Seated onstage at the most-hyped election conspiracy event of the year, the clerk of Mesa County, Colorado, Tina Peters, described herself as a crusader for election security.
“I’ve looked at it objectively,” Peters said of supposed issues in election data during her speech at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium” this month. “There’s some discrepancies there that I cannot deny, and I tell people, ‘I cannot unsee some of these things.’ If I’m going to be honest with the people of Mesa County and Colorado and all of you, I cannot unsee some of these things.”
But at home in Mesa County, some current and former officials have a different recollection of Peters’ tenure overseeing elections.
During Peters’ first year as clerk, in 2019, her office was blamed for leaving more than 570 uncounted ballots in a box, long past an election. Less than a year later, one of her office’s drop boxes leaked ballots, sending some floating in the summer breeze. Now Peters has gone underground, reportedly hiding in a safe house provided by Lindell, after she allegedly participated in a breach of Mesa County voting machine data this year. That data soon wound up on conspiracy websites, making Peters a folk hero among the MAGA set and the subject of an FBI investigation.
Peters (who did not return requests for comment) took office in 2019, after her predecessor, Sheila Reiner, reached her term limit. What followed was an unusually bombastic tenure in a typically low-drama role.
While overseeing the November 2019 general election, Peters’ office forgot to count 574 ballots, instead leaving them unattended in a drop box outside her office for months. That slip-up coincided with a rush of departures from Peters’ office. In December 2019, nearly 20 of Peters’ 32-person staff had departed, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported at the time. More staff quit days after the missing ballots were discovered, in late February 2020, bringing the departure count over two dozen….