Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Teague: Representing New Mexico’s Second Congressional District has been the Greatest Honor of my Life

Hobbs, NM – Tuesday night, Harry Teague called Steve Pearce to congratulate him on winning the race to represent New Mexico’s second congressional district.

Teague gave prepared remarks to a crowd of family and long-time supporters:

“Thank you all for being here and for all the support you’ve given me over the years. From the County Commission to Congress, I owe it all to you – the people who believed in me enough to give me a chance to be your representative.

“Thousands of New Mexicans turned out to cast their vote today because they care about the future of New Mexico and the future of our country.

“I want to thank every New Mexican who voted in this election – no matter what political party you belong to or who you voted for. The most important thing is that you participated in our great democracy.

“You know, I like to say that when I started this, I had a lot of friends. And now, after driving tens of thousands of miles around the district to visit with my constituents ... well I have even more friends and my old friends ... well they’re even better friends now.

“By working with them, and all of you, we were able to start repairing our economy, we created jobs in New Mexico, we protected our veterans, and we finally started changing the way Washington works.

“You know as I was driving from Las Cruces to Alamogordo to Artesia and home to Hobbs today, I thought back to why I wanted to run for Congress ....

“Well, the answer to that is simple – I wanted to work side by side with you to make a better future for southern New Mexico.

“And I wanted to give back to a state and a country that have given me and my family so many wonderful opportunities.

“I can honestly say that next to being a husband, father and grandfather, the greatest honor of my life has been serving you as the Representative for New Mexico’s 2nd congressional district.

“Tonight, the vote didn’t go our way. And like you, I am disappointed.

"But when I think about going from being a kid who had to drop out of high school to go to work to help support my family after my parents got sick, to being your Congressman – well I guess the only thing I can say is WOW ... and thank you for giving me that honor.

“I want to wish Congressman Pearce luck as he returns to this very important job during a very difficult time. And I assure him that I and my office stand ready to assist with the transition during the next few weeks.”

November 2, 2010 at 11:17 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02) | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More than 1,500 Gather for Early Vote Rallies Across Northern New Mexico

BRL Photo
Ben Ray speaks to voters in Taos

This weekend, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) traveled across Northern New Mexico, to speak with hundreds of New Mexicans about the importance of voting. Events were hosted in Mora, Las Vegas, El Dorado, Santa Fe, Pojoaque, Espanola, Taos, Wagon Mound, Springer and Raton. Ben Ray was able to speak out about early voting and the issues facing New Mexicans this election.

"When people are threatening to privatize social security, end the Department of Education, stop Pell Grants and privatize VA benefits, the stakes are higher than ever," Ben Ray said. "This election, we can't stay at home and let them take our nation backwards. Let's stand together and send a clear message that seniors and veterans have earned their benefits, and students deserve the opportunity to attend Pre-K and college. We must work together to ensure that investments in our local communities remain strong."

Individual events in towns such as Taos, Pojoaque and Raton garnered hundreds of attendees and even more across the district. Enthusiasm was high and voters were eager to get out and vote. Small business owners, community leaders, educators and seniors came together and spoke about the importance of early voting for Ben Ray.

How, When and Where to Vote Early
Early voting began October 16 and will continue through October 30. For more information regarding early voting sites, please click here. If you would like more information regarding early voting, your local polling place, or any other information related to the election, please click here or contact your local county clerk's office.

October 19, 2010 at 02:28 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, NM-03 Congressional Race 2010, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Convicted Felon Assists in Fundraiser for NM Appeals Court Candidate Dennis Montoya

According to a story by Jeremy Jojola on KOB.com, Curtis Slade is helping Appellate Court candidate Dennis W. Montoya raise money for his campaign. The report identifies Slade as a convicted felon who is facing additional felony charges, and states that a Facebook posting by Montoya originally listed Slade as a host of a fundraising party this weekend on land owned by Slade in the South Valley.

Slade was convicted several years ago for bribing a public official for a Bureau of Land Management Permit. Slade is also currently facing felony charges on the state level for writing worthless checks.

