Eagle County Treasurer Teak Simonton has approved the wording of the petition submitted by the RecallClerkTina campaign to recall Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R), allowing the recall effort to move to the signature-gathering phase.
The Mesa County Commissioners approved Simonton to serve as the designated election official to oversee the recall effort, since by law Peters can’t oversee her own recall effort.
The petition wording reads:
Tina Peters has repeatedly failed in her duties as Clerk & Recorder. Under her leadership, the clerk’s office has experienced the following deficiencies:
-The Election’s Division failed to count over 500 ballots from the 2019 Coordinated Election. They were left in a ballot box steps outside of her offices for months. Additionally, one ballot style had 150% turnout;
– The 2020 Presidential Primary resulted in several voters voting twice and other counting errors;
- A candidate petition resulted in numerous administrative errors;
- Historical relationships with local municipalities to operate their elections were discontinued. This has resulted in increased costs for the taxpayers of those municipalities;
- She has not maintained a trained, full staff in her term thus far. Poor management and substantial turnover in specialized jobs has made it unlikely she will be able to fully staff the office;
- The Recording Division has missed statutory deadlines because of poor training and staff turnover. This could result in lawsuits for the county;
- The budget has been mismanaged and spent on frivolous items like a personal parking space and expensive office remodel;
- Despite these issues, Tina refuses to take responsibility by blaming staff and volunteers for any issues.
Volunteers are lined up to circulate the RecallClerkTina effort, but the campaign can always use more help if you want to circulate one. If you are a registered voter and want to sign but aren’t comfortable going out amid the Corona virus pandemic, you can contact the campaign and ask that a volunteer bring a petition to you to sign. Volunteers with the recall effort have until August 3 to collect 12,192 valid signatures from registered voters in Mesa County. They are aiming to collect over 18,000 signatures overall to assure they meet the required number.
If Peters resigns between now and the November election, the Board of Mesa County Commissioners will name her replacement. If Peters does not step down voluntarily and the the recall effort succeeds in gathering the required number of signatures, the recall question will be on the November ballot along with a question asking voters to choose Peters’ replacement. According to the recall website, “Anyone who submits a candidate petition or write-in affidavit will be eligible to run.”
If you want to sign or circulate a petition, or have someone bring you a petition to sign visit RecallClerkTina.com for information.
NOTE: This is not the first time Mesa County elected officials have been charged with long-standing institutional incompetence. In February, 2020, the Daily Sentinel published an editorial titled “Institutional Incompetence,” commenting on the persistent incompetence within Mesa County’s elected leadership, which, by the way, has long been entirely Republican.