Two big issues involving the Attorney General’s Office have a lot of people talking. It is important to clarify what the facts are in both issues.
First, the Paseo del Norte/I-25 interchange rebuild project in Albuquerque. I took a call from an upset person today who accused the Attorney General of trying to take away the right of Albuquerque residents to vote on whether they want to approve or shoot down a bond issue that would provide funding for the project. Whoa Nellie! The AG has no such power nor did the office’s advice specifically address this project at all.
Secretary of State Duran asked our office to examine whether it is legal to put a municipal question on a general election ballot. Our attorney was not even informed that the ballot question referred to the Paseo del Norte matter. Our office determined that New Mexico law limits the general election ballot to questions that are “either statewide or countywide in application”...period. Clearly, the AG had no grand designs on subverting the process for funding the Paseo del Norte/I25 Interchange improvement project. AG King has been stuck in that drivetime traffic nightmare himself quite a number of times...why would he want to throw a monkey wrench into something that could help countless Albuquerque area commuters?
Secondly, the issue of the Secretary of State’s postcards to NM voters in danger of losing their place on state voter rolls. Once again, we were asked for legal advice about language contained on the postcards in terms of whether it complied with state and federal voting law requirements. It was our determination that the language would likely pass muster with the U. S. Department of Justice, which is in charge of such things. Keep in mind, NM must be in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act, which is understandably of tantamount importance to AG King. Just as important to the AG is ensuring that there is never any sort of voter suppression at the polls in New Mexico. We believe the Secretary of State shares our goal and duty to help ensure fair elections in our state by making sure nobody cheats.
And that...is the rest of the AGO story.