Secretary of state fails open government test


  1. sad-days says:

    Republican Representative Ricky Little kept his “donate” web-page up and active throughout the entire legislative session. That’s unethical and against the law. Duran was contacted about it early in the session (and several times throughout the session) and obviously nothing was done since the page was never taken down. Duran exhibits no signs of adhering to an internal, let alone legal, ethical code of conduct.

  2. psimonson says:

    Really Now:

    Excellent point. Thank you.

    We’ll see if the ACLU receives a different response from the Governor’s office.

  3. Really_Now says:


    You are correct. My goal (although unrealized!) was to comment to psimonson’s response of April 21, 2011 at 3:29pm.

    Thank you for the clarification you provided.

  4. IcarusPhoenix says:

    Really Now:

    Ms. Welsh was pointing out the contrast between the two; indeed, as you noted, she actually used the word, and despite a modern-day tendency to mangle the language, English is actually remarkably precise. Nowhere in her statement did Ms. Welsh say that the Secretary was “violating” the Executive Order, nor in any way suggesting that the Secretary of State’s office is in any way answerable to the Governor.

  5. Really_Now says:

    Not to justify anyone’s actions, but this statement by Ms. Welsh, “…[s]he also said it “stands in contrast to” the executive order Gov. Susana Martinez issued detailing how her administration would and would not use executive privilege.” doesn’t work in this instance. The Secretary of State is an elected individual and runs a campaign separate from that of the Governor. This (The Secretary of State’s Office) is not part of the Governor’s administration and thus the Executive Order does not apply here. The Secretary of State’s Office is not an agency under the Executive Branch of government although it is part of the executive branch.

    New Mexico has a plural executive. Article V of the state constitution creates the executive branch of our state government. It establishes a plural executive. This meanswe elect several different officials in the executive branch. The governor is the chief executive officer in the state. We elect the governor and lieutenant governor as a team.
    The other elected officials in the executive branch are: secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer, attorney general, commissioner of public lands, and a three person state corporation commission. Each official is independent of the others. Each has specific functions and duties.
    This plural executive can be confusing because we like to think of our governor as a local version of the American presidency. There are two reasons the framers of the New Mexico Constitution created a plural executive. First, they wanted to limit the powers of the governor. Secondly, they wanted greater accountability in government. They made state officials more accountable by direct election. Several other states organize their executive branch in this manner.

  6. psimonson says:

    The SOS’s response is especially ironic given that Gov. Martinez ran on promises of “ensuring transparency and ethics in our government,” including this offering from her website:

    “My administration will not use executive privilege to unjustifiably block public access to the activities of state government, as has been done in the past. As public servants, we are accountable to New Mexicans and they should know exactly what their government is doing on their behalf.”

  7. Observer says:

    Funny, she didn’t think much of the AG’s opinion when he said that she was wrong for letting Governor Martinez use campaign funds to run media ads against the Democrats.

  8. ecorso says:

    Thanks Heath – This and many other instances, related specifically to this matter and others not, demonstrate a serious disregard for truth and justice in New Mexico by elected officers and their minions. If these matters are allowed to pass without comment and disclosure by individuals who feel deeply about their personal commitment to what is left of a social contract there will soon be none. Especially worrisome are the lawyers, judges, elected officials, appointed and non-appointed public officials who see themselves and their interests as the arbiters of what passes for justice. We must all make a commitment to defend and pursue truth and justice or lose them.

  9. wedum59 says:

    As a followup to upthehill, according to ,

    “How often do people move in the US?

    About 40 million people move annually in the US. Nearly 3/4 of the US population moves an average of once every 5 years. Many things contribute to these statistics:

    – shifts in the economy; for instance, from the Rust Belt to Silicon Valley.
    – the doubling of the divorce rate in last 30 years; divorce results in many moves, and sometimes moves can trigger divorces!
    – corporate transfers play a role
    – changes in status (i.e., marriage, graduation from college, retirement, etc.) are common reasons for moving.”

