Court Orders GOP Commission to Certify Disputed Votes

A community in New Mexico is embroiled in a dispute that is threatening certification of its primary election held on June 7. A GOP-led commission has refused to certify the results so far because of issues with the security of Dominion voting machinery.

The Otero County Commission voted on Monday unanimously to withhold certification of the results, citing general concerns about the reliability of the voting equipment used in the election.

Commissioner Vickie Marquardt said that she has “huge concerns” with the machines. She added that if she were to certify the results she would feel “dishonest because in my heart I don’t know if it’s right.”

The Dominion machines used in New Mexico have been attacked vigorously by David and Erin Clements of Las Cruces in their review of the Otero County 2020 election requested previously by the commission. The Clements have provided other forensic reviews of equipment around the state.

The Clements have made a series of lengthy presentations to the commission this year regarding their findings.

Another member of the commission is Couy Griffin, co-founder of local organization Cowboys for Trump. He was convicted of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021. He was not convicted or accused of entering the Capitol building.

The commission also voted last week to recount the ballots from the primary election by hand. They also voted to remove state-mandated absentee ballot drop boxes and stop using Dominion tabulating machines before the November general election.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, on Tuesday asked the New Mexico State Supreme Court to order the commission to certify the results. She claims that the three-member commission is threatening to disenfranchise the county’s voters and deny candidates access to the ballot in November’s general election.

Oliver argued to the court that the commission was in violation of their oaths of office by refusing to certify the vote. She also claimed that commissioners did not follow approved procedures for addressing claimed problems before the certification of an election. Oliver told the state court that she did not want to see the behavior “spread and have a domino effect.”

On Wednesday, the court ordered the county to certify the votes. The county was given until Friday to complete the certification of the approximately 7,400 votes cast in the county.

Otero County has about 67,000 residents and President Trump received almost 62% of the vote there in the 2020 presidential election.