Rising anger in rural New Mexico breaks out in election crisis


Santa Fe, New Mexico (AP) —There was something deeper behind the raw people’s frustration and anger at the security of the elections in New Mexico this week. Their way of life is under attack.

In Otero County Crisis over the state’s June 7 primary certification The elections began, and under pressure from the State Attorney General, the Democratic Secretary of State, and the State Supreme Court, which is dominated by Democratic appointed members, County Secretary Vicky Marquardt made a rebellious tone.

One of the main explanations she gave to reverse the course had nothing to do with the voting machine security question. This is why a three-member committee of all Republicans refused to prove the initial election.

Marquardt, the county chairman, who won nearly 62% for former President Donald Trump, said: Vote in 2020.

Otero County gives voice to unfounded conspiracy theories about the voting system that has spread nationwide since residents questioned the accuracy of election results and former President Donald Trump lost his reelection in 2020. Similar to a few other counties in New Mexico.

In the vast regions of the state, frustration with voting and political representation has increased over the years. Residents limit their livelihoods by limiting livestock access to water, reducing the amount of forest available for grazing, and shutting down timber operations and energy development due to concerns about endangered species. I feel that the government’s decision has pushed me to the limit and I’m overkill.

Tensions are rising as New Mexico Democrats strengthen control of all state-wide offices and the Supreme Court. The Democratic Party has dominated parliament for generations.

Even when they voted to prove the election, sometimes reluctantly, some New Mexico county members said they were bound by the law taking action, thanks to the law passed by the Democratic Party. rice field. They urged the inhabitants to challenge the State Capitol.

Some lamented what they felt was a state infringement on the power of local governments. Marquardt from Otero County complained about her committee’s slight “rubber stamping” power under the law enacted by the Democratic Party and the election certificate “railroad” by greater power. ..

Otero County is one of the self-proclaimed second amendment “sanctuary” counties in rural New Mexico to approve a rebellious resolution against recent state gun control laws. The county also accepts resistance to President Joe Biden’s goal of protecting more private land and waterways for natural habitat and claims to block already limited private land.

In the alienation, skepticism about the security of the election flew.

On Friday, Otello County Commissioner Kuui Griffin was the only negative vote on the election certificate, but he admitted that there was no problem or de facto evidence to question the outcome of the election. His vote took place after the county election clerk stated that the primary was unsuccessful and the results were later confirmed.

A former rodeo rider and co-founder of Cowboys Fort Lamp, he attended the meeting because he was in Washington, DC a few hours ago. He was sentenced For entering the restricted US Capitol grounds during the January 6, 2021 riots.

Applause rang when Griffin declared, “I think we need to maintain our position.”

Progress in New Mexico can be traced back to the far-right conspiracy theory of voting machines that has spread nationwide over the past two years. Various Trump allies claim that Dominion’s voting system was somehow manipulated as part of an elaborate plan to steal elections, Biden won..

was there No evidence of widespread fraud It would have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and previous testimony Parliamentary Commission investigating riots Revealed it Many of the inner rings of playing cards He told him the same as he planned to retain power.

The election clash last week worries Dian Burwell, the manager of an independent coffee shop registered in the seats of Otero County in Alamogordo.

“We want people to vote, but when we see all this, they just say’why bother’,” Burwell said.

Despite the final vote in New Mexico County to prove the outcome of the primary, election officials and experts have said that a mini-rebellion will be built for the 2024 presidential election, spreading the confusion of voting and counting. I am afraid that it is just the beginning of a national effort for. The Secretary of State of New Mexico said there was a flood of calls from officials across the country concerned that the certification debate would be a new frontier in attacking democratic norms.

In another New Mexico county where residents were angry and accused of certification, members were accused of being “cowards and traitors” by hostile crowds before voting. Republican and Vietnamese veteran Trans County Commissioner Le Roy Candelaria voted to prove the results without apology, despite personal insults.

A semi-retired rancher and highway maintenance officer said he took time outside the commission to explain his position that New Mexico’s ballot counting machines were well tested and monitored.

“Our county secretary did a great job. I don’t think the vote went wrong,” Candelalia said in a telephone interview. “My personal opinion is that some people are still angry at the last presidential election …. worry about the next election and don’t take things personally.”


Associated Press authors Susan Montoya Brian from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Anitasnow and Terrytan from Phoenix contributed to this report.