  10. fdwil111 says:

    Unfortunately, the problem that Heath encountered is getting more common. It seems to be an attitude of “make me do it” (no matter what the law says). This will buy the resister a lot of time, because we must go to the expense of filing suit and then await a decision by a judge. What a joke this makes of governmental organizations and, in this case, the honesty and integrity of our elected officials. Come on voters, wake up!

  11. Heath Haussamen says:

    Mr. Adams,


  12. Upthehill says:

    Please check and note the following:

    Records include “all documents, papers, letters, books, maps, tapes, photographs, recordings and other materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, that are used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relate to public business, whether or not the records are required by law to be created or maintained.” [31]

    Notable exceptions include:

    •Medical records (14-2-1-A-1 and 14-6-1-A)
    •Letters of reference and matters of opinions placed in personnel or student files (14-2-1-A-2 and A-3)
    •Law enforcement records that reveal confidential sources, methods, information or individuals accused but not charged with a crime. (14-2-1-A-4)
    •Donations to universities and museums where the donor has asked that the donated item be made confidential (14-2-1-A-5 and 14-3-A-1)
    •Records containing the identity of applicants or nominees for the position of president of a public college or university, except that the governing board shall give public notice of the names of at least five finalists for the position at least 21 days before the date of final action. (14-2-1-A-7 and 14-2-1B)
    •Public hospitals’ trade secrets, attorney-client privileged information or business plans (14-2-1-A-6)
    •Tactical response plans or procedures (14-2-1-A-8)
    •Military discharge documents (14-2-1-A-9)
    •As otherwise provided by law (14-2-1-A-12)[32]
    However, custodians are required by law to separate exempt and non-exempt materials in the same source and release exempt materials

    I noted a certain amount of mistrust of the Secretary during her campaign having noted certain personally questionable actions on her part when she was a state senator. I had the impression that illegals and dead people voting to be nothing more than campaign rhetoric, so Mr Haussamen I believe you are spinning your wheels with expecting documents that would support these claims. Federal law does not provide for proof of citizenship when registering to vote and to implement a true voter ID system would be very costly to the taxpayers of New Mexico in light of the unreliability of the NM driver’s license to serve that purpose. My analysis has determined that anywhere from 10-15 percent of people in Southern NM move from one address to another or relocate between election cycles, so it is not unrealistic for a voter’s address to be different on a driver’s license compared to their voter registration. If the claim of 37 is even close to correct, that is not enough to sway the vote in a local race let alone a statewide race. Let’s get real, we have a system in place that allows citizens under the US Constitution to vote and we must be very careful as to whom we might arbitrarily take away these rights. Instead of a witch hunt, not you Mr Haussamen, you did a great job with this reporting, but for those who believe either one party or the other is violating federal and state laws. Let’s move on to creating jobs, improving our communities, conserving energy, protecting our borders, and the list goes on.

    Perhaps Senator Rue should advise Sec Duran on transparency rather than AG King.

  13. radams says:

    thank you Mr. Haussamen for keeping us honest. Using IPRA to delay and hide info is the exact opposite of the intent and spirit of the law. We must do better.

  14. Heath Haussamen says:

    Thanks for the information, Mr. Adams.

  15. radams says:

    And Heath – just as a technical issue – yes the County Clerks maintain the registration record, however that record is scanned into a statewide system which Duran maintains and the SOS is certainly able to print the scanned copies. No MVD information at all in that system.

  16. radams says:

    Bernalillo County has referred over 1600 voter registration applications to law enforcement in four years. These are voter registration applications that were submitted by third party agents which contain suspicious information. These applications are available for public inspection in our office or via copy request. To date, there has not been a case prosecuted (law enforcement = DA, AG, FBI, US Attorney and SOS.)

    As for actual voting fraud, we have not been presented with one case to forward for investigation. Poll officials (like the one below) do have a responsibility to turn over suspected fraud for investigation.

