November 28, 2023

A recount has confirmed that an indicted Colorado county clerk who alleged fraud lost her primary bid for statewide office last month, officials announced Thursday.

The results barely changed, with Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters garnering 13 more votes in the June 28 recount election to determine the Republican nominee for secretary of state. Peters received about 29 percent of the vote, Democratic Secretary of State Jenna Griswold said in a statement.

The winner of the GOP primary for the job of Colorado Supervisor of Elections, Pam Anderson, received 13 more votes in the recount and finished with 43 percent. A third candidate, Mike O’Donnell, received 11 more votes.

Peters’ voice mail was full and she did not immediately return a text or email seeking comment on the recount results.

He filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Griswold, and state county officials claimed the recount was not conducted according to state law. The suit argues that the accuracy of the randomly selected machines used to count the ballots should have been verified by hand counting before the recount began.

Griswold’s office said in a statement that the lawsuit was without merit.

“The allegations in the lawsuit are based on debunked conspiracies that have been dismissed by judges in previous cases. The recount was completed and conducted in accordance with Colorado election law and rule,” the statement said.

Peters faces multiple felony charges for her alleged role in allowing unauthorized people to break into her county’s election system in search of evidence for the conspiracy theories floated by former President Donald Trump after his 2020 election loss.

She has denied doing anything illegal and claims the charges are politically motivated. It has issued reports purporting to show suspicious activity in the election systems, but these have been debunked by various officials and experts.

A judge barred Peters from overseeing last year’s and this year’s local elections in Mesa County, a western region of the state that is largely rural and heavily Republican. Trump lost Colorado in 2020, but won a majority of the vote in that county.

Peters’ margin of loss in the GOP primary for secretary of state did not require an automatic recount, but she raised more than the $256,000 needed to pay for one, reportedly mostly from out-of-state supporters after a plea for help on Steve’s podcast Bannon.

During the recount, 37 ballots that had been completed and returned by voters were discovered in a bin of undeliverable ballots being prepared for storage in Elbert County, which is near Denver.

Those ballots were opened and counted for the first time in the recount, but did not change the results of any races, the secretary of state’s office said.

An analysis of the county recount results provided by Griswold’s office showed there were also some minor changes in ballot counts in other counties that changed the vote results.

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