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The GOP commission refuses to certify the primary vote in New Mexico

GRANDFATHER FE, NM – The Secretary of State of New Mexico on Tuesday asked the State Supreme Court to order the Republican-led commission in the rural district of Otero to certify the results of the primary election, after refusing to do so due to distrust of Dominion’s counting machines.

The request by Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Olive came a day after the Otero County three-member commission, in its role as the district agitation commission, voted unanimously against certifying the June 7 primary election results, without raising specific concerns about non-compliance.

Committee members include Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin, who attributes unfounded allegations that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Griffin was convicted of illegally entering restricted U.S. Capitol territory – though not the building – amid the riots on January 6, 2021 and is scheduled for sentencing later this month. He acknowledged that opposition to these primary elections could delay the outcome of local elections.

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“I have huge concerns about these voting machines,” Otero County Commissioner Vicki Marquard said Monday. “When I certify things that I don’t know are right, I feel dishonest because I don’t know in my heart if it’s right.”

The commission’s vote is the latest example of how conspiracy and disinformation theories affect the integrity of local elections in the United States. Trump went on to describe the 2020 election as “rigged” or “stolen,” although a coalition of senior government and industry officials called it “the safest in American history.”

Dominion systems have also been unjustifiably attacked since the 2020 election by people who have embraced the false belief that the election was stolen by Trump. The company has filed defamation lawsuits in response to false and outrageous allegations made by high-ranking Trump allies.

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The Dominion machines in New Mexico have been repeatedly overlooked by David and Erin Clements of Las Cruces in their review of the 2020 elections in Otero County and voter registration lists at the request of the commission. The Clements family are traveling advocates of “forensic” reviews of the 2020 elections and offer their services as election experts and auditors to local authorities. Election officials, including County Robin Holmes, say the Clements are not certified auditors or election protocol experts.

The couple highlighted problems during sporadic hours of presentations to the committee this year. Local election officials have challenged many of the findings as erroneous or unfounded.

The district election boards have until June 17 to certify the election results, before the state certification and the preparation of the general ballot papers.

Under state law, district councils can turn to the polling station board to resolve specific discrepancies, but no discrepancies were found by the Otero commission on Monday.

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“The post-election campaign is a key component of how we maintain our high levels of integrity in New Mexico’s election, and the Otero County Commission is parading the process, reassuring baseless conspiracy theories and potentially reversing the votes of anyone who counts Otero he ran in the primary, “Toulouse Oliver said in a statement. She accused the commission of intentional violations of the state election code.

New Mexico uses paper ballots that can be checked later in any election, and also relies on tabulation machines to quickly count the votes, while minimizing human error. Election results are also audited by random sampling to confirm the levels of accuracy in the vote count.

The Otero County Commission voted last week to recount the primary ballot papers across the state by hand, remove state ballot boxes that make absentee voting easier, and end the use of Dominion vote-counting machines in general elections.

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On Monday, Holmes said those instructions from county commissions were contrary to state and federal election law, and that she would count the election only by hand on a court order.

“The election law does not allow me to count these ballots or even form a board to do so. I just can’t, “said Holmes, a Republican. “And I will obey the law.”

Holmes noted that state-of-the-art Dominion vote-counting machines have been tested by Otero County officials in a public place, and that the machines have also been independently pre-certified. Griffin said he and fellow commissioners did not see the process as credible.

“This is a source over which we have no control or influence,” he said.

Mario Jimenez of the Common Cause New Mexico Progressive Observatory said the public could see pre-election counting machines tested in every constituency and that certification notices were posted on every machine where voters could see them.

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“They have no reason – other than ‘we just don’t believe in the machine’ – not to certify the election,” Jimenez told Otero County commissioners.

Although Trump won nearly 62% of the vote in Otero County in 2020, county commissioners said they were unhappy with the results of the state’s audit of the vote count, nor with assurances from their Republican district official that this year’s election will be accurate.

District commissioners could not be reached immediately for comment on Tuesday.

Commissioner Marquard laughed on Monday at the suggestion that the court could intervene in the election dispute.

“And then what?” Will they send us for now? she said.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

The GOP commission refuses to certify the primary vote in New Mexico

Source link The GOP commission refuses to certify the primary vote in New Mexico

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