  17. IcarusPhoenix says:

    Ms. Wedum:

    The 117 figure is the number of registrations she claimed had “discrepancies”; 37 is the number that she claims actually voted in the last election… and then, as we all know, provided no proof for.

    Mr. Adams:

    I want to thank you for your commitment. Out of curiosity (considering that the state GOP has been on this crusade for a decade now), has your office ever received a complaint of this specific nature that proved to be legitimate?

  18. radams says:

    The point is that the states Chief Elections Officer testified with some degree of certainty that she had evidence of fraudulent voting. When pressed for the details, she stonewalled the public, media and other county clerks. This is not good government. The testimony was given in support of photo voter identification proposal (Which ironically, would not have addressed the problem she testified to).

    I would urge anyone with evidence of voter fraud to report it immediately to law enforcement so that it may be investigated and prosecuted if needed. If you are unsure of where or whom to report to, feel free to email me at
    Robert Adams
    Deputy Clerk
    Bernalillo County NM

  19. wedum59 says:

    Interesting that the version I heard was that Duran found 37 voter registrations with no social security number listed. Now it’s 117 voter registrations with something else listed, or not listed, but she won’t say what.

    37/1.6 million gives 0.002% possibly improper votes. 117/1.6 million gives 0.007% improper registrations.

    Either way, our voter records in New Mexico appear to be a minimum of 99.993% pure. That’s purer than Ivory Soap (for you youngsters, the advertisement claimed Ivory was 99.44% pure).

    How much taxpayer money and employee time was wasted on this witchhunt?? In the meantime, the SOS office did not get its act together on the campaign and PAC finance reports. The changes were voted in in 2009, WHEN Duran was a state senator, duh. She should have been working on this bread and butter procedural issue instead of the Republican political agenda.

  20. IcarusPhoenix says:

    Casus Belley:

    I am for now going to sidestep your tenuous grasp of the English language and instead address the very few substantive claims that you have made:

    First of all, if a poll worker actually said that – particularly in front of a voter – why didn’t you report them to the country clerk’s office, or at least to the precinct judge? For that matter, if you were at a polling location that had challengers – from either party – I would hope that one of them would step in and say something. Certainly I would have, and this is exactly the situation that the challenger law exists to address.

    Second, what the poll worker allegedly said was not only an invalid rationalization, but your interpretation of the results (multiple registrations) is entirely spurious. This is why people register with their social security number – to prevent exactly that sort of thing from happening. It’s a very easy thing to prevent.

    Third, the lawyers in question (from, I presume, Democratic Party, as there is no such party as the “Democrat party”) go from location to location, frequently responding to the calls of poll challengers who remain there all day. Both parties have them, they are authorized – and indeed, recommended – by the law, and it is their job to safeguard the electoral process. Considering your attitude and imperfect grasp of the law, I would be very surprised if a challenger called them because of you. By the same token, if could just as easily been your colleague’s bizarre statement on multiple registrations.

    Fourth, the Constitution of New Mexico specifically states that all government business in New Mexico is to be done in both English and Spanish. Thus, I’m going to ignore the blatant bigotry of your “doesn’t know English” statement and merely point out that your colleague’s reading of the law was entirely accurate in this case, and that a utility bill is specifically mentioned in the law as a valid form of identification to vote.

    On a similar note, your reading of the law is laughable at best. The “voter bill of rights poster” you mentioned is entirely accurate. That is not only a legitimate “interpretation” of New Mexico voter identification laws, but it’s actually explicitly stated that way in the law. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you can invent the law in your head. The poster you refer to is actually printed by the Secretary of State’s office – the office responsible for enforcing that particular law – and every location is required to have one.

    As for the early voting issue, the Registrar isn’t “suggesting” your address, they are confirming it… as they are advised to do in the Election Handbook of the State of New Mexico, which sets out the guidelines for everyone involved in the operation of any election.

