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Two GOP primary losers in Colorado fail to pay for recounts

Tina Peters speaks to supporters at her election watch party in Sedalia, Colo., on June 28, 2022. A third person has been arrested in connection to the case of a Colorado conspiracy-theorist county elections clerk was indicted on allegations she tampered with voting equipment and posting data online during and after the 2020 election. The latest arrest in the saga of Tina Peters, who lost in last months' primary in her bid to become Colorado's top election chief as secretary of state, is her former elections manager who was arrested on felony charges of conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation and attempting to influence a public servant.
Thomas Peipert
Associated Press
Tina Peters speaks to supporters at her election watch party in Sedalia, Colo., on June 28, 2022.

Colorado's secretary of state's office on Wednesday said it has told two candidates who lost their Republican primary races last month that it will not conduct a recount of those races because they failed to pay the required amount by the deadline.

The office informed Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who lost her race for the GOP nomination for secretary of state, and state Rep. Ron Hanks, who fell short in his bid for the party's U.S. Senate nomination, that it was moving forward finalizing the results of the primary. Neither candidate paid the $236,000 that was due by July 15 for the recount.

Both Peters and Hanks have promoted the false claim that President Joe Biden did not actually win his election against former President Donald Trump in 2020, and they also claimed widespread fraud led to their losses in the GOP primary. They are part of a growing number of deniers of the outcome of the 2020 election also questioning their own primary losses.

In letters sent Tuesday to the secretary of state, the two candidates said they would not pay for the recount because it would not be done by hand.

The secretary of state's letters said a hand recount is not allowed under the office's regulations and dismissed the candidates' concerns about possible fraud. It said they have one last window to pay for a recount — until July 26.

Wednesday is the deadline for counties across the state to certify their election results.

“The Secretary of State’s Office followed all statutes and rules regarding requests for recounts, and Mr. Hanks and Ms. Peters chose to not provide the certified funds as required under law,” spokeswoman Annie Orloff said. "Coloradans made their voices heard and candidates should accept the results of a secure and fair election – not spread disinformation.”

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved.