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Duran issues a snarky report we can’t trust

Heath Haussamen

We needed Secretary of State Dianna Duran to lead a transparent probe of the voter rolls that included county clerks from both parties so we could know there was evidence to back up the conclusions and that partisanship wasn’t an issue. We didn’t need a snarky report we can’t trust.

There should be no doubt that electoral fraud can and does happen, at least occasionally, in New Mexico.

Two of the most recent examples come from Doña Ana County, where a former Sunland Park judge was sentenced to 18 months on probation in 2009 for fraudulently voting and registering as a candidate for judge, and where someone involved in the county GOP allegedly altered seven voter registration forms to change new voters’ party affiliation from “declined to state” to Republican.

There should also be no doubt that there are problems with New Mexico’s voter rolls. Secretary of State Dianna Duran knows it. County clerks from both parties know it.

There should be a bipartisan way to address these issues. Voters essentially charged Duran with leading such an effort when they elected her last year, making her the first Republican secretary of state in eight decades. Duran had the support of many Democrats, including some county clerks.

In electing Duran, voters sent a strong message that they’re tired of shenanigans in the Secretary of State’s Office and want integrity in their elections.

But instead of leading a bipartisan effort to address problems with the voter file, Duran has created division with a months-long investigation that lacked transparency and integrity. As a result, the likelihood of county clerks and legislators from both parties coming together to address issues with the voter rolls is lessened.

Withholding records

I’ve spent months chronicling the mess, so I’ll sum it up here only briefly. Duran appeared at a hearing on voter ID legislation in March claiming that her office had matched 117 voter registrations to people in the MVD foreign national database using names and dates of birth. She claimed to have evidence of 37 foreign nationals illegally voting in elections and said she still had thousands of registrations to check against Social Security records.


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It was a bold claim that, if true, would reveal a serious problem with New Mexico’s voter rolls. I and others requested documents to back up the claim. My intent was to review the evidence so I could tell the public whether Duran was right.

But Duran and her office refused to release the records and, in doing so, violated the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act more than once.

The Taxation and Revenue Department, which includes MVD, also initially violated the public records act in its dealings with me, but later corrected the violation by releasing some records.

Duran in part blamed Attorney General Gary King for her secrecy, telling me his office advised her to withhold records and that, though she wanted to be “as transparent and open as we can… with certain advice from our attorney, we’re limited.”

Which is, of course, crap. Duran is an independent elected official who can do what she thinks is right regardless of King’s advice.

Duran’s office later confused her stance on the AG’s advice. As I wrote earlier this month, in a recent letter to the AG, Duran wrote that she’s been requesting guidance from his office since March on whether she can release records and has “still not received clear guidance as to such disclosure or non-disclosure.”

Did she blame King months ago to try to deflect criticism? What’s true? It’s impossible to tell.

More like a commentary than an investigative report

Earlier this month, Duran finally released her report detailing the results of the months-long investigation. It found that 19 N.M. voters might be foreign nationals. That’s in addition to the two who voluntarily reported their status as illegally registered voters earlier this year.

The document read more like a commentary than an investigative report. It tossed out a bunch of impressive numbers that may very well be accurate – 105 registered voters may not be U.S. citizens; 19 of them have voted in N.M. elections; 2,608 voting records use a Social Security number that’s assigned to two individuals; six use a Social Security number that’s assigned to three people; there are 641 dead people still on the voter rolls.

But the report included no supporting documentation. No evidence to back up its claims. Instead, the document took shots at Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver for not doing enough to address problems, even though the Democratic clerk forwarded 1,300 voter registration forms to law enforcement in 2008 because she suspected fraud or other problems with them.

The document also contained snarky language about anyone who might challenge it. Here’s an example:

“In this interim report… we have identified thousands of discrepancies, or potential opportunities for voting irregularity and fraud. We are confident that some will say that ‘it’s only a few thousand’, or that they will vigorously disparage the findings, and assert their strong ‘belief’ that the findings are unimportant. Again, we have no issue with those kinds of talking points, assertions, or attitudes. We expect them from political and partisan interests. We are simply not in that game. Our duty is to the people of New Mexico, their Constitution and their laws; not to parties, candidates, lobbies, special interest groups or political action committees.”

A wasted opportunity

The report makes a valid point: Some Democrats have said there’s not been one voter fraud conviction in the state’s history. Sen. Cisco McSorley is among those who have made such erroneous claims.

But Duran had the opportunity, coming off her impressive and bipartisan election, to unite elections officials from both parties behind a compromise to improve election integrity and make it difficult for the naysayers in the Legislature to win the day.

Instead, Duran has hidden evidence from county clerks and the public, attempted to deflect criticism onto the Democratic AG, taken shots at a Democratic county clerk, and, in her report, taken a tone that seems to be more about winning an argument than finding solutions.

That’s the most unfortunate part. Though technology has helped clerks and the secretary of state make dramatic improvements to New Mexico’s voter rolls in the last 10-15 years, it’s clear there are still problems with the system. We need solutions.

We needed Duran to lead a transparent investigation that included the county clerks – from both parties – throughout the entire process, so we could know there was evidence to back up the conclusions and that partisanship wasn’t an issue. We needed Duran to unite our state’s elections officials behind solutions so lawmakers would be pressured into acting.

We didn’t need a snarky report we can’t trust.

What a wasted opportunity.

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35 comments so far. Scroll down to submit your own comment.

  1. “Dr. J
    December 1, 2011 • 4:08 pm

    Yes, well after some friendly advice, I wish to withdraw anything I have said about this issue, I just made it all up and none of it is true.”

       Finally, a moment, however unintentional, of real honesty.

       But don’t sell yourself short….there’s still that promising career inflating hot air balloons.  Good luck!   

  2. I wrote this about Sen. Cisco McSorley in this column:

    “The report makes a valid point: Some Democrats have said there’s not been one voter fraud conviction in the state’s history. Sen. Cisco McSorley is among those who have made such erroneous claims.”

    I posted a response from McSorley this morning. Read it here.

  3. MJM:
     
    First of all, lumping all of those state’s review processes together doesn’t tell the whole story; laws and regulations passed in Ohio, Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin not only have demonstrated side-effects of disenfranchisement, in several cases that appears to be the intent of them; not all of those states are “merely” performing common-sense reviews to ensure the integrity of their elections.  Some of them appear to be doing it with the specific intent of making the people question that integrity.  Second, what makes you think New Mexico hasn’t reviewed our regulations?  We’re constantly reviewing our regulations, not to mention our very methods of voting.  I’d be interested to see where you got the “47″ number, and what justifies our absence from the list.
     
    However, we’re not talking about a review of regulations, we’re talking about an investigation into the voters themselves, and because of something for which there was no evidence was actually occurring, and which now – according to the Secretary herself – there is still no evidence in favor of.
     
    We are also discussing (or at least those of us who aren’t blindly supporting an elected official simply because she’s ostensibly doing something we agree with) the fact that she blatantly violated the Inspection of Public Records Act while doing it.  Period.  It doesn’t matter whether the investigation itself is something you agree with or not, nor does it matter what you claim its alleged purpose is, that doesn’t change the fact that during her pursuit of an investigation that proved what everyone already knew – specifically, that it wasn’t necessary – she broke the law.  It’s not even a law that is hard to follow, nor would following it have created any difficulty in performing her investigation; indeed, the total skepticism towards the investigation that Heath – along with every open government advocate in the state – is feeling would not have manifested if she had just followed a law that has the sole intent of keeping the people’s employees honest.

  4. Yes, well after some friendly advice, I wish to withdraw anything I have said about this issue, I just made it all up and none of it is true.

  5. 47 states have gone through a review of their voter rules and regulatioins, making changes as they thought appropriate.  3 states (NM being one) seem to be holding out.  Now IP I ask you are the other 47 states misinformed, stupid, or trying to disenfranchise various voter groups?  Or do you think that we should continue to set the bar…as the final hold out for revisions of our election standards?  I gues the same question goes out to the more progressive amongst this spirited group?  IP are the other 47 states stupid as well as 75% of the NM electorate?  Just asking…?  Have a good one!

  6. “Risk his life”?  Where do you think we live, exactly?  It’s official, you have crossed the line from disproved conspiracy-theories to outright paranoia.

  7. IcarusPhoenix – maybe Dr. J doesn’t want to risk his life. Afterall, he seems to have knowledge of people who have and by the way you may want to consider on whom you are placing burdens.