    Please do your fellow citizens a favor and either a) educate yourself if what is and is not acceptable in elections in the state of New Mexico, or b) NEVER work another election again, lest you actually give in to your undemocratic and border-line vigilante attitudes and trample upon the rights of your fellow citizens, as you seem so keen to do. Every single thing you suggested as a “subversion” of election law is explicitly laid out in the law, and the subversion is, in fact, your position.

    It should be noted that even if Secretary Duran is correct and there are 117 foreign nationals registered to vote – a charge that she has very deliberately and systematically refused to prove and that the NMGOP has been obsessing over for years now without even one case turning out to be true – that is a remarkably low number in a state with 1.1 million registered voters. I’m not personally going to lay awake at night fretting about the sanctity of our democracy over a completely unproven allegation involving .01% of registered voters. Thanks to people like Belley, it is apparent that there are far bigger threats to our system.

  21. qofdisks says:

    Casus Belley,
    I see nothing systemic in these antidotes. It doesn’t sound like any nefarious group is going around breaking voting laws. Certainly, there is no evidence that an electoral outcome has been effected by mis-representation of identity at the polls. I have had my doubts about absentee votes.
    I can tell that you are a radical far right idealog because of your incorrect usage of the word Democrat in, “It wasn’t but a short time after that…. that Democrat lawyers showed up looking for any possible problems of voters being harassed or intimidated”. It should be “democratic”.

  22. Casus Belley says:

    Hey, I work the polls for the last few elections. I sit at that signature roster part of the time. You know the drill.

    So I am sitting there, a guy comes in gives me his drivers license. It isn’t required but that is what he does.

    I look up the name, find it in the roster but the address doesn’t match. I say “hey the address doesn’t match”

    He says “I register with my business address”

    I say “what is to keep a guy from registering with both his business address and residential address?”

    My poll worker counter-part says “I think a guy should be able to register and vote for both addresses. After all he might own property and pay taxes in different precincts that are affected by different administrations.”

    Poll workers have rationalized voters having multiple registrations.

    It wasn’t but a short time after that…. that Democrat lawyers showed up looking for any possible problems of voters being harassed or intimidated.

    Me, essentially a volunteer, of course I was intimidated by those lawyers.

    In another episode, a young voter comes up to the table. I give him the greeting “hi, how are you doing or something like that.”

    The young voter doesn’t say anything. He just hands me a utility bill.

    I look up the name and he gets a ballot.

    A few minutes later I speculate to my counter-part… “I don’t think that guy knows english”

    My counter-part doesn’t argue but says “I think they should be able to vote.”

    I didn’t say this but I thought

    I should be able to kill people, but there is a law that says I can not. We have laws about who can vote and how many times they can register and vote. It is not about what I think or feel. It is about election law.

    Election law is easily subverted.

    Early voting …

    In ABQ’s 08 election the “voter bill of rights poster” [sic] said voter identification CANNOT be required unless a voter is unable to make a VERBAL representation.

    That is in know way a legitimate interpretation of NM voter id law. I wanted so bad to steal that poster, so I could have it for posterity. That would have made me the bad guy eh?

    Early voting …

    You march up to the registrar and say your name …

    Then the registrar SUGGESTS your address.

    Get it?

    That is like the registrar suggesting your identity.

    I identify myself unambiguously to the poll official by stating my name and my address and my birth year.

    It is not for the poll official to SUGGEST “oh, are you the Chavez on Bluebird SE”

    That is handing identities to voters.

    Election law is easily subverted.

  23. Hemingway says:

    Secretary of State Dianna Duran is simply paranoid seeing illegal voters everywhere. She couldn’t believe that there was an actual registered voter Duran Duran. Unfortunately for Ms. Duran, there really is a Duran Duran listed in the Albuquerque phone book.

    Here is a little music for our Secretary of State. It might calm her down a bit!