NM Supreme Court orders Otero County to certify primary results

NM Supreme Court orders Otero County to certify primary results

The New Mexico Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a petition by Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver requiring that the Otero County Commission certify the results of the 2022 primary election no later than today.

Commissioners voted unanimously on Monday against certifying the results, citing distrust of Dominion vote-tallying machines.

“The voters and candidates of Otero County can now be assured that their voices will be heard in full,”Toulouse Oliver said in a statement Wednesday. “Though it was sad to see the Commission give in to discredited conspiracy theories and try to halt the legal process of election certification, it’s encouraging to know that the rule of law prevailed and that the checks and balances in our system of government remain strong.” 

Toulouse Oliver has also referred the Otero County Commissioners to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas for potential civil and criminal election code violations.

“All county officials take an oath to uphold the constitution and laws of New Mexico,” Toulouse Oliver said in a statement Thursday. “The Commissioners in Otero County have violated the public’s trust and our state laws through their recent actions and must be held accountable.”

The referral accuses the Otero County Commission of knowingly violating New Mexico law by refusing to certify the election results. The referral also cites previous actions taken by the commission, including voting to remove all voting machines and ballot drop boxes in Otero County.

The commission’s members include Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin, who ascribes to unsubstantiated claims that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election.

Griffin was convicted of illegally entering restricted U.S. Capitol grounds during rioting on Jan. 6, 2021. He is scheduled to be sentenced today. Federal prosecutors have recommended a sentence of 90 days in jail.

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