After recount, Tina Peters losses in GOP secretary of state primary


A recount of votes in the GOP primary for Colorado secretary of state shows what election officials knew to be true from the first round of counting: Tina Peters, an election denier, did not come close to winning her primary election.

The results reiterated what county clerks initially reported: Peters lost the election by about 88,000 votes. Mike Beasley, lobbyist for the Colorado County Clerks Association, said all 64 counties said they had completed their recounts and while Peters went up four votes, Pam Anderson went up seven. The changes in votes are based on ballots that needed judges to determine which way a person voted.

Peters, the Mesa County clerk and recorder who sought the GOP nomination for secretary of state, ran a campaign focused on casting doubt about the state and country’s election systems and claimed without evidence that the 2020 election and following elections were “stolen,” including her own. Peters had the backing of election conspiracy theorists, including CEO of MyPillow Mike Lindell, who supported her financially, as well as Steve Bannon, former President Donald Trump’s chief strategist who was found guilty of criminal contempt of Congress.

The clerk herself has been indicted by a Colorado grand jury over allegations of election equipment tampering and she faces multiple criminal and civil investigations.

Still, Peters was able to raise the more than a quarter of a million dollars required to pay for a recount after the election, getting more money from supporters after she lost than she did during the regular campaign. She had to pay for the recount because she didn’t get enough votes to trigger an automatic recount of the results, barely getting enough to place second in the race over opponent Mike O’Donnell. Anderson, a former Jefferson County clerk and recorder, won the Colorado GOP nomination for secretary of state.

“People were hoodwinked — I don’t care if they live in Colorado or not, they were hoodwinked,” Beasley said. “This is either the gold standard of stupidity on behalf of these candidates or it is a scam to take people’s money. I’m not sure which.”

Prior to the recount and while it was being conducted, Peters spread lies about the states’ Dominion Voting Systems machines — a frequent target of election deniers — and kept demanding the votes be counted by hand, despite elections rules saying recounts had to be conducted in the same manner as the original election. She also filed a lawsuit with other candidates in Denver court, claiming that the recount was being conducted fairly, particularly in El Paso County.


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