Just last month Slade’s picture also appeared in the Albuquerque’s Most Wanted Property Criminals section of a local paper because of a warrant on his current charges. Court records indicate Slade has taken care of the warrant and has posted bond.

When KOB talked to Montoya tonight, he claimed the Facebook invitation was inaccurate in that Curtis Slade isn't hosting the event, although it will still be held on Slade's property.

Montoya is not on a roll. Today, the District Court ruled that Secretary of State Mary Herrera was correct in denying Montoya's campaign public funding, according to a post by Montoya on Facebook. Yesterday, it was revealed that Montoya had been charged with multiple acts of professional misconduct by the Disciplinary Court of the Supreme Court of New Mexico.

Montoya is challenging current New Mexico Appeals Court Judge Linda Vanzi in the June 1 Democratic primary. There is no Republican in the race.

May 6, 2010 at 08:58 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, 2010 Judicial Races, Crime, Legal Issues | Permalink | Comments (4)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rasmussen Poll: Denish Leads All GOP Governor Candidates by 10-22 Points

In a Rasmussen Reports phone survey of 500 likely voters on the New Mexico gubernatorial race, Democrat Diane Denish leads all of her possible Republican challengers by margins of 10 to 22 percentage points. She tops 50% in match-ups with three of the Republican candidates:

  • Diane Denish 52% - Janice Arnold-Jones 30%,
  • Diane Denish 51% - Susana Martinez 32%
  • Diane Denish 52% - Pete Domenici JUNIOR 35%

According to the poll, Denish’s closest competitors for now are:

  • Diane Denish 43% - Doug Turner 34%
  • Diane Denish 45% - Allen Weh 35%

None of the GOP primary contenders draws more than 35% support against the two-term lieutenant governor, who is uncontested for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. About 7% of those polled prefer some other candidate in all of the match-ups, while undecideds range from 6%-16%.

As for New Mexico's current Governor, 39% approve of how Bill Richardson is doing his job, with 12% who Strongly Approve. But 58% disapprove of his performance, including 33% who Strongly Disapprove.

The telephone survey was conducted Wednesday night, three days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the national health care plan. A total of 53% of New Mexico respondents favor the plan, with 32% who Strongly Favor it. A total of 44% oppose the plan, including 40% who Strongly Oppose it.

Rasmussen reported additional results about candidate favorability, as well as attitudes about various aspects of the health insurance reform legislation and voters' views of incumbents. Click to see the results to all the questions asked of New Mexicans in the telephone survey. The cross tabs are available only to premium subscribers to Rasmussen Reports.

March 27, 2010 at 04:09 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, 2010 NM Governor's Race, Diane Denish, Gov. Bill Richardson, Healthcare, Obama Health Care Reform, Polling, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Saturday: Weigh in on Conduct of November's Election at BernCo Clerk's Public Forum

In an ongoing effort to ensure fairness and accuracy in Bernalillo County’s election process, newly elected County Clerk Maggie Toulouse is inviting members of the public to comment on the 2008 General Election process.

A public forum will be held for Poll Workers; Political Party Challengers and Watchers; other stakeholders and members of the public who participated the 2008 General Election on Saturday, April 11, 2009 in the Bernalillo County Commission/City Council Chambers at One Civic Plaza NW (at the intersection of Marquette and 5th Street), Downtown, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Members of the public are also invited to share their concerns and suggestions in person or in writing.

“The public’s trust of the government and elections is at the foundation of our democratic system,” said County Clerk Toulouse in a written statement. “Because we cannot conduct elections without the participation of the public, it is important they have the opportunity to inform the process.  We held the first public forum in 2007 and formulated some process changes based on information we received. Once again, I personally look forward to hearing the thoughts and suggestions of people who care enough about elections to give us their feedback on what we have done well in the past and how we can do a better job in the future.”

The Clerk will also be organizing meetings with representatives from Party Organizations, Candidate Committees and Voter Advocacy Organizations.

