The Colorado Secretary of State has called the lawsuit filed against her by Hanks “baseless” and filed a motion to dismiss. 

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has filed a motion to dismiss in response to Rep. Ron Hanks’ (R-HD60) lawsuit, which claims that the voting machines used in the 2020 election were improperly certified, that the Secretary of State’s Office illegally destroyed election records, and that Secretary of State Jena Griswold exceeded her authority when she adopted emergency rules to prevent third-party election audits.

“My office is requesting the judge dismiss this baseless lawsuit,” said Griswold in a news release. “The plaintiffs’ allegations are patently false, and their legal justifications without merit. Nationwide, bad actors are abusing the judicial process to spread disinformation, undermine confidence in elections, and suppress the right to vote. It is extremely concerning to see elected officials here in Colorado spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. As Secretary of State, it is my duty to defend the rights of every Colorado voter — Republican, Democrat, and Unaffiliated, alike — and I will continue to do so.”

In response to Hanks’ claims that the voting machines were improperly certified, the Secretary of State’s motion to dismiss points out that the Secretary of State has the authority to certify voting machines, noting, “Under Colorado law, political subdivisions ‘may ... adopt an electronic or electromechanical voting system,’ so long as the system ‘has been certified by the Secretary of State.’ The Secretary is required to provide such certification if a ‘federally accredited laboratory’ has ‘test[ed], approve[d], and qualif[ied]’ the system.”

In response Hanks’ claims — based on the illegally obtained images of Mesa County’s Dominion voting machine hard drives — that the Secretary of State’s Office destroyed election records, the motion notes that Hanks incorrectly describes log files as “election records.” According to the motion to dismiss, “‘Election records,’ as used in [Colorado law], is a defined term under the Code. It means only: ‘accounting forms, certificates of registration, pollbooks, certificates of election, signature cards, all affidavits, voter applications, other voter lists and records, mail ballot return envelopes, voted ballots, unused ballots, spoiled ballots, and replacement ballots.’

There is not a single allegation in the Amended Complaint that any materials meeting the definition of ‘election records’ under [Colorado law] were destroyed during the 2021 trusted build process in Mesa County or elsewhere. The ‘log files’ described in the Amended Complaint as ‘individual log events which represent a system-time correlated record of hardware and software event history,’ do not fall within the definition of ‘election records.’”

Hanks, who is currently running for U.S. Senate, has long pushed “the Big Lie” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen by China through the manipulation of Dominion Voting Systems. Hanks was present during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, attended the Arizona election audit, which found no evidence of fraud, and appeared alongside Rep. Dave Williams (R-HD15), Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and others to promote election fraud conspiracy theories.

During a Dec. 1 rally in Grand Junction in support of Peters, who is under federal investigation for her role in the breach of Mesa County’s voting machines, Hanks falsely claimed “Joe Biden is an unelected, installed agent of a foreign power. He has weaponized the federal government as Obama did, and he’s doubled down on it. Our elections from here forward matter, but in my estimation, the most important election of our lifetime is still 2020, as we unfold and unveil the fraud and the disasters that have been cast upon us.” 

News Reporter

Heidi Beedle is a former soldier, educator, activist, and animal welfare worker. She received a Bachelor’s in English from UCCS. She has worked as a freelance writer covering LGBTQ issues, nuclear disasters, cattle mutilations, and social movements.

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