Tina Peters pays $250,000 bill for recount of GOP primary for secretary of state

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters at the 2022 Colorado Republican State Assembly on April 9, 2022 at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. She won a spot on the GOP primary ballot for Secretary of State there despite being under grand jury indictment felony indictment for alleged election security breaches, in a case overseen by a Republican prosecutor.

Colorado is moving forward with a recount for the GOP primary race for secretary of state after Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters made the request and provided the money to pay for it.

Peters lost last month's Republican primary for Secretary of State by 88,000 votes. State rules say Peters is required to pay for the recount due to the size of the loss.

Peters submitted the required $256,000, and the Colorado Secretary of State said the recount would be complete Aug. 4.

"The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office received and accepted the required funds for a discretionary statewide recount,” said a statement from the office Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold. 

Pam Anderson, the former clerk and recorder in Jefferson County, won the three way race. Political newcomer Mike O’Donnell narrowly got third.

Colorado’s audit of the paper ballots to confirm that the tallies matched the machine tabulations confirmed the accuracy of the results in the GOP primary on June 28.

However, Anderson noted that a recount is a legally available process. 

“I have confidence in the work the local election officials and the bi-partisan election judges do,” she said in a text message. “The safeguards and processes in place will further confirm the results.  I look forward to a second victory party.”

In her request for a recount Peters said she believes the state’s voting machines are flawed. She asked for a hand recount, which the state is not doing. Election rules require Colorado to use scanning machines to tabulate the ballots.

Colorado is also moving ahead with a recount in Senate District 9 at the request of Lynda Zamora Wilson.

Three other candidates, including U.S. Senate candidate Ron Hanks requested discretionary recounts but didn’t submit the necessary funds. 

Peters has made unsubstantiated claims over fraud in the 2020 presidential election the center of her campaign for office. She’s been indicted on ten counts for allegedly tampering with Mesa county’s election equipment, and for misconduct in her effort to uncover fraud last year. 

Her arraignment in that case is scheduled for Aug. 5. Peters has defended her actions and said she did nothing illegal, and was trying to increase public trust in elections.