NM SECRETARY OF STATE AGREES TO REISSUE GUIDELINES TO ALL COUNTIES REGARDING DROP BOX SUPERVISION AND PROCEDURES
ALBUQUERQUE, OCTOBER 29 — Two New Mexico counties that had violated absentee ballot drop box rules have corrected the infractions in accordance with New Mexico law.
RPNM had filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of State, charging that officials in Taos and Guadalupe Counties had failed to provide mandated security measures at their absentee ballot drop box locations.
Under state election law, County Clerks must secure and maintain these drop boxes which are required to be under the direct supervision of at least two county staff or election workers at all times. Drop boxes should also be monitored by a video security surveillance system.
Taos and Guadalupe Counties have fixed these violations.
In addition, the Secretary of State is sending out guidelines to all County Clerks, reminding them of the law. The Secretary has made assurances that she will inform all counties that drop boxes must be supervised at all times and under surveillance to protect against any kind of fraud or other problems.
“We are pleased that Taos and Guadalupe Counties have corrected the drop box violations,” said Steve Pearce, Chairman of the Republican Party. “Our legal action was to simply ensure that there’s election integrity everywhere and that all counties follow the law. It’s gratifying to know that the state is also taking action to tell county officials that they must enforce this critical part of our election law. We all want fair and honest elections.”
While this problem has been resolved, the lawsuit filed by RPNM, GOP leaders and four County Clerks against the Secretary of State over the certification of absentee ballots is still being pursued. That case involved poll challengers being denied access to the certification process. Although the New Mexico Supreme Court declined to hear that case, RPNM has discussed the issue with the Department of Justice. The violations in that lawsuit are too egregious to ignore.