If you are unable to attend the forum, please send you comments in writing to the Clerk:

Election Process Review
Bernalillo County Clerk
One Civic Plaza NW, 6th floor
Albuquerque, NM 87102
E-mail: [email protected],
Fax: (505) 768-4151.

April 7, 2009 at 01:04 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, Election Reform & Voting, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Common Cause NM Releases Post-Election Report and Reform Proposals

Common Cause New Mexico today released “Count Every Vote New Mexico, Election Report 2008,” a detailed analysis of voter protection efforts in New Mexico in 2008, along with proposals for reforming election administration in the state. During 2008, Common Cause New Mexico was part of a nonpartisan coalition that worked hard to improve the electoral process and safeguard the rights of New Mexico voters. Common Cause has created Count Every Vote New Mexico, a permanent, state-based project designed to ensure that the problems uncovered during this effort are fully addressed through changes to the state’s election code and the issuance of administrative rules.

“Our most important proposal for reform is Same Day Registration,” says Steven Robert Allen, Executive Director of Common Cause New Mexico. Eight states now have Same Day Registration, and a ninth, North Carolina, allows for registration at early voting sites.

“We believe that many of the concerns surrounding voter registration and provisional ballots would be greatly alleviated with a solid bill allowing for voter registration both during early voting and on election day,” Allen says.

As reported in the Albuquerque Journal in November, Gov. Bill Richardson, Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse and NM House Majority Leader Ken Martinez support same day registration. A bill to allow same day voter registration has been pre-filed by Rep. Jim R. Trujillo (D, Santa Fe) as HB 52.

Other reforms discussed in the Common Cause report include:

  • revising restrictions on third-party registration agents
  • a statute allowing early voting for voters who have requested absentee ballots but have not received them
  • setting a minimum deadline for absentee ballot applications; changing the deadline for mailing absentee ballots
  • adopting a county-level focus regarding post-election audits
  • replacing the two-percent audit with a risk-limiting approach employing an adjustable sample model
  • requiring that machines audited were actually used in the election
  • a clean up project to delete contradictory and outdated language from the Election Code
  • an administrative rule codifying guidance issued by the Secretary of State regarding challengers
A copy of “Count Every Vote New Mexico, Election Report 2008” is available on Common Cause New Mexico’s website at commoncause.org/nm in PDF format and also at the Count Every Vote New Mexico website at counteveryvote.org.

January 16, 2009 at 11:29 AM in 2008 General Election Voting, Election Reform & Voting | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

(Updated) Decision Tomorrow in MN on Rejected Absentee Ballots

Update: On 12/12/08, the Minnesota Canvassing Board recommended that county election boards sort and count rejected absentee ballots to find those improperly set aside. However, the Board cannot require that the counties do so. In another decision, the Board agreed to use election night results in a precinct where 113 ballots later went missing. Both decisions are expected to benefit Franken in the vote count.
**********
The never-ending recount in the Minnesota Senate race between Repub Norm Coleman and Dem Al Franken will have at least one thing decided tomorrow. That's when the state canvassing board meets to decide the fate of hundreds of improperly rejected absentee ballots, as well as 133 "missing" ballots in a Minneapolis precinct. The video above features the reactions of some of the voters whose absentee ballots were rejected even though there was nothing legally wrong with them. This in a race so close that a mere couple dozen votes could decide it.

The canvassing board will meet again on December 16th to begin reviewing thousands of ballots challenged by the two campaigns.

It's still difficult for me to believe that this level of idiocy occurs in the 21st century in a nation that likes to see itself as THE super power -- technologically and otherwise -- and THE standard bearer in the world for democratic principles. Isn't it long past the time for our elections processes to be governed by clearly defined rules and standards applied by well-trained, well-paid election officials working within adequately funded departments overseen by impartial professionals who know what the hell they are doing?

I won't even get into the still serious problems with electronic voting equipment. What I'm talking about is having votes counted according to well-accepted, common sense policies and procedures -- the kind that once governed most clerical operations before the advent of computers. It's not rocket science. It has to do with the simple act of counting every vote that meets a clearly defined minimum requirement for validity. Why is there any doubt about which ballots should count and which ones shouldn't?

