes her hotel room was burglarized and Lindell said, "I guess we're going to have to get you moved again." He vowed to arrange for private security as well."
"It's also not clear who's paying for the arrangements; Colorado elected officials cannot receive gifts worth more than $65."
Peters denied any wrongdoing in an interview with Lindell with his online TV show.
"The clerk said she doesn't "know that much about computers" but believes Dominion machines can be hacked online (Colorado-based Dominion denies this) and that she is being punished for trying to make Mesa County elections more transparent," the Post reported. "The way I feel right now is that the robber has come into my house and he's still there."
As if the story needed more color, the 34 angry residents were there to provide it.
"I find it downright appalling that you are even considering Dominion and their minions," Diana Larson of Grand Junction said.
"Don't do this," Shelley Lucas of Grand Junction said. "Please don't do this. I pray to God that he gives you the strength to do the right thing."
In Twitter coverage by Denver TV reporter Marshall Zellinger, there was this: "The most recent public comment is asking the Mesa County Commissioners if they are listening to the public who don't trust Dominion. 'There are two camps: God's Team and Team Money.'"
Meanwhile Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis, a Republican, asked members of the public who know Peters to urge her to return to work.
"Call Tina, tell her to come out of hiding," he said Tuesday. "Tell her to come home."