A registered Democrat has been arrested by authorities in Colorado after the suspect was caught tempering with voting machines using a USB thumb drive.
31-year-old Richard Patton, of Pueblo, CO, was arrested on election crime charges Thursday morning after he was caught inserting the USB drive into a voting machine.
Patton was arrested without incident on suspicion of committing a voter crime during the primary election in June.
“On the afternoon of June 28, poll workers heard noises coming from a voting booth,” CBS News reported.
“When a poll worker went to investigate and clean the machine, they saw an error message and notified a supervisor.
“Tamper-evident seals on the machine appeared to be disturbed, the secretary’s office said.
“The machine was immediately taken out of service for investigation.”
ABC News reported, “Election officials in Colorado use locks and tamper-evident seals on voting equipment, so it becomes apparent if someone has tried to access it.
“Trigger alerts make machines inoperable if someone tries to tamper with them.”
Local authorities were informed of a “potential breach to a voting system” at a voting station in Pueblo, Colorado.
CBS News reported that Patton allegedly inserted a “USB thumb drive into a voting machine at a polling station during the primary election in June, authorities said.”
Patton did vote on that day, officials confirmed.
According to Gilbert Ortiz, Pueblo County’s clerk and recorder, Patton was identified because he presented his driver’s license as identification to poll workers before he voted.
The Pueblo Police Department said in a statement, “Detectives from the Pueblo Police Department High-Tech Crime Unit were able to identify 31-year-old, Richard Patton as the suspect that attempted to tamper with the voting station.”
“We would like to assure the community that all voter safeguards put in place to protect the voter process were successful,” the Pueblo Police Department noted.
“No information has been found to be breached at this time.”
The Pueblo Police Department said Patton was booked on charges of tampering with voting equipment, a felony, and cybercrime-unauthorized access, a misdemeanor.
He was being held without bond at the Pueblo County Judicial Center.
Patton has been a registered Democratic Party voter since 2019, according to the Pueblo County’s clerk and recorder.
He switched his affiliation to the Democrats from the Green Party.