Apr 4, 2022 - News

Election officials fight back as conspiracy theorists rally in Colorado

Illustration of a checkmark over a square changing into a question mark.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

One of the nation's most prominent election deniers and his Colorado disciples will take their conspiracy-laden case to the state Capitol this week.

Threat level: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is headlining an "Election Truth Rally" on Tuesday that features Tina Peters, the indicted Mesa County clerk, and state Rep. Ron Hanks, a U.S. Senate candidate who attended the deadly Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C.

  • Lindell is the subject of a $1.5 billion defamation lawsuit by Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, which makes voting machines for Colorado and other states.
  • The event is being promoted by FEC United, a right-wing conspiracy group affiliated with a local militia. It is expected to draw dozens of former President Trump's supporters to the Capitol steps.

Between the lines: Six years ago, nearly to the day, then-candidate Trump planted the seed of election fraud — a conceit that would later spur an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol — here in Colorado after he lost the state's presidential convention delegates.

  • His supporters chanted "stop the steal" on the state Capitol steps and raised doubts about Colorado's caucus system.

What's new: To preempt more empty claims, Colorado county clerks gathered Sunday and demanded the organizers behind this week's rally show "clear and compelling evidence" of election fraud.

  • The clerks — who run elections in Colorado's decentralized system — have received threats and bogus attacks from those who believe Trump won the 2020 election.
  • Peters, a secretary of state candidate, produced reports she says show improprieties, but even her own election staff has refuted these claims with evidence.

Of note: Two clerks from prominent GOP strongholds — El Paso and Weld counties — joined with Denver's Paul Lopez and others to denounce the unprecedented attack on elections.

  • Carly Koppes, the Weld clerk and president of the state clerks association, said election deniers should turn over evidence of fraud to law enforcement "so that investigations can be made that would either substantiate or refute your claims."

What they're saying: "If citizens don't have trust in the process, they are unlikely to take the time to participate," added Boulder clerk Molly Fitzpatrick. "We have safe and secure elections in Colorado and will continue to demonstrate to the public this is true."


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