  8. You got that right buddy. And to anyone who doesn’t believe it, don’t risk the chance trying to disprove it.
     
    Er, Qui Tam, why is the burden on everyone else to disprove it when Dr. J has done nothing to prove it?  Or is it automatically true simply because you choose to believe it?

  9. And as I have stated before, people in my valley who rat on election judges are dealt with in the old ways around here.  You don’t do that and want to continue living here in peace, you can never prove it to the satisfaction of the “authorities” – Dr. J

    You got that right buddy. And to anyone who doesn’t believe it, don’t risk the chance trying to disprove it. This is yet another reason the lapsidazical, partisan, and seemingly purposeful inept Attorney General Gary King is so dangerous to the citizenry as a whole.

    I think there is a legal word to describe when someone puts someone else’s life in danger on purpose.

  10. Dr. J.  Thanks for making my day…not as much fun as the big run-up in my stocks today but far, far more amusing.

      I’m not sure when providing transportation of voters to the polls became a “dirty trick”, particularly when compared to deceiving voters into not voting at all,  but it’s a fascinating glimpse into your world.

      As is your excuse-upon-excuse for not being honest with readers concerning your abundant accusations of rampant voter fraud.  “Oh, I can’t do anything about it because of my evil neighbors” is pretty thin posole, my friend, and sounds remarkably similar to all the excuses tossed about by the tin-foil-cap conspiracy theorists that populate the Internet with complicated dark plots and elaborate bamboozlement, only to be thwarted by the puppetmasters who manage to keep actual proof juusssst out of reach.
    What about those Jewish bankers, Skull & Bones, and the the Illuminati?  Is the legendary Svali your neighbor in the valley?
       http://www.rense.com/general30/illuminatidefector.htm 

      Believe what you like, friend, and good luck to you in your seemingly lawless valley, but know that there’s always a job waiting for you inflating those hot air balloons with your “facts” and opinions.
      Until then, in the words of the Travis Tritt country song:  Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.   

        
       

  11. desertdawg, no I don’t consider dirty tricks as described by IP as voter fraud, just as I would not consider running buses and vans through neighborhoods and picking up anyone with a pulse and taking them to vote and coaching them along the way who to vote for is voter fraud.  The left and right all have and use dirty tricks.  And as I have stated before, people in my valley who rat on election judges are dealt with in the old ways around here.  You don’t do that and want to continue living here in peace, you can never prove it to the satisfaction of the “authorities”, since they are in the pocket of the party as well.  Just think of Chicago in the ’30s, or even today in some places.

  12. Dr J: “That also happens here and always has, and I know of a Dem election judge who was arrested up north here, and many others as well, almost every election along with all those dead people continuing to vote. ”

      Sounds like you’re just the person Duran is looking for, a fountain of information that you “know” about rampant voter fraud.  How come you’re not testifying about that to Duran or  to a grand jury?  How come you’re not making specific charges and naming names here?  After all….you “know” all this stuff, right?  Right?

      Seems like a good time to put up or shut up, Dr J., about all this stuff you “know”, all these things you specifically mention as fact.
      Either provide specific information or get a job inflating balloons at next year’s festival in Albuquerque.  I’m thinking you could save those flyboys a lot of money in gas expenses.
      By the way, any response to IP’s litany of Republican dirty tricks concerning voter suppression?  Don’t  you think tricking people into NOT voting is also a form of voter fraud?       

  13. Dr. J:
     
    No matter how many times people claim that the dead (or, for that matter, non-citizens) are voting in this state en masse, no one has bothered to prove it.  They just keep saying it over and over as if that will suddenly make it true.
     
    Also, you have proven with your last post exactly what I was talking about when it comes to your habit to think of necessarily-nuanced reality in over-simplified absolutes and the fact that you have no idea what liberals actually believe; being pro-business does not make one not a liberal.  Real “pro-business” policies are those liberals tend to pursue; after all, we’re the ones who push all the laws that are aimed at preventing collusion, monopolies, and other anti-competitive practices of the sort that have been shown to be detrimental to the very free market competition that conservatives do nothing but talk about.

