Surprise! Indicted MAGA Clerk’s $255k Primary Recount Goes Nowhere

Mesa County Clerk and Colorado Republican candidate for secretary of state Tina Peters reacts to early election returns during a primary night watch party at the Wide Open Saloon on June 28, 2022 in Sedalia, Colorado... Mesa County Clerk and Colorado Republican candidate for secretary of state Tina Peters reacts to early election returns during a primary night watch party at the Wide Open Saloon on June 28, 2022 in Sedalia, Colorado. (Marc Piscotty/Getty Images) MORE LESS

It’s confirmed: Hardline election denier Tina Peters, the indicted Mesa County clerk in Colorado, lost the GOP primary for secretary of state — and lost by a whole lot.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) announced on Thursday that the recount Peters had requested after making unfounded claims of voter fraud only confirmed the results of the election, where the winner, Pam Anderson, had steamrolled Peters by a 14-point margin.

The vote tallies included in Griswold’s announcement show that Peters gained 13 votes — but so did Anderson. A third candidate, Mike O’Donnell, gained 11 votes.

“The recounts are complete and confirm once again that Colorado elections are safe and secure,” Griswold said. “Accepting the outcome of free and fair elections is a cornerstone of American democracy. Disinformation and frivolous lawsuits do not change the fact that there are winners and losers in an election.”

The secretary of state also applauded the election workers who administered the recount.

“In the face of unparalleled pressure and scrutiny, they have stayed focused on our ultimate goal: ensuring that every eligible Republican, Democrat, and Unaffiliated voter has their voice heard,” she said. “Repeating a lie over and over does not make it true. Colorado’s elections are secure, and voters’ [sic] can be confident in them.”

Peters’ campaign did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.

However, a lawsuit Peters had filed against Griswold on Wednesday suggests that the clerk is unlikely to accept the recount results: In it, Peters complained about Dominion Voting Systems’ equipment (the central villain in MAGAland’s 2020 election conspiracy theories) being used to tally the votes, and demanded another recount.

Peters was required to cough up $255,912.33 to pay for the recount bid.

Per Griswold’s announcement, the money will be used to cover the cost of the recount, and Peters will get back whatever amount of cash is left over afterward.

With her secretary of state bid confirmed dead, Peters is now forced to focus on her criminal case: a Colorado grand jury indicted Peters for 10 felony and misdemeanor charges after she allegedly gave an unauthorized person access to her office’s voting machine data, which was eventually leaked online.

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