Thursday, November 29, 2012
12/1: Help get Signatures to Amend the Abq City Charter
It is time for majority rule elections In the city of Albuquerque. Help us amend the Albuquerque City Charter to 50% Majority Elections by gathering petition signatures on Saturday December 1st , during the Nob Hill Shop and Stroll Holiday event. Thirty thousand people are expected to attend !
What : Collect petition signatures to amend the Albuquerque City Charter
When : December 1st , 2012 from 11am - 6pm
Where : Democratic Party HQ , 3200 Monte Vista blvd NE
Join the fight , call and volunteer for a two hour shift to help bring majority rule elections to the city of Albuquerque. Call Jason @ 750-8386 or email Majority505@gmail.com
Monday, November 19, 2012
Governor Martinez-led Board Denied Request for More Vote Machines
Press release from ProgressNowNM:
Governor Martinez and her hand-picked Board of Finance denied funds to run a smooth election in Sandoval County.
Newly uncovered emails from the Secretary of State’s Office show that her office knew of potential voting delays on Election Day but Governor Martinez’s and her Board of Finance denied a request to purchase more machines just a month before voting started.
Martinez told KRQE on Election Day, “the Secretary of State was able to spend what was necessary to make sure that there were enough machines at every location." This new information directly contradicts Martinez’s assertion.
During Thursday night’s Sandoval County Commission meeting, Chairman Darryl Madalena read from a portion of a September 18, 2012 email from the Director of the Secretary of State's Elections Bureau showing that the Secretary of State asked Governor Martinez and the Board of Finance (Martinez is its president) for $1.4 million in emergency funds to "meet the requests for an increased number [of Autovote machines] for the General... Our request was tabled. The Board did not allocate any additional funding to cover the costs of the Election."
ProgressNowNM has posted the entire two-page email on its website at ProgressNowNm.org/blog
In the email to clerks from Bobbi Shearer, Elections Bureau Director, she blasts Martinez’s Secretary of Finance Tom Clifford and the Board of Finance, of which Martinez is the president and appoints all four public members, saying "the Board does not have an adequate understanding of the election process” and ridicules their questions about voting convenience centers.
From the email it is clear that that the Secretary of State accepted responsibility to provide sufficient Autovote machines to the clerks and acknowledges that more had been requested after the primary election. The clerk request for more equipment prompted a budget crisis for the Secretary of State who had already spent election money on non-election day items like voter purge cards and postage.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Democracy in New Mexico Election 2012
That is exactly what we did on Tuesday November 6th, we exercised our right of being a Democracy in action. Here is the definition of Democracy in websters dictionary:
a: government by the people; especially: rule of the majority
b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
Yes, I am disappointed I did not win my own bid for the NM State House of Representative District 30, but the people of HD 30 spoke and I end this race grateful and wiser. I am grateful for the support of so many friends, I had so many people helping me. I am grateful for so many people within HD 30 opening their doors and thoughts to me on this journey. I am wiser that these are not simple times and I learned more people are hurting and disenfranchised than what I even thought.
I am still going to fight the good fight. In the words of Paul Wellstone and something Eric Griego would remind us all of often: We all do better when we all do better.
Representative Ken Martinez had a great quote in the Journal today: "New Mexicans have rejected the politics of personal destruction and instead have chosen the Democratic agenda of strengthening our working families."
Personal destruction in lieu of leadership, ideas, facts and solutions. Let's not forget that the quest for supreme power is vested in us, the people. Even when hundreds of thousands of dollars are meant to sway us, the power is still in our hands not the people we elect, now more than ever. The democrats held on to and even gained a couple seats in the NM State House of Representatives, that is a success for the people of NM.
Some of the races have not been finalized: Marci Blaze is still fighting to represent the people of HD 23. Marci endured a vicious, money invested onslaught race and was attacked over and over by Republican Paul Pacheco. That district remains tight and is having an automatic recount.
