Jun 22, 2022 - News

1-minute voter guide: GOP secretary of state race hinges on 2020 election security

Mesa County clerk Tina Peters spoke at an April election denier rally at the State Capitol. Photo: Hyoung Chang/Denver Post via Getty Images
Mesa County clerk Tina Peters spoke at an April election denier rally at the State Capitol. Photo: Hyoung Chang/Denver Post via Getty Images

The Republican contest for Colorado's secretary of state is drawing national attention.

What's happening: The most prominent candidate, Mesa County clerk Tina Peters, is seeking the party's nomination despite being indicted earlier this year for election tampering and stripped of her duties.

Why it matters: The pivot point in the race is election security, and Peters' role as one of the state's chief 2020 election deniers is raising the stakes.

Meet the candidates: The other top contender is Pam Anderson, the former Jefferson County clerk and past director of the county clerks association.

  • Anderson says Colorado's election system is fair and secure, and accuses Peters of spreading disinformation.
  • In her campaign, she's focused on improving the signature verification process for ballots.

A third candidate is Mike O'Donnell, an economist who works with nonprofits but doesn't have election administrative experience.

  • His campaign is low-profile, but he also is expressing skepticism about the validity of the 2020 election.

The intrigue: One issue dividing the candidates is mail ballots, the Colorado Sun reports.

  • Peters wants to roll back the state's system of sending ballots to active registered voters and limit it to people who can't vote in person.
  • Anderson touts the current system, calling it a great access.
  • O'Donnell questioned why ballots are sent to residents with out-of-state addresses, and he wants to repeal automatic voter registration.

What's next: The winner of Tuesday's primary will face Democratic incumbent Jena Griswold in November.

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