DENVER — About 200 people gathered outside the Colorado Capitol for an ‘Election Truth Rally" Tuesday.
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell headlined the rally, repeating claims of election fraud — which have been debunked by election officials and audits from across the country.
“I'm here because your machines, your elections were corrupt,” Lindell told reporters.
Before Peters or Lindell spoke, several Republican state lawmakers address the crowd, criticizing the very system that got them elected.
Rep. Dave Williams (R-El Paso), Rep. Richard Holtorf (R-Akron), Rep. Mark Baisley (R-Roxborough Park) and Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Penrose) all spoke to the crowd. A couple of them highlighted their election reform bills that were killed in legislative committees earlier in the session.
Rep. Dan Woog (R-Erie) stood in the crowd for some of the speeches but did not take to the podium.
On the Capitol balcony above the crowd, several Democratic state lawmakers watched the rally briefly before returning to their work inside. Senate President Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) briefly stopped by the event to see who was speaking.
Fenberg is the prime sponsor of an election security bill intended to prevent insider election threats in the wake of the actions of Peters. Peters is facing 13 counts, including multiple felonies, in relation to alleged tampering with election equipment last year.
The Colorado GOP has publicly called for Peters to suspend her campaign for Colorado's Secretary of State seat as a result of the indictment, but Peters has refused.
Denver7 reached out to the Colorado GOP for an interview or statement about the rally but did not receive a response. House Republicans also declined Denver7’s requests for an interview despite several members from their caucus being in attendance at the rally.
Before taking to the podium, Lindell spoke at length to reporters, where he called for Dominion voting machines to be removed from the election process.
Lindell had strong words for reporters over some of questions, calling them rotten and stupid and asking one reporter if she was the daughter of Jena Griswold. He also told reporters that he did not personally know Peters very well but later said he had donated up to $800,000 to her legal defense fund. That legal defense fund is being investigated by the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission. Colorado law states that elected officials cannot accept financial gifts greater than $65.
While he was speaking, a man handed him a manilla envelope full of documents. At first, Lindell refused to take the documents, but later accepted them after being told they were legal documents. Lindell went on to tell the crowd that he was just served with a lawsuit.
Down the hill from the rally, a handful of counter protesters chanted and held signs up for passing cars, refuting the claims of the rally speakers.
“I think we've heard this all before and all of it's been debunked and disproven," said Nico Delgado, a communications advisor for the Colorado Democratic Party who helped organize the counter protest. "I think it's silly to keep going back over and over again to try and prove that the election was legitimate."
Despite the claims of election fraud, several speakers at Tuesday’s rally highlighted the importance of the midterm elections and getting the candidates they support elected. It will, however, require relying on some of the same voting systems they are criticizing.
Both rally-goers and counter-protesters say they are already eyeing the midterms because both sides believe democracy is at stake.