Friday, October 12, 2012

AG Takes Anti-Voter Suppression Steps

Recent allegations of voter suppression tactics in the Albuquerque area prompted Attorney General King to initiate an investigation this week.  The AG is committed to fair elections in our state and is very concerned about complaints that there are insidious attempts being made to turn away legitimate voters from election polling places in November.  AG King was copied on a letter (below) this week to Secretary of State Dianna Duran from a coalition of non-partisan organizations that says, “We are concerned that without corrective action on your part this and other incorrect information may result in disruption, delay and potentially disenfranchisement on Election Day.”  The letter goes on to request that the Secretary investigate and take steps to correct misinformation provided by recent voter “challenger training” by a Sandoval County GOP operative. In an effort to address the misinformation recently disseminated about New Mexico voting laws, Attorney General Gary King today is publishing certain excerpts of law concerning voter identification and provisional voting.  Interestingly, despite a call from the AG for the Governor and Secretary of State to repudiate voter suppression attempts, both have remained largely silent on the matter.

Meanwhile, in other elections-related news, a lawsuit was filed Thursday, naming the Secretary of State, in an effort to restore straight party ticket voting in New Mexico.  An Associated Press report states, “The lawsuit asks the state Supreme Court to order election officials to change ballots to allow voters in coming days and weeks to make a single mark to support a political party’s entire slate of candidates...Her office has contended that state law doesn’t specifically authorize the straight ticket option, which has been a long-standing feature of New Mexico ballots until this general election...The lawsuit includes sworn statements from registered voters saying the lack of a straight party ticket option limited their ballot options...One Santa Fe man said in his affidavit that a sample ballot in this year’s election “looks like a straight party option when it is not.”  State law once required lever-type voting machines to offer the straight ticket option.”

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