Democrat Liz Thomson won House Seat 24 against incumbent Republican Conrad James. Emily Kane (HD15) won, Stephanie Richards (HD43) won in Los Alamos, Christine Trujillo (HD25) won, Georgene Louis (HD26) won and Patricia Roybal-Caballero (HD13) won, just to mention a few of the great women who will be serving the people of NM. Women stepped up and ran for office across the state and across the country, these strong women were coached and supported by other strong women and men.
Other strong women who won are Karen Montoya for PRC, and Chief Judge Barbara Vigil will be our next Supreme Court Judge, as well as Monica Zamora well be our next Court of Appeals Judge.
Thank goodness Senator Michael Sanchez survived his vicious race. Costing countless of thousands of dollars spent by Reform NM PAC Jay McClesky on behalf of the Martinez administration.
A huge congratulations to Martin Heinrich, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Ben Ray Lujan your work is going to be very important shaping this countries future. And I believe you are the leaders to do just that.
Lastly, Thank the Universe that Obama won for four more years. Our country having Romney as the leader for four years was frightening. What did that man really believe? What do any of the republicans really believe at any level of government anymore?
The money spent all together on all the races around the country to try to sway the will of the people could feed a small nation, like ours.
Let's remember there are many honest, hardworking, play it fair, people who deserve huge kudos! Kudos for all the efforts to the many volunteers and staff and caring people who worked so hard for our Democracy for this critical election of 2012. Democracy is not about money and destruction. Democracy is about we the people.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Congress expands voter suppression investigation to New Mexico after ProgressNowNM exposes improper training
STATEMENT OF PROGRESSNOW NM ON NEWS THAT CONGRESS EXPANDS VOTER SUPPRESSION INVESTIGATION INTO NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque - ProgressNow New Mexico's Executive Director Pat Davis issues this statement on the news that a Congressional committee has expanded its investigation into voter suppression into New Mexico after ProgressNow NM exposed improper training of poll challengers by a GOP official and improper coordination between the party and non-profit True The Vote.
"We thank Congressman Cummings for recognizing the important challenge efforts like those we exposed, and others exposed across the country, are having on our elections. This is welcome news coming on the heels of Attorney General King's announcement of a similar investigation announced last week. Though Congressman Pearce has said he endorses these illegal tactics, we encourage the rest of our congressional delegation to stand up for fair elections and support this important inquiry. We also continue to implore Governor Martinez, as our state's highest ranking elected Republican, to repudiate these tactics and support these investigations, especially now that voters have already begun voting."
ProgressNow New Mexico made national news when it released secretly recorded video of a Republican party official training poll challengers in illegal voter challenge techniques. The video has been viewed more than 50,000 times. Just days later, we returned to another training session and were denied entry by True The Vote's state leader telling us, on tape, that the training was only open to Republicans. Non-profit organizations, like True The Vote, are not permitted to work on a partisan basis.
We contacted Cong. Cummings office and shared these videos after learning of his investigation. Cummings specifically cites ProgressNowNM's work as justification for expanding the investigation.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King announced an investigation into voter suppression in New Mexico after we released these videos.
Despite these investigations, True The Vote released additional training videos this past weekend. They continue to teach improper poll challenger tactics to participants.
A copy of the Congressional letter is here.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Real ID is Dead. New Mexico IDs Will Continue to be Valid.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico debunks Governor Martinez’s Real ID Scare Tactic
On Oct. 10th Governor Martinez released a statement informing the public that the state practice of issuing drivers’ licenses to undocumented residents could prevent New Mexico licenses from complying with REAL ID standards by the deadline of January, 2013. This statement is misleading at best.
REAL ID is dead. Americans have already rejected large parts of this ill-conceived attempt to unite state drivers’ licenses into a national ID card. Thirty-six states—including New Mexico—currently do not fully comply with this unpopular, unfunded mandate. In fact, twenty-five states have passed resolutions rejecting REAL ID, and in fifteen states (more than 20% of the U.S. population), it is illegal for state officials to comply with the law.
