Douglas County clerk says no illegal backup occurred

Clerk says his comments were taken out of context

Elliott Wenzler
Posted 2/9/22

In a letter responding to a recent investigation order from the Secretary of State’s office, the Douglas County clerk and recorder said today that no illegal backup of voter information was …

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Douglas County clerk says no illegal backup occurred

Clerk says his comments were taken out of context


Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz says no one illegally backed up voter information and that comments attributed to him were taken out of context, according to a letter sent Tuesday responding to an investigation order from the Colorado Secretary of State's office.

“No one has made an illegal or unauthorized image of any Douglas County election data or hard drive information,” according to the letter sent by Merlin Klotz.

The Secretary of State’s office ordered Klotz to provide them with information by Feb. 10 after their office saw a social media post attributed to Klotz in which he said there was  “a full image backup of our server” taken by his office. 

“We, as always, took a full image backup of our server before a trusted build was done this year,” according to the post.

According to the secretary of state’s office, a trusted build is done to “create a chain of evidence which allows stakeholders to have an approved model to use for verification of a voting system.”

The social media post, which came from the site Telegram, was a screenshot of an email sent by Klotz to someone he called a “concerned voter.”

In the screenshot, Klotz calls the “trusted build” process a “coordinated effort between the SOS and Dominion.” Dominion Voting Systems is a company that sells electronic voting hardware and software in the United States and became the target of many conspiracy theorists following the 2020 election. 

Klotz goes on to say that Douglas County is one of the only places in the state that doesn’t use Dominion Voting Systems.

In the Feb. 8 letter to the secretary of state, Klotz says this email to a voter was “never intended to be an exacting recitation of events.”

“Only a standard and required back-up was created and the original email had intended to relay only that a data back-up was in place at the time of the SOS’s ‘trusted build,’” the letter reads.

He also said he had used inexact, incorrect wording in his email to the voter.

“I used the wrong terminology ‘full image’ in an attempt to concisely note the backup of data under Election Rule 20.19.3," according to the letter.

The Secretary of State’s office emailed Klotz Jan. 28 requesting that he provide details about the backup mentioned in the social media post and gave him a deadline of Jan. 31. As of the Feb. 3 order, the office said he had not yet responded to that request. 

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and Elbert County clerk Dallas Schroeder are also being investigated by the Secretary of State’s Office for alleged unauthorized copies of election system servers.

Douglas County Colorado, Merlin Klotz, Dominion voting


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