Indicted Conspiracy Theorist Tina Peters Loses GOP Primary to Run Colorado’s Elections

David Zalubowski, File/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.In a win for democracy, Tina Peters—a county clerk who was indicted this year on numerous charges related to her pursuit of election conspiracy theories—has lost the Colorado Republican nomination for secretary of state.
In other words, the state’s Republican voters have decided that a woman who has falsely stoked fears of voter fraud while allegedly working to undermine election integrity should not be the state’s top election official. Peters was one of a number of election deniers across the country running for positions that would allow them to oversee—and potentially tamper with—future elections.
In the past, Peters has not been very good at her job. In 2018, Peters—a former flight attendant who campaigned on reopening DMV offices—was elected clerk and recorder of Mesa County, a reliably Republican swath of land in the western part of the state. During the 2019 election, Peters’ team failed to collect 574 ballots from a drop box outside the election office. Election workers discovered the ballots months later, when they were collecting the first round of votes for the state’s 2020 presidential primary. In that election, completed ballots that people had tried depositing in a drop box were reportedly found literally blowing in the wind.
By late 2020, Peters’ incompetence, combined with a set of conspiratorial beliefs, allegedly led her down a criminal path.
In an effort to prove that the election had been rigged against Donald Trump, Peters attended an election equipment software update and obtained copies of election information, which later wound up online, according to an indictment. (Last week, Peters told the New York Times that Rep. Lauren Boebert, who represents Peters’ county in Congress, “encouraged me to go forward with the imaging.” Boebert’s office denies this.) To perpetrate the scheme, Peters allegedly used a local IT consultant’s ID card without his knowledge. Peters has been charged with three misdemeanors and seven felonies, including conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation and identity theft.

Peters’ loss to Pam Anderson Tuesday suggests that some Colorado Republicans reject the lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, providing a glimmer of hope about the security of our democratic institutions. Anderson will face off against incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold in the general election.