On Monday, Otero County’s three-member commission refused to certify the canvass of last Tuesday’s primary election. The Commission cited no specific abnormalities but generally listed fraud related to Dominion machines as one of its reasons. The Commission also did not request to bring in members of the county canvass board to address specific concerns.
After the unsuccessful canvass, state Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo), an attorney who lists himself as “Executive Director for New Mexico’s County Clerks” sent a threatening email to county commissioners across the state demanding they certify the election. Friday, June 17, is the deadline to certify the results of the canvass, per state statute, which cites ten days following the election.
“If Friday comes and goes and a County Canvassing Board hasn’t acted to approve the County Canvass Report, then has County Canvassing Board is subject to a mandamus action. The standard for the mandamus action is if the Bard l as a clear and unambiguous duty, which I read in the election Code that they do. If, after a District Judge orders the Board to approve the County Canvass Report, then the Board would be in contempt of Court and the Judge would decide what to do with them (fines, loss of freedom, removal from office, etc…). We hope we don’t get to that point.”
According to election integrity expert David Clements, New Mexico’s Dominion machine software is out of compliance with state statute, therefore triggering his call for county commissions not to approve the June 7, 2022, Primary Election results. Ivey-Soto refutes that in his email to commissioners, claiming they are certified.
Clements wrote regarding Ivey-Soto on Facebook, “According to an Ethics Complaint, Dominion’s favorite NM legislator, Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto, is the Executive Director of Vandelay Solutions, which provides ‘professional services’ in the administration of elections. His company entered into two contracts with Dona Ana County, for ‘Consulting Services’ and ‘Technical Assistance’ between September 2019 and June 2021 for $37,500 and $45,000. How is this not a conflict of interest?” Clements has branded Ivey-Soto as “Dominion’s favorite legislator” and noted his connections are a “conflict of interest.”
Then on Tuesday, Democrat Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver filed a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court against Otero County “seeking to compel the Otero County Commission to certify the 2022 Primary Election results.”
Toulouse Oliver claims, “New Mexico’s 2022 Primary Election was conducted with the highest standards of election administration by dedicated county clerks and civil servants across our state.” She added, “The post-election canvassing process is a key component of how we maintain our high levels of election integrity in New Mexico and the Otero County Commission is flaunting that process by appeasing unfounded conspiracy theories and potentially nullifying the votes of every Otero County voter who participated in the Primary.”
A press release from Toulouse Oliver’s office noted in addition to the lawsuit to compel the Otero County Commission’s compliance with the state elections code “[b]ecause of these violations of their oaths, the Secretary of State’s Office is also preparing a criminal referral to the New Mexico Attorney General related to these willful violations of the Election Code by county officers and their willful failure or refusal to perform their duties under the Election Code.” As of the date of the lawsuit, 12 of New Mexico’s 33 counties had successfully canvassed their election results.
Following this news, Clements said in a recorded video that Toulouse Oliver’s lawsuit is saying, “the commissioners only have one power, and that’s to approve the results, no matter what their concerns are. It’s a gross misreading of the statutory authority of the Otero County Commission.”
“The Secretary of State is effectively going to the Supreme Court demanding a writ of mandamus — basically saying, ‘Court, order them to certify the election even though the election is being held on uncertifiable, illegal voting systems,’ — which raises the question, why aren’t the county attorneys filing an emergency writ of mandamus with the Supreme Court demanding that the Secretary of State decertify use of the machines, consistent with the statute?”
Clements is urging citizens to look up their county commissioners and ask them not to certify the June 7, 2022, Primary Election.
The actions by certain county commissions could delay the certification of primary election winners, while the Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver even claims in its lawsuit that refusal to certify “jeopardizes the general election ballot for all candidates.”
It is immediately unclear what the Otero County Commission will do in response to the lawsuit, but it would have until Friday to comply with the Secretary of State’s demands, or else the state Supreme Court is likely to take action.