Just as we saw in 2008, 2009, and then 2011—all previous deadlines for compliance—the Department of Homeland Security will almost surely kick the can further down the road and extend the deadline again. The government cannot afford to ban 20 percent of the total population from entering a federal building or boarding a plane back home from winter holidays.
Today’s statement from the Governor is a scare tactic meant to advance her agenda of dismantling New Mexico’s drivers’ license law. The Governor should not use the practically defunct REAL ID law to make baseless accusations about a drivers’ license law our legislature passed to improve public safety.
This statement may be attributed to Peter Simonson, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Mexico.
Friday, October 05, 2012
NM GOP Trains Poll Workers in Voter Suppression from ProgressNowNM
On October 4, 2012, ProgressNow New Mexico released an undercover video showing a Republican and Tea Party leader training “poll challengers” to illegally deny thousands of legal New Mexico voters a ballot on Election Day. To see the whole story click here.
Undercover video recorded by ProgressNow New Mexico shows the Republican Party training poll challengers in illegal tactics that could potentially restrict the voting rights of as many as 1-in8 New Mexicans in November.
A recording of the September 26th official "Poll Challenger Training" conducted by the Republican Party shows a GOP & Tea Party leader giving false and/or misleading information about voting rights and regulations to the training's attendees. The training was replete with misinformation about ID requirements, the use of provisional ballots, assistance for Spanish-speaking citizens, change of address requirements, and the rights of the disabled at the polls.
The group even created it's own poll challenger guide complete with instructions on how to demand ID and force legal voters to vote by provisional ballot in blatant contradiction with election law.
The tactics disseminated at the Republican "Poll Challenger Training" have the potential to restrict the voting rights of New Mexicans throughout the state by making it harder for eligible voters to exercise their civic duty and by compromising the integrity of the entire state electoral process.
But, The Nation caught up with Rep. Steve Pearce to ask his opinion about issue. He told them that these illegal tactics are the way the GOP will take back New Mexico. Really:
Pearce appeared to be aware of the NM GOP’s poll watching efforts, and supported them. “We’re simply saying that we’re going to start, we’re going to take it back it into our hands,” said Pearce. “We should check for ID since you have to show an ID to do anything in America.” He did, however, admit that doing so would be against the law. “Its against New Mexico law to check for ID,” the congressman conceded.
ProgressNow says "We aren't going to let them get away with this. State GOP leaders like Steve Pearce are encouraging their own party to break the law and we need your help to bring pressure to stop them."
Please help ProgressNow NM get this story out to the media in New Mexico and across the country. We can’t let Tea Party extremists break the law and bully voters into staying home on election day. Take a minute to give $5, $25 or $50 to help us keep up the pressure on Tea Party trainers to stop training challengers to bully our voters.
After you give, share it on Twitter and Facebook; email it to your friends; call your local news station. Whatever you can do to spread the word. New Mexicans need to know the tactics being used by those who want to limit voting rights and compromise the integrity of our election.
Monday, July 09, 2012
Study Urges Federal and State Lawmakers, Election Officials to Protect Voters from Bullying, Misinformation Campaigns
A release from Common Cause; Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.
Political vandals armed with computer-controlled telephones and the email addresses of millions of voters have a clear path to sabotage elections across America this November and in most states are likely to get away with it, Common Cause and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law warn in a report released today.
The detailed study, Deceptive Election Practices and Voter Intimidation: The Need for Voter Protection, highlights a variety of well-organized attempts to bully or misinform targeted groups of voters to keep them away from the polls. It calls on Congress, state legislatures and election officials to strengthen laws against political pillaging and better enforce those already on the books.
The report also includes the draft of a model state law on voters’ rights, which would ban the deliberate dissemination of false information on the time, place and manner of voting. The law would permit citizens to seek court orders to stop false information campaigns, and require the government to immediately publicize corrective information.
