Updated Mar 11, 2022 - News

This Republican candidate says elections are secure

Pam Anderson, Republican candidate for secretary of state. Photo courtesy of Pam Anderson
Pam Anderson, Republican candidate for secretary of state. Photo courtesy of Pam Anderson

The loudest Republican candidate for secretary of state is trumpeting bogus evidence about fraud in the 2020 election.

  • Her primary rival, Pam Anderson, says not to listen.

The intrigue: The former Jefferson County clerk and past director of the county clerks association, is not shy about saying there's no evidence to show that fraud impacted the outcome of the 2020 election.

  • Moreover, Anderson says Colorado's elections are fair and secure, and blames her now-indicted rival Tina Peters for raising unfounded doubts about the results.
  • She said Wednesday's indictment of her opponent "further erodes voter confidence."

Why it matters: Anderson's stance is notable given that many members of her party — particularly diehard supporters of former President Trump — disagree.

  • Anderson's candidacy will test whether a conservative without the firebrand Trumpian approach can motivate enough Republicans to vote and take back a key office the party held before the 2018 election.

Zoom in: In an interview, Anderson said she is focused on restoring access to voting and integrity to the office, and she touts her work in politically diverse Jefferson County.

  • She said "people of good conscience" have questions about elections, but the skepticism crosses the line when declarative statements are made without evidence.
  • Anderson adds that Peters is doing this with her "continuing onslaught of mis- and dis-information about the election."

Of note: Anderson said voter fraud exists, but it's "numerically rare" and hasn't affected the outcome of elections.

  • As clerk, she once referred a voter to prosecutors for attempting to vote twice. The second ballot was provisional and not counted after her office checked the records.
  • To make elections more secure, she wants audits of the signature verification process in each county, like what is done in Jefferson County.
  • And she is proposing that political operatives who collect and deliver voter ballots to drop boxes should be regulated and trained.

The other side: In a statement downplaying the indictment, Peters' campaign took direct aim at Anderson for being a "moderate" who has "repeatedly mimicked Dominion Voting Services in stating that she believes that Colorado elections are secure.

  • Peters, without evidence and contrary to experts in her own party, blames Dominion's voting machines for "a substantial increase in Democrats being elected to office in Colorado."
  • If elected, she says she will restore public trust to the office.

The bottom line: The GOP contest for secretary of state — which oversees elections — is one of the most watched on the ballot, and even more now with the indictment of Peters as part of an investigation into election tampering.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard. Subscribe here.

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