JUNE 26, 2018
Tina Peters defeats Bobbie Gross in the Republican primary for the Mesa County Clerk position. Gross was a 10-year veteran of the clerk’s office prior to running, while Peters had the endorsements of Commissioner Scott McInnis and then-Commissioner Rose Pugliese.
The Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office announces that 574 uncounted ballots, left over from a 2019 election, were found in a drop box outside the Clerk’s Office during the presidential primaries. Peters declined to petition a district court judge to have those ballots counted, saying they wouldn’t have altered the outcome of the 2019 fall election.
The Daily Sentinel reports that four more elections workers resigned from the Clerk’s Office, bringing the total to more than two dozen employees who had left the then 32-person office since Peters took over the job.
Peters announces new measures to ensure ballot drop boxes are emptied and that all votes will be counted.
Fruita and Palisade conduct their own elections after Peters declines to run them, reversing a decades-old arrangement with area municipalities. Fruita would spend nearly twice as much conducting its own election, and Palisade would spend nearly three times as much, compared to when the county handled it.
Peters hires a new elections manager after firing Patti Inscho. Inscho, a previous employee of the Clerk’s Office under Sheila Reiner, was hired as a temporary worker for the presidential primaries and was fired after a month on the job. Brandi Bantz replaced her as Peters’ fourth elections chief. The third was Jessica Empson, who resigned less than a month after the November 2019 election.
Organizers seeking to recall Peters announce that effort is set to begin.
Mesa County commissioners name Eagle County Treasurer Teak Simonton, a Democrat and former Eagle County clerk, to oversee the recall effort against Peters.
Several voters report ballots in the parking lot of the Mesa County Central Services Building after wind blew the envelopes out of a new drive-up drop box, the same box that the 574 ballots were found in. Peters later claimed the blowing ballots were staged to make her look bad.
Peters files a complaint against Simonton, the Eagle County Treasurer overseeing the recall effort against Peters. The complaint alleged that Simonton was aiding the recall effort by printing recall petition forms. The Colorado Secretary of State ruled the matter “curable” if the recall committee reimbursed the county for the printing costs, which it did.
Two employees of the Clerk’s Office file a criminal complaint against a previous employee who was then helping the recall effort against Peters. The complaint, which alleged fraud and burglary, was dismissed.
Effort to recall Peters fails to collect enough signatures to make the ballot.
Simonton, who also had been named a special observer by the Secretary of State’s Office during the June primaries, submits report to Colorado Secretary of State on Mesa County’s elections systems in which she praises county staff but describes Peters as “distrusting, frequently rude and antagonistic.”
Peters tweets a conspiracy theory on her private Twitter account over election system relating to 2020 election results.
Bobbie Gross announces she will again challenge Peters for the County Clerk position in 2022.
Secretary of State announces probe of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
Peters appears at a symposium hosted by My Pillow founder Mike Lindell that alleges the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
The 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office executes a search warrant of the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office looking for evidence of a possible breach of elections security.
Secretary of State Jena Griswold decertifies all of the county’s election equipment.