“The voting rights of tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Americans are at risk,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “By using automated phone calls and online tools like Facebook and Twitter, overzealous partisans can disseminate thousands of official looking messages directing voters to bogus polling places or misleading them about voting hours and voter identification requirements. In too many states and localities, our election laws and authorities are ill-equipped to respond to this threat.”
“Intentionally deceiving voters in an attempt to prevent them from voting for their candidates is the real fraud being perpetrated in our elections,” said Lawyers’ Committee Executive Director Barbara Arnwine. “As our nation recently celebrated its birthday, it’s time federal and state legislators take the necessary steps to protect voters against these nefarious tactics and help restore Americans’ faith in our democracy.”
The 33-page report includes case studies of Election Day sabotage in nine states, including:
- Email messages on Election Day 2008 informing students at George Mason University in Virginia that voting had been postponed for 24 hours. Text messages sent to University of Florida students that day said Tuesday voting was for Republicans only, with Wednesday reserved for Democrats.
- More than 100,000 Election Day 2010 robocalls to predominately African-American precincts in Maryland advising supporters of incumbent Gov. Martin O’Malley that O’Malley’s re-election was secure and they needn’t bother to vote. A top aide to Republican Bob Ehrlich was convicted of violating state election laws for his role in the case.
- Facebook messages distributed by a Mississippi pastor advising voters opposed to a “personhood amendment” to the state Constitution that because of anticipated high turnout they should vote on Wednesday, the day after the actual election.
- Phone calls directed at residents of two Philadelphia wards in 2008 advised the recipients that Latino residents would be restricted to voting between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Election Day.
Along with the passage of new legislation, the report urges tougher enforcement of voter protection laws already in effect. “Even in states with some type of law to protect against deceptive election practices, there is a slim record of enforcement,” the study asserts. That makes it all the more important for authorities to declare publicly that future violators will be prosecuted.
“Once the deceptive information has been disseminated the damage is already done. That’s why it’s important for state and federal governments to immediately publicize correct information so no voter is turned away or votes improperly,” Arnwine added.
“It’s tempting to dismiss these activities as ‘dirty tricks,’” Edgar said. “In fact, they’re serious crimes, directed not just against the voters who might be denied their rights, but against our democracy itself. It’s time we investigate, prosecute and punish them with the seriousness they deserve.”
Edgar added that as Election Day approaches, Common Cause, the Lawyers’ Committee and other groups will be recruiting citizen volunteers to identify and focus public and official attention on attempts to mislead or intimidate voters.
Read the full report here.
About the Lawyers’ Committee:
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment discrimination, voting, education and environmental justice. For more information about the LCCRUL, visit http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Heather Wilson Staff Linked to Illegal Voter Registration Scheme
ProgressNow New Mexico has discovered that senior staff from Republican Heather Wilson’s US Senate campaign are connected to a recent illegal voter registration stunt in Albuquerque.
One day after an unnamed name announced that he had illegally registered his dog to vote in New Mexico, ProgressNow NM discovered that the dog actually belongs to senior Wilson staffer Heather Wade and the "unnamed man" in the KOB report is her husband, Thomas Tolbert.
On February 20, 2012 Tolbert approached a voter registrar at UNM and asked to register to vote. According to an interview he gave to KOB-TV, he created a false social security number and date of birth and used his dog’s name “Buddy” to complete the application to vote. Tolbert then signed the form under the statement “I swear or affirm… that all information I have provided is correct.”
ProgressNow has called on Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston and UNM Police Chief Kathy Guimond to launch an investigation into alleged voter registration fraud, a 4th degree felony in New Mexico.
Now, our own investigation reveals that Thomas Tolbert is married to Heather Wade, a senior staffer with Heather Wilson’s Republican campaign for US Senate. Wilson’s FEC reports and Wade’s own LinkedIn profile confirms her status with the campaign.