  14. IP, I have always been referring to voter fraud in this thread, not dirty tricks as you describe, totally different.  I am speaking of things like what got LBJ elected thanks to all those dead people in Duval County.  That also happens here and always has, and I know of a Dem election judge who was arrested up north here, and many others as well, almost every election along with all those dead people continuing to vote.  I also did not list Di as a liberal, she is far from it, and I think Cervantes has been very active fighting the left wing in the Roundhouse, and he and Di are pro-business, something the liberals are certainly not here in NM.  And if you think Hector is left wing, just wait for his attack ads against Marty, he is most certainly not a left wing liberal, he is also pro-business.

  15. Those who seek to deny people the right to vote are the one’s committing voter fraud.  A couple of dozen people each election cycle committing voter fraud won’t likely change the outcome of any election, much less a major one.  Butterfly ballots, rigged voting machines, limiting voting times and locations to specific areas that favor one party over another, placing thugs as “observers” at voting stations to intimidate voters–now that’s voter fraud!  These tactics do in fact alter voting results, not a couple of dozen idiots voting for a dead relative.

  16. Dr. J:
     
    First off, your list is somewhat odd, since on the “left wing” list you include Gary King and Diane Denish, who aren’t, and “Martys”, by which I assume you mean Congressman Heinrich (though you are the only person I’ve ever come across who refers to him that way), though if you mean Chavez, he also isn’t, while on your “moderate and conservative” list, you include Auditor Balderas and Representative Cervantes, who most certainly are liberals (it should also be noted that the latter of these two isn’t above partisan games; his redistricting proposal for the House of Representatives was just as gerrymandered as anything the GOP put out).
     
    As for the GOP, I didn’t say “voter fraud” – which, incidentally, despite years of trying, the GOP hasn’t managed to prove that the Democratic Party has committed a single act of this, and they’ve done a pretty good job of demonstrating that we haven’t – I said “electoral hijinks”.  The actions I was referring to, while unethical and frequently legally questionable, are not always specifically on the line of “voter fraud”.  As I’ve pointed out before, getting illegitimate voters to the polls is a remarkably inefficient way to steal an election – after all, we have enough trouble getting legitimate voters to show up.  It is far easier to try and convince people likely to vote for your opponents to not show up, or to challenge their right to vote on the spot (if you can force an increase in provisional balloting, you can cast doubt on any results you don’t like later on, and a remarkable number of provisional ballots get thrown out during the count).  To that end, I provide you with the following, which I wrote some months back in response to a similar question; all of these incidents are recent examples in the state of New Mexico:
     
    Several of the state GOP’s poll challengers have been ordered to remove themselves by precinct judges over the last few for harassment, and last year, two in Las Cruces actually got themselves arrested for it. In several  past elections, right-wing PACs have handed out fliers in low-income, heavily-Democratic precincts making bizarre false claims, such as anyone owing child support or who had unpaid parking tickets would be arrested if they tried to vote. In 2004, a GOP operative was caught discarding every provisional ballot they came across for Senator Kerry. The same year, there were complaints from Democrats being told that, due to an expectation of high voter turnout, the election was being spread over two days, with Republicans being asked to vote on Tuesday, and Democrats (conveniently enough) being asked to vote Wednesday (no one ever mentioned when independents were supposedly going to vote…). In 2008, the GOP hired several voter registration agents to go to the University of New Mexico, where they were asked to leave by administration when several students complained that the agents were offering to pay anyone who registered Republican. In 2006, the Democratic Party was actually forced to sue the campaign of Congresswoman Wilson the day before the election when hundreds of complaints flooded in that weekend showing that the campaign (under the interesting moniker of “Victory Committee”) was phoning Democrats and telling them to go to the wrong polling locations on election day (which would, incidentally, force them to vote provisionally); the GOP claimed in court that it was an error, but evidence surfaced that if it was, then they knew about the “error” when they started receiving complaints that Friday, yet did nothing to correct the problem until that Monday afternoon when the matter went before a judge.
     
    All of those examples are in New Mexico alone, and we are by no means the state with the worst examples of voter suppression by Republicans and right-wing organizations (you should see what they do in Ohio, where the laws have gotten so draconian that the Republican Secretary of State refuses to enforce them). There are no equivalent incidents in recent history of such organized acts of large-scale attempted disenfranchisement by New Mexico Democrats.

  17.  Thank you, Heath, for a thoughtful and well written commentary.  Particular thanks also to Ms. Oliver for her explanation of the events in her jurisdiction.  I just love FACTS.

