SANTA FE, NM ( Associated Press) — Votes in the New Mexico community are in danger of not being counted after a Republican-led commission refused to approve primary election results over mistrust of Dominion vote-telling machines.
Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver on Tuesday asked the state’s Supreme Court to order the three-member Otero County Commission to certify the June 7 primary election results to ensure voters are not disenfranchised and Political candidates have access to the general election ballot in November.
On Monday, the commission in its role as a county campaign board voted unanimously against certifying the results of the primary without expressing particular concern about discrepancies, over the objection of the county clerk.
“I am very concerned about these voting machines,” Otero County Commissioner Vicki Marquardt said on Monday. “When I testify to things I don’t know are right, I feel like I’m being dishonest because in my heart I don’t know if it’s right.”
Dominion’s system has been unjustifiably attacked since the 2020 election by those who embraced the mistaken belief that the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. The company has filed defamation lawsuits in response to false and outrageous claims made by high-profile Trump aides.
Read more: 2022 New Mexico primary election results
New Mexico’s Dominion Machines has been repeatedly humiliated by David and Las Cruces’ Erin Clements in the 2020 election in Otero County and a review of voter registration rolls at the commission’s request. Clements is traveling advocate for “forensic” reviews of the 2020 election and offers his services to local governments as election experts and auditors. Election officials, including County Clerk Robin Holmes, say Clements is not a certified auditor nor an expert in election protocol.
The couple has highlighted problems during sporadic, after-hours presentations to the commission this year. Local election officials have dismissed many of the findings as false or unfounded.
Members of the Otero County Commission include Cowboys for Trump co-founder Kauy Griffin, who is responsible for baseless claims that Trump won the 2020 election. Griffin was convicted of illegally entering the restricted US Capitol grounds – though not the building – and is set for sentencing later this month amid the riots that took place on January 6, 2021. He acknowledged that the impasse on this primary could delay the result of a local election race.
County campaign boards have until June 17 to certify election results, before state certification and the preparation of general election ballots.
Under state law, county canvas boards can convene a voting boundary board to correct specific discrepancies, but no discrepancies were identified Monday by the Otero Commission.
“The post-election campaigning process is a key component of how we maintain our high level of electoral integrity in New Mexico and the Otero County Commission by appeasing unfounded conspiracy theories and potentially in every Otero County participating. Showing that process by canceling the voter’s votes. In the primary,” Toulouse Oliver said in a statement. He accused the commission of deliberate violation of the state election code of conduct.
New Mexico uses paper ballots that can be rechecked later in all elections, and also relies on tabulation machines to rapidly tally votes while reducing human error. The election results are also audited by random sampling to verify the level of accuracy in counting of votes.
The Otero County Commission voted last week to recount ballots from the statewide primary election by hand, remove state-mandated ballot drop boxes that facilitate absentee voting and discontinue the use of Dominion Vote Tabulation Machines in the general election. Let’s do
On Monday, Holmes said those directives to county commissions conflict with state and federal election law, and she would only reschedule the election by hand under a court order.
Read more: Democracy experts worried about GOP takeover of election machinery
“Election law doesn’t even allow me to collate these ballots or create a board to do it. I just can’t,” said Holmes, a Republican. “And I’m going to obey the law.”
Holmes notes that state-owned vote tabulation machines from Dominion are publicly tested by Otero County officials and that the machines are also independently certified in advance. Griffin said he and fellow commissioners do not consider the process credible.
“This is a source over which we have no control or influence,” he said.
Mario Jiménez of the progressive watchdog group Common Cause New Mexico said the public can watch vote-telling machines being tested before elections in every county, and that certification notices are posted on every machine where voters can see them.
“They have no basis – other than ‘we just don’t trust the machine’ – for not substantiated the election,” Jimenez said of the Otero County commissioners.
Although Trump won about 62% of the vote in Otero County in 2020, county commissioners have said they are not satisfied with the results of the state’s audit of the vote count nor have assurances by his Republican county clerk that elections this year will be accurate. .
The county commissioner could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Commissioner Marquardt on Monday laughed at suggestions that a court could intervene in the election dispute.
“And then what? They’re going to send us Pokie?” he said.