Unfortunately, some election personnel and canvassing boards seem to operate without accountability or transparency -- according to rules they make up as they go along. Authority lines and responsibilities are blurred. Spur of the moment decisions can affect the outcome. Why is that tolerated? Every close election seems to be plagued by similar snafus, yet nothing much seems to change in many states. It's like a bad dream that repeats and repeats without resolve. Will the Coleman-Franken fiasco prompt more much-needed reforms in how elections are conducted? Don't hold your breath.

December 11, 2008 at 06:24 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, Election Reform & Voting | Permalink | Comments (4)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Paper Ballot Benefit: Undervote Rate Drops in 2008 Prez Election in New Mexico

One of the most vexing problems with New Mexico's 2004 election was the high percentage of "undervotes." Undervotes occur when someone casting a ballot either doesn't select a candidate in a race or his or her choice doesn't register in the count for some reason -- including voter mistakes and machine error (or hacks).

An article in today's Albuquerque Journal reports that there were 3,207 undervotes in the presidential election this year in New Mexico, down considerably from 21,084 identified in the 2004 presidential election here. In 2004, many New Mexico polling places were using the highly problematical touch screen voting machines. This year, the entire state voted on paper ballots that were tallied by electronic scanners, the same as in 2006.

According to the Journal article,

Voter watchdog groups say undervote rates of more than 2 percent — or one out of every 50 voters — raise suspicion and should be investigated.

In 2004, New Mexico's presidential undervote rate ended up at 2.5 percent, the highest such rate in the nation. In this year's election, the figure came in at less than 0.4 percent.

The lower presidential undervote total this year definitely seems to indicate significant progress is being made in ensuring all votes are accurately counted, but more reforms are needed as we go forward. For instance, the New Mexico Legislature is expected to take up a proposed expansion of and improvements to the election audit process that checks a sample of electronic scanner totals against hand counts to test the accuracy of the machines.

Other procedural changes may be needed to address potential chain of custody issues and other gaps in the election system related to accountability, transparency and consistency. See, for example, the 2008 Auditor's Findings on the New Mexico Canvass, especially points b, c and d under item 3.

A dramatic drop in undervotes and so-called "phantom votes" was also seen in the 2006 mid-term election in New Mexico -- particularly in areas with heavy Native American and Hispanic voter registration. This was the first statewide election in New Mexico after passage of legislation that required paper ballot voting in all counties.

November 30, 2008 at 03:50 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, Election Reform & Voting | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Angela Chavez Guest Blog: The Day That Hope Won

AchavezheadThis is a guest blog by Angela Chavez, who is in her second year at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she participates in MALSA and NLLSA. She is also a Regional President of the Hispanic Bar Association’s student division.

Prior to entering law school, Ms. Chavez worked for the Democratic Party of New Mexico, Governor Bill Richardson and Senator John Kerry. She is the current National Committee Woman for the Young Democrats of New Mexico. Angela was raised in Socorro. She is recently engaged to Joshua Adkins.

We will all remember where we were the day that hope won and the country elected Barrack Obama. I was in Albuquerque's South Valley poll watching. Many of my law school colleagues joined me in watching polls across our beautiful state. Below is a narrative of my experience. I hope to see even more volunteers for re-election in 2012!

I didn't have to go outside of the library of Harrison Middle School to know that it was a cold Fall day in the South Valley. Yellow and orange leaves blew through the door announcing each voter.

Some of the voters were viejitas with carefully applied lipstick. Before voting, they unwrapped their scarves to reveal that their hair was still perfectly curled despite the wind that you could hear through the windows. The viejitos came too. One man with brittle silver hair carried a thermos in his calloused hand and wore a black and blue flannel jacket. I imagined that the thermos was full of coffee and that he was on his way to work, or maybe to rake up the leaves that were piling up in his yard. The familiar smell of mentholato followed him out the door.

