Tina Peters, a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist who has been charged with breaching voting machines, lost her bid to become the secretary of state of Colorado. She’s not so sure, though. Despite finishing third in the race for the Republican nomination to take control of the state’s election systems, Peters refused to concede on Tuesday night, accusing election officials of “cheating” and saying the race is “not over,” according to the Associated Press.
Peters finished nearly 15 points behind local election official Pam Anderson. She also finished behind fellow 2020 election denier Mike O’Donnell.
Peters, the Mesa County, Colorado, clerk, announced her campaign on Steve Bannon’s podcast in February, railing about how the “heavy hand of progressive activists” have “irrefutably damaged the people’s trust that we are truly free and self-governing.” Days earlier, Peters tried to kick a cop as she was being arrested for resisting police while they attempted to serve a warrant to seize her iPad. She had allegedly used the iPad to improperly record a court hearing for one of her deputies who had been charged in the same alleged election breach scheme as Peters.
What was the scheme, exactly? According to the indictment, Peters plotted to copy information from Mesa County’s voting machines in an effort to prove the 2020 election was rigged against Donald Trump. In March, Peters was slapped with 10 criminal charges, including seven felonies, in connection with the alleged breach. She has pleaded not guilty, claiming that all she did was make a backup of the voting system to preserve records, but she and others have been accused of copying hard drives and election-management software.
Peters may have lost on Tuesday, but other election-denying Trump loyalists — known collectively as the “America First” slate of conspiracy theorizing candidates — have had more success in their bids to take control of state voting systems. Jim Marchant, who was a member of Nevada’s alternate and illegal slate of electors aimed at switching the state’s 2020 winner from Biden to Trump, earlier this month won that state’s GOP primary to become secretary of state.