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New Mexico: Voter Group Urges Investigation of Missing Ballots PDF  | Print |  Email
By Verified Voting New Mexico and United Voters of New Mexico   
July 21, 2008
A coalition of election reform organizations has called for a thorough investigation of the Cibola County incident in which two ballot boxes and 182 paper ballots went mysteriously missing at two precincts following the June 3 primary. Verified Voting New Mexico and United Voters of New Mexico insist that the in-depth probe is necessary in order to strengthen voter confidence in the fairness of election outcomes, especially in the run-up to the critical general election in November.

Clemente Sanchez, candidate in the state Senate race, lost by five votes to incumbent David Ulibarri, who is Cibola County Manager. Sanchez has protested the lack of investigation into the election circumstances, and also the subsequent recount and July 11 certification of results by the State Canvassing Board. The state Attorney General has said the incident is “under review” but has not said that an investigation is underway.
 

“We want the appropriate county and state authorities to take full formal action on this under the law,” said Robert Stearns, steering committee member of Verified Voting New Mexico. “The election officials in the two precincts told the County Clerk that they don’t remember what happened to the missing ballot boxes and ballots. The inquiry should not be left there. This involves New Mexico voters and the integrity of their vote – the very foundation of American democracy.”

Paul Stokes, coordinator of United Voters of New Mexico, said, “ The law requires the County Canvassing Board to issue a summons to the Precinct Board if there are missing or defective returns. This and other actions available to the Attorney General must be undertaken to assure, to the maximum extent possible, that the Cibola Senate race was decided correctly.”

Founded separately in 2004 and 2005, Verified Voting New Mexico and United Voters of New Mexico form a coalition of organizations and individuals concerned with strengthening the accuracy, accountability and transparency of the election process.

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