CO Election Clerk Tina Peters Knows Election Was Stolen, She Don't Need No Stinkin' Evidence

Elections
CO Election Clerk Tina Peters Knows Election Was Stolen, She Don't Need No Stinkin' Evidence

There's no better avatar for the way Donald Trump's Big Lie has screwed our (already screwed up) electoral system than Tina Peters, the former Mesa County, Colorado, elections clerk.

“The Russians can’t hack into and start casting votes for someone,” she bragged in October of 2020, showing off her county's voting machines to a visiting film crew. Eight months later, she'd become a darling of Mike Lindell and his pillow-puffing dead enders, had been removed from her position, and was facing a seven-count felony indictment for charges that included identity theft.

Your Wonkette has been following this loon since she showed up at Lindell's cyber fraud hootenanny hoedown in August claiming to have evidence of vote rigging, and the story keeps getting weirder.

According to charging documents, Peters and her associate Belinda Knisley contacted a guy named Gerry Wood about doing some computer work for the county. They did a complete background check and issued him a badge, but then they took it back and didn't employ him after all. Instead, they deactivated security cameras, gave Wood's badge to someone else, passed the imposter off as a new employee recently transferred from the DMV, and allowed him to both copy data from the voting machines and attend a "trusted build" where Dominion Voting Systems updated the equipment.


The New York Times ran a piece on Peters this weekend, revealing that the imposter was a former surfer being paid by Patrick Byrne, the Overstock Dot Com weirdo who used to bump bits with Russian agent Maria Butina, and spent the past two years flogging lies about rigged elections and trying to get Trump to declare martial law.

Conan Hayes was a former pro surfer who had worked with Mr. Trump’s legal team as it challenged the 2020 results. In 2021, Mr. Byrne paid him around $200,000 to continue his work for a year, according to Mr. Byrne.

According to an account from Mr. Byrne, and confirmed by Mr. Hayes, he attended the trusted build on May 25, 2021. Mr. Hayes called Mr. Byrne from inside the Mesa County election offices, speaking in a hushed voice and explaining that he’d been invited to make backup copies of machines by a government official who thought that a cover-up was underway, Mr. Byrne said. When the two spoke over FaceTime, Mr. Byrne saw Mr. Hayes was dressed like a computer “nerd” and wearing someone else’s identification tag, Mr. Byrne said.

Hayes was also involved in the effort to prove Michigan's election was stolen, by spinning a clerical error in Antrim County into a grand plot to steal the state for Joe Biden. The data Hayes allegedly stole in Colorado proves nothing, but that hasn't stopped Lindell's crew from citing it as proof of shit they already believe for no other reason than that they really, really want it to be true.

Peters, who is now running to be Colorado's secretary of state, claims she's a victim of political persecution for exposing this conspiracy. The Times reports that her legal fees appear to be subsidized by Lindell, Mike Flynn, and other members of Team Big Lie, which is a lucky thing, since those bills are likely to be significant!

Here's our girl Tina kicking a cop in a bagel shop when he tried to seize the iPad she's alleged to have used to illegally film a court hearing.

Gerry Wood -- the guy the badge was supposed to be for -- and Peters both gave interviews to conservative radio host Jimmy Sengenberger, in which they accused each other of lying about the events in question. After Wood testified that he'd been at his kids' graduation party during the "trusted build" with Dominion, Peters said he'd "perjured himself on the stand."

"We know that. And he’s going to have to deal with that,” she added, prompting Wood, who'd originally supported claims that the election was stolen, to accuse her of trying to turn him into a scapegoat.

“My guess is that she believes if she can discredit me, she can be absolved. The truth is that her charges go well beyond identity theft in issues having nothing to do with me,” Wood told Sengenberger.

The whole thing is hilariously batshit, except for the fact that these people are not going away. We're locked into the country with these lunatics as we head into the midterms, and that's not funny at all.

[NYT / Denver Gazette]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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