New Mexico Supreme Court orders county commission to certify primary election results despite concerns about Dominion voting machines

A Republican-led county commission in New Mexico voted unanimously Monday to refuse to certify the results of its June 7 primary elections over concerns about the use of Dominion voting machines to tally the votes.

The New Mexico Supreme Court, however, ordered Wednesday that the rural Otero County Commission had to certify the results no later than Friday, the Washington Examiner reported.

That intervention by the state’s highest court came at the urgent request of Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who had filed an emergency motion with the court on Tuesday.

The county commission refuses to certify election results

The Associated Press had reported Tuesday that the three-member Otero County Commission, which also serves as the county’s canvassing board, had voted unanimously Monday to not certify the June 7 primary results.

“I have huge concerns with these voting machines,” Commissioner Vickie Marquardt said about the Dominion devices. “When I certify stuff that I don’t know is right, I feel like I’m being dishonest because in my heart I don’t know if it is right.”

The AP noted that there are provisions within state law that allow for county canvassing boards to delay certification if specific discrepancies are raised with relevant voting precinct boards, but the Otero County commissioners failed to raise any specific issues above and beyond their general distrust of the Dominion machines as well as assurances from the company and state election officials.

In a statement, Oliver accused the commissioners of violating state election laws and said, “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.”

High court intervenes

Thus, the emergency motion filed with the New Mexico Supreme Court was granted and ruled on Wednesday, according to The Washington Post, with the order for the county commission to certify the results by Friday.

The story doesn’t end there, though, as a spokesperson for Oliver told The Post that the office was considering making criminal referrals against the three county commissioners — if they fail to certify by Friday — that could result in them being held in contempt of court or even removed from their elected positions.

That actually wouldn’t be the first criminal trouble for one of the commissioners, Couy Griffin, who is set to face sentencing Friday for his conviction earlier in the year for trespassing on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol — though he never actually entered the building — during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021.

Unanswered questions

“We have questions that are unanswered, and now we’re being threatened by the secretary of state that we have to certify or else. It’s real unfair,” Griffin, an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump, told The Post.

“I tell people my oath is to the people I represent. I did not take an oath to the state of New Mexico or their election laws. It’s my duty to my office to make sure people can sleep at night,” he added. “This is a nonpartisan issue — whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, we should all make sure our elections are secure.”

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