“This new information raises the stakes significantly,” says Pat Davis of ProgressNow NM. "Heather Wilson's team is undermining the integrity of our voting system from their kitchen tables. And they are using her payroll to do it."
Both also share the home where the fraudulent registration card was mailed. Tolbert told KOB-TV that he received the card in the mail earlier this week.
ProgressNow NM intends to ask Chief Guimond and Sheriff Houston to expand their investigation to determine if both persons were involved in a conspiracy to undermine the integrity of our voting system.
Read the full post and view the documents, pictures and more at ProgressNowNM.org/blog
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Voter ID Bills and NM
The latest from ClearlySK.
Let's not make it harder to vote. We should protect our right to cast a ballot by NOT passing Voter ID bills, y'all.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Voter Suppression at the Roundhouse - Guest Blog by Paul Stokes
The voter suppression crowd doesn’t give up easily. Paul Weyrich, co-founder of ALEC and the Heritage Foundation, famously said, “I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
Cathrynn Brown, R-Eddy, has introduced HB 113, an almost identical photo voter ID bill to the one introduced last year at the New Mexico Legislature. That bill didn’t pass, but it was close in the House, and we must do everything we can to make sure that it doesn’t pass in the current Legislature.
The proponents of photo voter ID do not admit that its purpose is to suppress the vote. No, they say that it is necessary to prevent voter fraud. This flies in the face of numerous studies that have shown that the incidence of voter fraud is rarer than being struck by lightning. The truth is that New Mexico already has an effective voter ID requirement. Its effectiveness is confirmed by my favorite study conducted by the Republican National Lawyers Association that found that three persons were charged with voter fraud in New Mexico over the last ten years. Two of those were by election officials who opened a ballot box during the county canvass without the required approval of a district judge – probably an unintentional oversight - and one was a person illegally registered in Texas and New Mexico who voted both places – for himself as a candidate for judge in New Mexico no less. Notice that none of these cases would have been prevented by photo voter ID.
On the other hand, studies have shown that about ten percent of the voting population does not have a photo ID. Sure, special IDs may be purchased (or you may sign a statement saying you don’t want to pay) for voting purposes. But some will forget or have difficulties getting to an office issuing the photo IDs. The elderly, students, minorities, the poor, and persons with disabilities are the most likely to be affected by a requirement to have a photo ID to vote.
There is no doubt that the attempts to suppress the vote are being done for political purposes. Over the last year, thirty-four state legislatures have passed or introduced legislation for photo voter ID. In many cases, other voter suppression methods such as limiting or ending early voting were also included.
The New Mexico constitution says that “All elections shall be free and open, and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.” A photo voter ID requirement will prevent some qualified voters from voting. The proponents of photo voter ID say that a photo ID is needed to rent a movie, so why not for something as important as voting. The reason, of course, is that voting is a constitutional right guaranteed by both the US and New Mexico constitutions, while renting a movie is a privilege granted by a vendor.
It is unfortunate that the average citizen doesn’t have the time to consider all these facts. It just seems natural amongst many of us who have a driver’s license that photo voter ID makes sense. So, polls consistently show that a majority of the public believes that voting should require a photo ID, and our state senators and representatives feel the pressure. Please write, call, or visit your legislators and tell them that a photo voter ID requirement is unfair and that you want them to vote against it.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Secretary of State is Engaged in Campaign to Undermine Public Confidence in NM Elections
Following is a press release by Common Cause New Mexico, questioning the Secretary of States motives within her latest voter file interim report.
Common Cause New Mexico (CCNM) warns that Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s manner of conducting a review of New Mexico’s voter file seems to reflect a disturbing partisan bias. The organization’s comments follow Duran’s public release of a 17-page interim report about the process.
While CCNM lauds her efforts to clean up New Mexico’s voter file and agrees that this is a legitimate function of the Secretary of State’s office, CCNM believes that she is deliberately undermining public trust in New Mexico elections purely to promote policies, such as voter photo ID, which are designed to prevent qualified New Mexicans from casting a ballot.
