OTERO COUNTY, NM (KTSM) – Otero County’s primary election results have not yet been certified and the deadline is on Friday.
This as the three commissioners voted against approving the results on Monday.
The New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has now sent a letter to the Attorney General of New Mexico calling for a criminal and civil investigation into the Otero County Commissioners.
The commissioners voted to remove ballot boxes and voted to get rid of all dominion voting machines last week. Then, on Monday, voted against certifying the primary election results.
Toulouse Oliver has also filed a lawsuit against the commissioners following Monday’s meeting. On the New Mexico Secretary of State website, it says “Secretary of State Files Lawsuit Against Otero County Commission for Illegal Actions to Disenfranchise 2022 Primary Election Voters and Harm Primary Candidates.”
On Monday, Otero County Commissioner Vickie Marquardt spoke about the support the commissioners have received for not certifying the election results.
The commissioners were asked during the meeting if there were any discrepancies in the 2022 election.
“The only one that I’m aware of and just because they are a personal friend of mine, residents and they’re dead. I’m close to their family and that’s why I know about this is happening, any other ones I have no idea,” said Otero County Commissioner Gerald Matherly during Monday’s meeting.
“I don’t have specific examples that I can point to other than the recent audit in the canvas and the uncertainty of what that produced. All the data is available to you you can see where ghost voters were confirmed,” said Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin. “Between that and also the fact that Dominion and the State of New Mexico refuses us to let us inspect the machines from an outside source just those two examples right there would be enough to give me enough concern.”
The commissioners are set to meet again on Friday. However, Commissioner Griffin is also scheduled to be sentenced for his involvement in the January 6 attack on the capital on Friday as well.
The University of Texas at El Paso political expert and Director of the Sam Donaldson Center for Communications, Dr. Richard Pineda, explains what will happen if the commissioners don’t vote to approve the results.
“I don’t think that they will by tomorrow morning certify these results, I believe the New Mexico Supreme Court will step in and make a decision,” said Pineda.
Adding that when it comes to challenging a certification you have to have an argument.
“I think the reason the challenge in Otero County is difficult is because these commissioners have known these machines were going to be used, these machines were not brought in to specifically to do this election. So there is a certain question about how much responsibility everybody in the process has to say we don’t want to use these machines if they have these issues,” said Pineda.
Pineda says what he has gathered by reading through comments made by the Otero County Commissioners is that the commissioners are just uncertain.
“I think that that fits the flavor of the rhetoric that former President Trump was using when it came to talk about the elections. But at least on the surface it doesn’t seem like there’s really a clear or valid reason to challenge these results,” said Pineda.
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