Election-Denying Former Colorado Official Guilty of Misdemeanor Obstruction

Tina Peters is likely going to jail—but not for election fraud.

David Zalubowski/AP

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Tina Peters, the former Colorado election official who has been charged with election fraud, could be going to jail for obstructing a government operation.

Peters made national headlines last year when she pleaded not guilty to numerous felonies related to her alleged participation in a scheme to prove that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. In her position as Mesa County clerk, Peters allegedly attempted to copy software from voting machines in a ploy that allowed sensitive voter information to wind up online.

While under indictment, she launched an unsuccessful run for Colorado Secretary of State. Peters finished third, but is hoping for better luck in her ongoing bid for chair of the state Republican Party. In the unlikely event that Peters were to win the March 11 election, she could spend a some of the two-year term behind bars.

On Friday, Peters was found guilty of obstructing government operations, a charge that stemmed from her February 2022 refusal to hand over an iPad that prosecutors say she had used to videotape a court hearing. Officers had a warrant to seize the iPad. Peters was acquitted of another charge of obstructing a peace officer. Body cam footage of Peters’ arrest at a Grand Junction, Colorado, bagel shop shows Peters repeatedly yelling, “Let go of me!” as officers attempt to handcuff her.

The misdemeanor obstruction charge carries a minimum sentence of six months in jail. Peters’ sentencing is set for April 10.

A call to Peters’ cell phone from Mother Jones went directly to voicemail, which said, “Everyone needs to be involved. Do something. Our republic is in jeopardy right now. Good Americans need to stand up and get involved. I love you, God bless you, and thank you.”

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