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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Election Reform Groups Endorse Gonzales for NM Secretary of State

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Stephanie Gonzales speaking at 5.4.06 DFA-DFNM Meetup

From Verified Voting NM and United Voters of NM:
A statewide coalition active in election reform announced its support today for Stephanie Gonzales in the Democratic primary race for Secretary of State. Verified Voting NM and United Voters of New Mexico joined in selecting Gonzales as their favored candidate, saying she has more ideas and positions than her rivals on how to improve the election process and make it transparent and accountable to the citizenry. The coalition also noted her strong management capabilities, as evidenced in her experience as former Secretary of State, Deputy Secretary of State, and as Director of the Rural Development Agency and later, the Child Support Enforcement Division.

“Ms. Gonzales has endorsed voting by hand-marked paper ballots counted by optical scanning machines as the most trustworthy electoral system currently available,” said Paul Stokes, UVNM coordinator. “She has also underscored the importance of conducting automatic audits of vote counting as an effective means of strengthening accuracy in election results. Both have been major objectives of United Voters of NM and Verified Voting NM during the past two legislative sessions.”   

Robert Stearns of VVNM noted that Gonzales has pledged to work with County Commissions to expedite the switchover from electronic voting machines that can’t be checked to the auditable and recountable  paper ballot system, as passed into law by the  2006 Legislature with Governor Richardson’s support.

Click for info on Verified Voting New Mexico and United Voters of New Mexico.

You can get more information on the Stephanie Gonzales campaign at her website. She lays our her 8 Point Plan for improving the Secretary of State's office here (pdf).

Editor's Note: Verified Voting NM and United Voters of NM are local grassroots activist groups that were heavily involved in interaction with New Mexico's election reform task force and lobbying for a variety of bills to make the election process more effective, efficient, transparent and accurate. They were instrumental in the drafting and successful passage of the legislation that mandated the use of a voter verifiable paper ballot system statewide. The bill was passed by the NM Legislature and signed by Governor Richardson earlier this year.

May 24, 2006 at 11:12 AM in Candidates & Races | Permalink

Comments

These election reform groups should know. They've been working on these issues a long time now and I know they based their choice on careful evaluation of the questionaires returned by the SOS candidates.

Posted by: I Vote | May 24, 2006 2:03:05 PM

Hats off to the hard work these folks have done. O [psted this on the Santa Fe New Mexican's comments:
I was involved in supporting the terrific efforts of the voter/election reform grass roots folks who did the yeoman work to get the verified paper ballots pushed through. They created the parade that Richardson decided to get in front of and lead. My observations, confiremed by several of the activists was that Mary Herrera did her damnest to beat back the efforts to get rid of the Electronic Touchscreen Machines. She was working against them right up until the day before the vote.
She was so insistent on going with the touchscreen machine in Dec 2005, it took a Temporary Restraining Order to force her to delay ordering $100,000 of machines that would have been render illegal under the new election reform bill. In defending her decision, she made two deceptive arguments: grossly overstating the costs of the alternative machines & raising the strawman of long lines with paper ballots.
There were MASSIVE problems with the ’04 election. Major undervotes, over 1200 phantom votes cast to president (vast majority in high Repug precincts), boxes of provisional ballots discarded without even being counted, complains she wasn’t able to control outside Repug lawyers and observers, and other minor issues indicate to me her incompetence to perform the duties of Sec of State.
The problems with the ’04 election led to her being named as a defendant in the ‘voters’ rights’ lawsuit currently under way. Read about that lawsuit here: www.voteraction.org/index.php/static/Lopategui_Lawsuit
She would be HIGHLY vulnerable to the Republican challenger! All the Repugs would have to do is highlight her failings….they wouldn’t even need to slime boat her. To build the attack ads they could just: What’s the Matter With Mary [Herrera]? http://www.dukecityfix.com/index.php?itemid=1464
...I too am concerned that she did not take a leave of absence. She is responsible for the largest county in state and will be running the election she has a DIRECT INTEREST in. I am no more comfortable with that than I would be if a student was grading his final exam. I didn’t see any factual errors in Enrique’s post - just a comment about the appearance of ethics.

Gonzales is the one to BEAT Herrera and subsequently the Republicans! Hooper & Montoya are nice ladies & better qualified than Herrera. I am in no way associated with Gonzales's campaign. If fact at this time I haven't even donated to her efforts.

Posted by: PlacitasRoy | May 25, 2006 10:20:29 AM

I'm glad someone brought that up. I am VERY concerned that Mary Herrera has not taken a leave of absence from her job as County Clerk to run for SOS.

Should we really be trusting someone who is running for office in the election to be responsible for counting the votes in that same election? In view of all the recent NM scandals, I think this is horribly dangerous and just plain wrong. How can we stop this from happening?

Mary Herrera should recuse herself from dealing with this election ASAP!

Posted by: Nmexdem | May 25, 2006 12:19:02 PM

Dear All,

Let me make a disclaimer up front. I am a volunteer for the Stephanie Gonzales campaign,
and I want to thank you for the your kind words. Also, I want to make an urgent appeal to you for your active support of Stephanie Gonzales.

If you are concerned about the 2008 Presidential Election, the best thing you can do is ensure that we have the most competent Democratic candidate in this Primary Election on June 6th. I believe that is Stephanie Gonzales.

The other three women in the race are wonderful women who would make fine secretaries of state for New Mexico at any time in the 1970’s and 1980’s. But since the millennium the stakes have gotten higher and it takes a very competent and strong leader to administer that elective office. You know that New Mexico will again be a battleground state, and the pressure will be on. Stephanie is clearly the most qualified and energized candidate to do this. She was the last one to enter the race and the first one with a formal plan on how to improve the office. The Eight Point Plan is posted on her website: http://www.newmexicansforstephanie.com/docs/EightPointPlan.pdf .

We have a Statewide Primary to win and we need your help. Of course we need money for the campaign for visibility, but it may be too late unless you act quickly. More importantly --- we need feet, hands and minds. Feet to go door-to-door and to stand out on Election Day with a sign. Hands to do mailouts and put bumper stickers on. Minds to do letters to the editor, e-mailing and blogging, and give speeches at community events, plus to do Election Day observation. This is real grassroots democracy. Vote early to free up your time on Election Day (besides at many County Clerks offices it is on paper). If you really believe then call us in Santa Fe at 989-1811 or 989-1875; visit the internet at: www.NewMexicansForStephanie.com
or send us an email at: contact@newmexicansforstephanie.com .

Thanks for your time.

Posted by: William H. Mee | May 29, 2006 10:55:04 PM