Tuesday, September 27, 2022

New Mexico ratifies primary election results after deadlock

SANTA FE, NM ( Associated Press) — New Mexico’s state election board on Tuesday certified the results of a primary that was nearly executed by county officials amid voter anger and distrust from baseless conspiracies about vote-counting equipment and election procedures. was derailed.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, both Democrats, voted together to support the election results as members of the State Campaigning Board, in a less attended meeting at the state capitol. A third board member, Chief Justice Shannon Bacon of the state Supreme Court, had scheduling conflicts and was participating in a withdrawal with the chief justices and court executives.

County commissioners in the politically conservative Otero County initially refused to certify local primary election results due to unspecified concerns with the Dominion voting system, which has been the target of widespread conspiracy theories since the 2020 presidential election.

Two of the three county commissioners relied on and certified the primary results under an order from the New Mexico Supreme Court and pushback from state election regulators and prosecutors.

Outbursts of angry mobs were on display in Torrance and Sandoval counties as local boards certified their local primary results. Those county commissions later approved proposals that highlighted dissatisfaction with election processes.

Toulouse Oliver said an independent auditor reviewed the preliminary results found no irregularities. Responding to anger affecting the county election certification process, Toulouse said, “We are trying to be as transparent as possible about all the different checks and balances that go into ensuring an accurate, fair election. “

He urged those who are concerned about the way elections are being conducted to learn more and volunteer to work as polling activists. She said her office is “currently working out strategies on how we can better work with and educate county commissioners.”

“If you have concerns about the integrity of the election, put your money where your mouth is and work in the election and be part of ensuring that the election is conducted legally and fairly,” she said.

At the same time, New Mexico’s top elections regulator said the primary complies with state and federal election law, and warned that refusing to certify the election by county boards would disenfranchise voters.

Democrat Toulouse Oliver, who is running for re-election in November against Republican candidate Audrey Trujillo, said, “If Otero County was not certified, they would be able to put 7,300 votes down the drain for each candidate on the ballot paper entirely within that county.” shed effectively.” ,

In the wake of the electoral impasse, Torrance County commissioners have approved a proposal that seeks to “verify and audit” the result of the primary election using a hand-matching method.

The All-Republican Commission has expressed concern that the current criteria for certifying state-owned Dominion machines may be out of date. Keeping in mind the public, the machines are also tested locally before each election to ensure that they provide accurate counts.

Toulouse Oliver assures that New Mexico is using the most current standards available in the US to certify vote-telling machines and related computer coding. He said state law allows for discretionary recalculations with specific procedures.

Election experts say counting ballots by hand is not only less accurate but extremely laborious, potentially delaying weeks if not months in larger counties. They also say that this is unnecessary because voting equipment is tested before and after elections to ensure that ballots are read and tallied correctly.

Automatic recounts have been ordered in six local election contests with narrow margins of victory for judges, county commissioners and county assessors.

Nation World News Desk
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