Otero County is once again facing an election scandal as the Republican-controlled county commission is threatening to throw out over 7,000 votes by refusing to certify the results of the June 7 primary.
"Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver on Tuesday asked the state Supreme Court to order the three-member Otero County commission to certify June 7 primary election results to ensure voters are not disenfranchised and that political candidates have access to the general election ballot in November," the Associated Press reported Tuesday. "On Monday, the commission in its role as a county canvassing board voted unanimously against certifying the results of the primary without raising specific concerns about discrepancies, over the objection of the county clerk."
The county counted 7,123 votes in the state's gubernatorial primaries.
"Members of the Otero County commission include Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin, who ascribes to unsubstantiated claims that Trump won the 2020 election. Griffin was convicted of illegally entering restricted U.S. Capitol grounds — though not the building — amid the riots on Jan. 6, 2021, and is scheduled for sentencing later this month. He acknowledged that the standoff over this primary could delay the outcome of local election races," the AP reported.
The complaints over the primary stem from GOP conspiracy theories about Dominion voting machines.
Trump won over 60% of the vote in Otero County in 2020, but Griffin conducted a door-to-door "audit" anyway.
"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," the secretary of state explained.
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a lawsuit in March seeking to have Griffin removed from office.
Read the full report.