Tina Peters, a county clerk charged with seven felonies in connection with a plan to covertly copy sensitive voting data, lost her bid on Tuesday for the Republican nomination for Colorado’s secretary of state, according to The Associated Press.
She was defeated by Pam Anderson, a longtime local election official who served as a clerk and recorder for Jefferson County and as president of the statewide county clerks’ association. At the end of Tuesday, Ms. Peters also followed up with Mike O’Donnell, a former nonprofit executive who has promoted numerous falsehoods about the 2020 presidential contest.
Ms. Peters is part of a movement of Trump-inspired Republicans denying the legitimacy of the 2020 election and running to become the top election official in their states, including Jim Marchant in Nevada, Audrey Trujillo in New Mexico, and Kristina Karamo in Michigan.
At the end of Tuesday, Ms. Peters refused to budge, arguing without evidence that the outcome of her race had been manipulated, The Associated Press reported.
Ms. Anderson, on the other hand, has vocally opposed misinformation about the 2020 election and has devoted a page on her campaign website to debunking conspiracy theories about voting machines and the role of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in financing elections.
However, she has pushed for an expansion of the audit processes conducted by local election officials in Colorado.
In Colorado, a former swing state that has tended to Democrat in recent years, Ms. Anderson faces what will likely be an uphill battle against Jena Griswold, the current Secretary of State and a Democrat.
Ms. Peters’ indictment on 10 criminal charges, including seven felonies, is scheduled for early August. She has pleaded not guilty.
After the 2020 presidential election, Ms. Peters became suspicious of the national results and attended a local event where a presentation was given by an Ohio high school teacher known for spreading false election conspiracy theories.
According to court documents, Ms. Peters in May 2021 when orchestrating an operation to copy voting machine data before and after a software update process known as a trusted build, in an effort to prove the machines were faulty.
After her office ordered that security cameras be turned off in a secure area with voting machines, the court says, Ms. Peters helped Conan Hayes, a former professional surfer who had worked with Mr. Trump’s legal team when it contested the 2020 results, in to sneak into the familiar building process under a false identity.
In early August, passwords for Mesa County’s election equipment appeared on a QAnon figure’s Telegram channel and then on a right-wing website, sparking an investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State that quickly drew national attention.
Ms. Peters’s newfound celebrity on the right quickly sparked appearances across the conservative media ecosystem, including on former Trump aide Stephen K. Bannon’s podcast.
In February, Ms Peters announced her bid for Secretary of State.
In March, she was charged on 10 criminal counts in connection with the attempt to copy voting equipment software, including attempt to influence a government official, criminal impersonation, conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, identity theft and first-degree official misconduct.