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Colorado Republican primary losers file last-minute recount requests

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Colorado Republican primary losers file last-minute recount requests

Jul 26, 2022 | 8:08 pm ET
By Zoe Schacht
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Colorado Republican primary losers file last-minute recount requests
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Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters at her primary election watch party at the Wide Open Saloon in Sedalia on June 28, 2022. (Carl Payne for Colorado Newsline)

After hosting fundraisers and asking for donations to fund a recount of the Colorado primary election, five Republican candidates who lost their races, including Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and state Rep. Ron Hanks, filed recount requests with the secretary of state’s office Tuesday, the last day they could.

Four of the candidates are part of the Colorado Recount Coalition, a group that says it’s “demanding” a hand recount of the June 28 primary. 

The secretary of state’s office is due to tell candidates how much a recount will cost them. 

The Republican candidates and Colorado Recount Coalition members who filed requests and the offices they sought are Peters, secretary of state; Hanks, U.S. Senate; Summer Groubert, state House District 18; and Lynda Zamora, Colorado Senate District 19. Also filing for a recount was Karl Dent, who lost his race for state House District 21 but is not listed as part of Colorado Recount Coalition. 

Peters, an election conspiracy theorist who denies the result of the 2020 presidential election, appeared on Steve Bannon’s podcast “War Room” Tuesday morning. She said she had raised $190,000 from individual donors in time to request a recount. 

Peters says the primary election was fraudulent because the machines used were not “certified,” and she cited a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory. A CISA advisory released in June concerned software vulnerabilities in Dominion Voting Systems electronic voting machines.

In her request, Peters said software evaluated is used in Colorado. There is no evidence that any potential risks identified in the advisory have been exploited in a Colorado election or elsewhere, according to the secretary of state’s office, and Colorado does not use the software that CISA researchers evaluated. Voting systems used in Colorado have been certified and remain certified, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Hanks also cited the CISA advisory and said in his request that the primary race “shows an unnatural pattern of vote processing.” 

On Monday, Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced the certification of Colorado’s primary election, but candidates could still request a recount through Tuesday. 

“Once again, Colorado has shown that our state’s elections are safe and secure. From the bipartisan Risk Limiting Audit to bipartisan Canvas Boards, the 2022 Primary Election met and exceeded our high standards of security,” Griswold said in a statement. 

Recounts must be conducted in the same manner as the original election, which was tallied through tabulation machines, not by hand, said Annie Orloff, spokesperson for Griswold.

Peters, Hanks, Groubert, Zamora and Dent all requested election records in addition to hand recounts. The records include cast vote records, ballot drop box records, video surveillance, signature verification records, voter registration, voter history and electronic voting system logs concerning their races. 

The cost for the recount requests has not yet been determined yet.