“The way she’s gone about this secretive process is completely bizarre,” says Steven Robert Allen, executive director of CCNM. “The report is yet another example in which Secretary Duran consistently paints New Mexico elections as a hotbed of problems, while refusing to provide documentation to back up her assertions. This doesn’t make any sense unless she’s trying to deliberately stir up fear among both decision-makers and the general public to advance her own political agenda.”
Allen points out that the Secretary of State first launched her media campaign in March of this year while advocating for a burdensome new voter ID law. Voting rights advocates believe that such a law would have the effect of disenfranchising thousands of legitimate New Mexico voters, in particular among senior, student, Native American, Hispanic and low-income populations. Since March, Duran has repeatedly kept the public and voters in the dark about the methodology she’s using to conduct the review.
“This seems to be part of a national effort to suppress voter turnout,” Allen says, “which has been popping up most often in swing states like New Mexico. The goal is to pass laws specifically designed to disenfranchise qualified voters in the run-up to a major election year.”
Allen notes that the Colorado Secretary of State launched a similar media campaign within days of Secretary Duran.
In the recent ‘interim’ report, Duran fills numerous pages insisting that she has been engaged in a valid, objective, non-partisan process. CCNM believes that if this were so, she would have launched her media campaign after her office attempted to resolve discrepancies in the voter file by working directly with county election officials. The fact that she has to this date failed to take this obvious step – instead choosing to actually attack the integrity of some of these same county election officials – makes her actions and motivations highly suspect, at best.
New Mexico has had numerous problems with its Secretaries of State in recent years. CCNM believes New Mexico desperately deserves a chief election official who is willing and able to conduct herself in a manner that protects the rights of all qualified New Mexicans to cast a ballot.
CCNM urges Secretary Duran to abandon her partisan media campaign and get down to the serious business of preparing the state for the important election year ahead.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
10/8: NAVA Hosts Unprecedented Teleconference and Polling Event
From the Native American Voters Alliance (NAVA):
NAVA is hosting "Native America Speaks," an unprecedented statewide teleconference and polling event using participants' cell phones and displaying real-time results. The teleconference takes place at the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) in Albuquerque, the Center for Lifelong Education at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and the UNM Branch in Gallup. An information-gathering booth will also be set up at the Shiprock Fair.
We are inviting Native American people 18 years old and up, including young people, elders, artists, professionals, voters and nonvoters alike to this event. The digital conference will take place at 10:00 AM on Saturday, October 8, 2011. Registration and check-in begins at 9:00 AM. The NAVA is also looking for volunteers, as well as participants. To register online, go to http://t.co/0hl34cP.
Digital Conference: Issues Facing Native Americans
The relationship of Native Americans to power and politics is one of enormous complexity and speculation. At this unprecedented event, the NAVA, with its more than a decade of civic engagement with tribal communities, seeks to gather information to understand Native voter behavior by hosting a statewide teleconference in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Gallup to poll Native Americans using cell phones and show real-time results. This digital discussion on health care, Veterans, the economy and other issues affecting Native Americans -- who make up more than 10 percent of the state's population -- is based on a similar national polling event on congressional budget talks.
Native Americans at each site will have smaller discussions on the issues hosted by a moderator, and then be polled on their perceptions. The event seeks to contextualize the Native American decision-making process and involvement in American society.
Guest speakers include Alvin Warren (Santa Clara Pueblo), former Lt. Gov. of Santa Clara Pueblo and Indian Affairs Secretary; Joe Garcia (Ohkay Owingeh), former Governor of Ohkay Owingeh and Chairman of the National Congress of American Indians; and Leonard Tsosie, Navajo Nation Council Delegate and former state senator. Others, including political activist LaDonna Harris (Commanche), have been invited.
For more information, contact Event Organizer Amber Carrillo, 505-917-7698, or NAVA Executive Director Laurie Weahkee, 505-246-1819.