      And speaking of facts, Ms Duran could use a few in her vague, obtuse and hyperbolic communications on this issue.  She’s all about suggestion and innuendo, throwing out numbers when they suit her yet never really coming up with definitive facts concerning her witchhunt….oh, I mean investigation (yeah, THAT”S the ticket!) of voter fraud.
      Is there voter fraud in NM?  If there wasn’t, NM would stand alone among the 50 states.  But the Republican talking point repeated again and again should be fairly easy to prove, if there was any substance to it.  I don’t see anything amounting to intentional fraud, save a few isolated cases. They amount to statistically zip, zero, zilch…nada.   
      QT’s constant repetition of “more to come” reminds me of the same neoconservative chant regarding the failed search for WMDs after the Iraq invasion.   Just about the same level of credibility, too.

     Finally, how much taxpayer money is Ms Duran spending on this?  I think the answer will remain unknown or obscured for quite some time.   

  18. IP, I would like to see your evidence that Repubs have created most voter fraud in NM.  I would agree with you that most Dems in the state are not left wing, yours truly among them.  But it is hard to tell when the Martys, Wirths, Egolf, Colons, Maggies, Marys, Rebeccas, Garys, Lujans, etc. seem to capture the spotlight far beyond the true Democrats like Hector, Denish, Smith,  and Cervantes.  Those moderate and conservative voices are all but ignored by the party leadership these days.

  19. It appears the Secretary of State is just flushing money down the toilet:
    http://www.gettyimages.es/detail/v%C3%ADdeo/flushing-money-down-the-toilet-pel%C3%ADculas-de-stock/97405394
     
    How much is this witch hunt of Ms. Duran and her Republican cohorts costing the New Mexico taxpayer? Ms. Duran – please tell us or is that a secret too!

  20. As a diligent voter registrar, I can give you an example of a problem with a voter registration.  I once let a young man fill out his form himself, and not only was it difficult to read, but he refused to put down his phone number (which is his right).  I try to get people to put down a phone number;  the form allows them to specify that it is only for the use of the county clerk’s office, not the general public, but some people still won’t provide it. 
    So the county clerk called ME, and I had to go back to that physical address and personally get the information for the clerk.  This was pretty inconvenient, as the young man lived in Roswell and I live 100 miles away, outside of Cloudcroft.
    Needless to state, I never let a voter fill out their own form again.  It seems to me that a lot of the problem forms could be eliminated if the legislature made the phone number mandatory and also specified that if the clerk could not reach the registrant by phone if needed, the form could be rejected.
    I credit Secretary Herrera with the implementation of a much improved registration form, and a much improved campaign filing report system.  I wonder if those who keep smearing her ever actually had any contact with her office, as I had on multiple occasions.
    Oh, and one of the ways Duran has cut corners to pay for her witch-hunt is to stop sending out the State of New Mexico Roster.  They have reluctantly started sending it out again, but the requestor is required to provide a SASE to mail it in, and the office refused to inform me of the postage needed.  I had to take the large envelope I am sending them, along with my old (2009-2010) copy of the Roster, to the PO and have the combination weighed. So FYI the postage required is $1.69 (not counting the 66 cents for the 2-oz postage on the envelope containing the request and the SASE).  I still have to write the note and mail all this.  When Herrera was SOS, a simple phone request was sufficient.
    So whom is Duran serving?  The citizens of New Mexico, or the Republican agenda?
     

  21. MJM:
     
    I think perhaps Upthehill meant seeing how she runs the 2012 election, and not anything about her running again.  Leastwise, that was my original read of the post.

  22. upthehill

    Ms Duran was elected in Nov 2010 for 4 years.  Thus 2012 election will be long in the past when her 4 year term comes up…should she want to run again.  She probably has time to improve her grade, but I grant you some hard work needs to be done.  I think you should grade on a curve….Just kidding.  Great comments!

