SANTA FE, NM (Associated Press) – The New Mexico state secretary of state on Tuesday asked the state Supreme Court to order the Republican-led committee in rural Otero County to certify primary election results after it refused to do so due to a lack of confidence in the state’s vote-counting machines. Dominion. .
Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse-Olive’s request came a day after the three-member Otero County Committee, in its role as the county electoral board, voted unanimously against certifying the June 7 primary results without raising specific concerns about inconsistencies.
Among the committee’s cowboy members is Trump’s co-founder, Coy Griffin, who is credited with unsubstantiated allegations that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Griffin was convicted of illegally entering the banned US Capitol grounds – but not the building – amid riots on 3 January. 6, 2021, and it’s due out later this month. He acknowledged that disagreement over these primaries may delay the outcome of local races.
“I have major concerns about these voting machines,” Otero County Commissioner Vicki Marquardt said Monday. “When I testify that things I don’t know are true, I feel dishonest because in my heart I don’t know if they are true.”
The commission’s vote is the latest example of how conspiracy theories and misinformation are affecting the integrity of local elections across the United States. Trump has continued to describe the 2020 election as “rigged” or “stolen,” despite a coalition of top government and industry officials claiming it is “the safest in American History”.
Dominion’s systems have also come under unprovoked attack since the 2020 election by people who have espoused the misconception that the election was stolen from Trump. The company has filed defamation suits in response to incorrect and outrageous allegations made by prominent Trump allies.
New Mexico’s Dominion machines have been repeatedly underestimated by David and Erin Clements of Las Cruces in their review of the 2020 Otero County elections and voter registration rolls at the commission’s request. The Clements family are a frequent advocate for “criminal” reviews of the 2020 elections and serve as election experts and auditors for local government. Election officials, including county clerk Robin Holmes, say Clements are neither certified auditors nor experts in election protocols.
The couple highlighted the problems during separate hours-long performances before the committee this year. Local election officials dispute many of the results as false or unfounded.
The county voting boards have until June 17 to certify the election results, before the state is approved and public ballots are prepared.
Under state law, county examination boards can invite a voting district council to address specific discrepancies, but no discrepancies were identified Monday by the Otero commission.
“Post-election voter polling is a key component of how we maintain our high levels of election integrity in New Mexico, and the Otero County Commission takes pride in this process by appeasing unfounded conspiracy theories and potentially invalidating the votes of every Otero County voter who participated in the election,” Toulouse said. In a statement, Oliver was accused of willful violations of state election law.
New Mexico uses paper ballots that can be reviewed again later in all elections, and also includes tabulation machines to quickly sort votes while minimizing human error. Election results are also cross-checked by random sampling to verify levels of accuracy in vote counting.
The Otero County Commission voted last week to manually recount votes from statewide primary elections, remove state-mandated ballot boxes that facilitate absentee voting and stop the use of Dominion vote-counting machines in the general election.
Holmes said Monday that these instructions from the district committees are inconsistent with federal and state election law, and that they will only manually recount the elections with a court order.
The electoral law does not allow me to count these votes or even form a council to do so. Holmes, a Republican, said. “I will follow the law.”
Holmes noted that Dominion’s state-owned vote tabulating machines are being tested by Otero County officials on public display and that the machines are also independently certified beforehand. Griffin said he and his fellow commissioners do not see the process as trustworthy.
“This is a source over which we have no control or influence,” he said.
Mario Jimenez of the progressive monitoring group Common Cause New Mexico said the public can watch the pre-election vote-counting machines test in each county, and certification notices are posted on each machine where voters can see them.
“They have no basis – other than ‘we don’t trust the machine’ – for not certifying the election,” Jiménez said of the Otero County commissioners.
Although Trump won nearly 62% of the vote in Otero County in 2020, county commissioners said they were not satisfied with the results of the state’s audit of vote counts nor the Republican county clerk’s assurances that elections this year would be accurate.
County commissioners could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Commissioner Marquardt on Monday laughed at the suggestion that the court might interfere in the electoral dispute.
“And then what? They will send us to the Buckeyes?” she said.