Many of the voters were young moms. They carried babies wrapped in soft blankets. Tiny red noses peaked out of the blankets, reminding me of the cold. The older kids wore puffy jackets and resembled waddling marshmallows with arms and tiny gloved hands.

An older mother came in with her teenaged daughter. Her daughter was wearing a polo shirt from a local restaurant. Her smile revealed sparkly braces and dimples framed by rosey cheeks. The young girl was so excited to vote that she didn't seem to care about the stain on her uniform. The mother was proud to announce, "It's my daughter's first time." My eyes felt warm and I had chills because I was trying to hold back tears.

My tears were prompted by pride and hope. I was proud to see that the cold did not keep people from voting. The continuous stream of female members of my own generation gave me a strong sense of solidarity. I felt like a member of strong brigade armed with the power to vote. Each vote cast by my sisters in arms was a vote for our future, a future that we would all share regardless of which political party prevailed. I felt like my generation recognized and accepted our responsibility to look forward and act now.

My hope came from the realization that our collective voice was growing and that in this election, the voice calling for change and better tomorrow was going to be too loud to be ignored any longer. This was going to be the election that defined our generation. By voting, we chose to define ourselves rather than allowing ourselves to be defined.

AngelapalinThis is a guest blog by Angela Chavez. In addition to being a law student and one of the hardest working Democratic activists we know, Angela does a spot-on imitation of the infamous Sarah Palin -- as you can see from the photo at left taken this Halloween. (Had to use it!) Click on photo for larger image.

If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link on the upper left-hand corner of the page.

November 25, 2008 at 12:30 AM in 2008 General Election Voting, 2008 General Presidential Election, Guest Blogger | Permalink | Comments (4)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Public Encouraged to Attend Bernalillo County Election Audit

From the Bernallillo County Clerk's Office: Per NMAC 1.10.23.9 (pdf) and in accordance with NMSA 1-14-13.1, a random recount (audit) of 2% of voting systems used in the General Election must be conducted.

Bernalillo County will begin this process on Monday, November 17, 2008 at 8:00 AM at our Voting Machine Warehouse, 2400 Broadway SE, Building H, Albuquerque. The process will continue until the nine voting systems selected are audited (probably 3-4 days). Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

November 13, 2008 at 09:28 AM in 2008 General Election Voting, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obama's Electoral Map: Expanding Blue


Daily Kos Electoral Scoreboard

Doesn't it look pretty? Gotta love that New Mexico - Colorado span! Note that North Carolina has just been added to the Blue part of the map. With only a few provisional ballots left to count, Obama leads in NC by a sliver of a margin -- 49.9% to 49.5%. Obama leads McCain by 14,053 votes out of about 4.3 million cast. This gives Obama a whopping 364 Electoral Votes to McCain's paltry 163. Bush won NC by 12% in 2004.

We're still waiting on Missouri and its 11 Electoral Votes. McCain will probably take the state as he's leading by 5,868 votes with only about 7,000 provisional ballots left to count. That would break the long run of MO as a bellwether state in presidential elections. Since 1904, Mo has sided with the winner every time but once, when the state went for Adlai Stevenson over the victorious Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. By the way, New Mexico has also served as an accurate presidential bellwether -- siding with the losing candidate only twice since 1912. That was in 1976 and 2000.

If you go to the larger map at Kos, you can switch to the years 2000 or 2004 and see how much it's changed, in our favor. You can also see similar maps for U.S. Senate and House races.

November 6, 2008 at 12:02 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, 2008 General Presidential Election | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

March to Blue in New Mexico (with Updates)

I give up on updates. We're winning EVERYTHING!

MSNBC and ABC call New Mexico for Obama!!!!!!!

ABC calls Ohio for Obama!
Brian Sanderoff calls NM-03 for Ben Ray Lujan!
Fox and Sanderoff call Udall for US Senate!

November 4, 2008 at 07:28 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 NM Senate Race, NM-01 Congressional Race 2008, NM-02 Congressional Race 2008, NM-03 Congressional Race 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3)