New Mexico begins certification process for midterm election

Nov 15, 2022, 8:24 AM | Updated: 5:18 pm
Miranda Padilla holds her 11-month-old son Grayson Sanchez while marking her ballot at a polling ce...

Miranda Padilla holds her 11-month-old son Grayson Sanchez while marking her ballot at a polling center in the South Valley area of Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

(AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Midterm election results were certified Tuesday by at least three county commissions in New Mexico at the start of a once-routine process that in some locations has become a focal point for those voicing distrust in voting systems.

Among the decisions, Otero County’s three county commissioners voted unanimously to certify Nov. 8 election results at a meeting in Alamogordo after a briefing by the county’s top elections official.

The Otero County commission in June initially refused to certify primary election results while citing distrust of voting systems used to tally the vote — even though County Clerk Robyn Holmes said there were no problems. The commission reversed course on a 2-1 vote to certify the primary after Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver successfully petitioned the state Supreme Court to issue an order directing the local board to certify.

On Tuesday, Otero County Commission Chairwoman Vickie Marquardt commended the work of local election officials in the midterm election.

She said she still believes there are election problems in the U.S. but noted that county commissioners have limited oversight authority under New Mexico state law.

“We’re basically like notaries,” Marquardt said. “The county commission cannot remove the voting machines, we cannot demand a hand recount. … And I know that you guys wish that it was in our authority. But it’s not.”

Commissioners in Socorro and Curry counties also voted unanimously to certify local election results.

Most of the state’s 33 counties have until Friday to review any election discrepancies presented by county clerks and vote on certification. Those decisions are typically followed by a review of the state canvassing board, automatic recounts in close races and a post-election audit.

Attempts to delay primary results in a handful of New Mexico counties earlier this year have brought new scrutiny to a process that typically takes place quietly in the weeks after Election Day.

Partisan officials are involved in certifying elections in most states, something experts worry about after nearly two years of conspiracy theories falsely claiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. There is no evidence of widespread fraud or manipulated voting machines, and reviews in battleground states confirmed Democrat Joe Biden’s win.

In Otero County in June, the dissenting vote against certification came from Couy Griffin, who was removed from office in September and barred from public office by a state judge for engaging in insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an appeal by Griffin of his removal and banishment from public office. Griffin and his attorney in the case could not immediately be reached for comment.

Griffin, a founder of the Cowboys for Trump, a group that has staged horseback parades to spread Trump’s conservative message, said his vote against certification of the primary was based on his “gut feeling,” but he didn’t cite any specific discrepancies in the vote tally.

In the midterm election, voters in staunchly conservative Otero County favored Republican candidates by wide margins in statewide races for governor, attorney general and secretary of state. Democrats won every statewide elected office on the ballot and flipped a congressional seat in southern New Mexico.

Preliminary elections results show more than 60% of Otero County voters cast ballots for Republican candidate for Secretary of State Audrey Trujillo, who aligned her campaign with a coalition that seeks large-scale changes to elections administration.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Police fatally shoot man who allegedly had gun in St. Paul

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police in Minnesota say an officer fatally shot a man who they say displayed a handgun as they were trying to arrest him. The St. Paul Police Department said Tuesday that officers were responding to a domestic assault Monday evening and were told by the caller that the man had […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Foundations, major donors tackle nation’s nursing shortage

As more nurses leave their jobs in hospitals and health-care centers, foundations are pouring millions of dollars into efforts to ensure that more stay in the profession and get more out of the job than just the applause and pats on the back they got during the bleakest days of the pandemic. Philanthropic pledges announced […]
8 hours ago
Brendan Fraser poses for a portrait in Los Angeles on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, to promote his film "T...
Associated Press

Brendan Fraser is back. But to him, ‘I was never far away’

NEW YORK (AP) — In a darkened hotel room in New York’s Soho neighborhood, Brendan Fraser kindly greets a reporter with an open plastic bag in his hand. “Would you like a gummy bear?” Fraser, the 54-year-old actor, is in many ways an extremely familiar face to encounter. Here is the once ubiquitous ’90s presence […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev poses for a picture during an interview on July 28, 2021, in New Yo...
Associated Press

Robinhood takes on retirement in search for more growth

NEW YORK (AP) — Robinhood, the company that blazed onto Wall Street after turning millions of novices into investors by making trading fun, is now setting its sights on a more staid corner of the industry: saving for retirement. The company on Tuesday is initiating signups for a retirement program, where customers can sock savings […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct...
Associated Press

Meta oversight board urges changes to VIP moderation system

LONDON (AP) — Facebook parent Meta’s quasi-independent oversight board said Tuesday that an internal system that exempted high-profile users, including former U.S. President Donald Trump, from some or all of its content moderation rules needs a major overhaul. The report by the Oversight Board, which was more than a year in the making, said the […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Pope tightens oversight of Vatican-linked foundations

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Tuesday tightened control and oversight over Vatican-based foundations and associations in his latest effort to impose international standards of accounting and governance on Vatican offices and affiliated entities. A new law aims to bring the Holy See into further compliance with recommendations from the Council of Europe’s Moneyval […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
New Mexico begins certification process for midterm election