Politics The New Mexico election crisis will intensify as the...

The New Mexico election crisis will intensify as the deadline approaches

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Albuquerque, NM (AP) – The stalemate between the Republican-dominated County Commission and the Democratic Secretary of State of New Mexico over the Commission’s conspiracy-fueled refusal to verify election results, the state certification deadline, has been extended to Friday.

The showdown stands as a clear example of the confusion warned by election experts as those who propagate the lie that former President Donald Trump was cheated out of re-election are trying to verify election offices across the country and generally low-profile boards. Results

Although it did not identify any problems with the Dominion systems used by the county to count paper ballots, the Governing Commission in Otero County refused to certify the local results of the state June 7 primary due to unspecified concerns with the equipment.

New Mexico’s top prosecutor told the commission to follow an order from the state Supreme Court to verify the results. The Otero County Commission in southern New Mexico “must abide by the rule of law or we will take legal action,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas.

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The Secretary of State has asked the Attorney General to investigate the commission for violating state election and government ethics laws, saying it could be a crime if the action was intentional and led to dismissal.

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  • At least one of the three county commissioners is also unclear. Commissioner Cowie Griffin told CNN he did not plan to vote for the referendum.

    “Why a commission if we are replaced by a court system?” He he said.

    It is not immediately clear what will happen next if the county refuses to confirm its results, which is usually a ministerial duty, but it has been the subject of debate since Trump tried to put pressure on some certification boards after the 2020 presidential election.

    New Mexico’s primary ballot includes races at all levels, including a long list of congressmen, governors, attorneys general, and local offices. Those races will not be official until all the counties have been confirmed, which puts candidates and their campaigns in a quandary.

    The consequences of terrorist conspiracy theories can be traced back to the voting machines that have spread across the country over the past two years. Various Trump allies have claimed that the Dominion voting system was somehow manipulated as part of a broader plan to steal the election that President Joe Biden won.

    There is no evidence of widespread fraud or manipulation of voting equipment that could affect the outcome of the 2020 election.

    Dominion filed several defamation lawsuits, including Fox News, and in a statement earlier this week cited the Otero County Commissioners’ action as “another example of how lies about Dominion have damaged our company and eroded public confidence in the election.”

    Election officials are taking notices outside of New Mexico. The Secretary of State said on Friday that the certification controversy in the attack on democratic norms was fraught with calls from relevant authorities that it would become a new front.

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    “This has huge implications for future elections, especially in 2024,” said Alex Curtas, a spokeswoman for New Mexico’s Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

    Otero County Clerk Robin Holmes, who is the fourth Republican to lead the county’s Lead Elections Administrator, told the Associated Press that the June 7 election went smoothly. The machine towels at the 16 polling stations each matched the number of ballots handed out.

    “The primary went smoothly,” she said. “This is a great election.”

    Trump won nearly 62% of the 2020 vote in Otero County, where registered Republicans surpassed nearly 2-1 Democrats. Has not served on a Democrat County Commission since 1994.

    Defiance of the federal government and its oversight of government lands are largely central to politics in rural county, which is three times larger than Delaware and has a portion of the White Sands missile range, the site of the first atomic bomb.

    Otero and other New Mexico counties are facing a midnight deadline to verify their election results.

    So far, all but four of the 33 counties in the state have confirmed their results and other county officials have not publicly stated they would like to vote against the certification.

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    In the politically conservative Torrance County, residents called them traitors and cowards and shouted at commissioners for voting to confirm Friday’s election results. The commissioners were put in a very difficult position and pushed back, understanding the concerns about the integrity of the election. They said they would consider at their next meeting a resolution expressing their dissatisfaction with the leading Democrats elected in the state, including Toulouse Oliver.

    Bernalillo County, which owns Albuquerque and has the largest population in the state, unanimously confirmed its results on Friday. Commissioners Walt Benson acknowledged that there was no evidence of the problem at the time, but acknowledged that most people did not trust the system.

    Otero County Attorney Roy Nicholas said the commission had scheduled an emergency meeting there before the deadline. He said he could not speak for the commissioners and it was unclear whether they would vote to confirm the results. Two of the three commissioners must vote in favor of certification.

    Griffin will be arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., after being found guilty of trespassing into the U.S. Capitol grounds – if not the building – during the January 6 uprising.

    State election officials have advised a sentencing judge for Griffin’s refusal to confirm preliminary election results in New Mexico.

    ___

    Associated Press authors Christina Almeida Cassidy of Atlanta, Scott Sonar of Renault, Nevada and Terry Tang of Phoenix contributed to the report.

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