  23. Upthehill:
     
    I do have to disagree with a couple of your points; first of all, Secretary Duran was Otero Country Clerk for four years, and actually was quite competent at the post.  As for being “beholding to those in her party that crossed every line possible to get her elected”, while I do not pretend to analyze the Secretary’s motives for her frankly bizarre behavior, I would point out that the GOP didn’t have to cross any lines to get her elected; as Heath pointed out, the Secretary was elected due to a groundswell of support from Democrats (myself included) who were glad that the New Mexico GOp had finally showed a modicum of respect for the voters and put of someone even remotely competent against the ever-inept Mary Herrera.  She has no need to be beholding to anyone but the voters.  What really worries me is that, like so many members of the New Mexico Republican Party, Secretary Duran actually believes that illegal voters exist in droves, no matter how many times they manage to prove themselves wrong.

  24. Ms Duran has spend the first year on a witch hunt and has spent a lot of taxpayer money in doing so. All she has done is prove that we don’t need a costly voter ID system. I concluded years ago that voter fraud was the invention of the Republican right as their direction toward voter suppression…Dr J how typical of you, when you have nothing valid to say you blame the Democrats. As an educator I would not give Ms Duran a B, maybe a D. She as three years to improve so we’ll have to see how election 2012 goes, after all she was elected to an executive position without ever having executive experience. Unfortunately, she still appears to be a beholding to those in her party that crossed every line possible to get her elected.

  25. Heath you may haave a legitimate commentary…But honestly Heath…at least give the lady a solid B- for making an effort to address the issue.  Prior administrations of late had no emphasis on even addressing the issue.  Ms Oliver from Bernalillo county ( a person I do respect quite a bit) did not randomly come up with 1,500 names on her list that gave her pause did she?  QT might be right here..There could be more information to come.  Only time will tell.

  26. If Maggie Toulouse-Oliver is the candidate for Secretary of the State, New Mexico will have a person of solid credentials. Ms. Duran is strictly a party hack following the national Republican scheme for voter suppression and trumped up voter fraud.
     
    http://www.bernco.gov/maggie-toulouse-oliver—biography-18813/

  27. Heath, as usual I appreciate your in-depth coverage of election issues and your desire to be accurate and fair on these issues.

    I have never actually posted a comment on a post of yours, but feel compelled to today due to what I feel are out-of-line comments both in the Secretary’s report as well as in the below string.

    To clarify for all those who are interested, over the course of 2008, my office processed a record ~80,000 voter registration applications due to the impending presidential election.  These were not all new voters.  Many were renewed registrations and many were duplicate registrations that were filled out because people were scared that if they did not get a registration card in the mail right away that they were not registered to vote.

    When that many forms are in circulation and so many people are out in the community registering folks, inevitably many of the forms we recieved were “problematic” in nature.  I should make sure I point out the difference between “problematic” and “suspicious” here.  Problematic cards are those with such little complete information, or wrong information, or illegible information, that not only can we not process those cards but we also cannot reach the prospective voter to resolve those problems.

    We also had cards that were downright suspicious in nature.  Many of them were overtly copied from the phonebook.  Many had obviously made-up names and many had social security numbers that were overtly false.

    These cards were painstakingly compiled by my staff and not entered into the voter registration system.  They were set aside so that we could either continue to follow up with the potential voter or refer them to law enforcement. 

    We submitted the sum total of all of these “unresolveable” cards to law enforcement because I believed it was the right thing to do. Investigative power is not in my authority.  However, there is no guidance either in state law (then or now) nor from the Secretary of State’s office (then or now) as to what County Clerks are supposed to do when they suspect potential voter registration or vote fraud. 

    That being the case, we improvised.  We addressed a letter to the Bernalillo County District Attorney, the State Attorney General and the US Attorney at the guidance of our legal counsel.  We informed them of the issues and let them know that we stood ready to assist in any potential investigation or prosecution for voter registration offenses.

    Of the three agencies, the US Attorney’s office directed the FBI to respond.  We met with the FBI just prior to the General Election and provided them with copies of all the problematic and suspicious cards we had in our possession at the time.  That was initially around 1300 but it eventually grew to over 1500.  Copies of all were eventually provided to the FBI.

    At every point in this process, we were transparent and pro-active.  We took pains to speak at length with the media (who covered this issue extensively, as a simple Google or Lexis-Nexis search would produce) and we cooperated fully with law enforcement.

    Unfortunately, we were informed by the FBI in 2010 that their investigation had concluded with no potential indictments. 

    I hope that clears up any questions or suspicions about what my office did or did not do in 2008.  We are hoping for clearer guidance about how to deal with these issues during next year’s election, when inevitably we will be faced with similar problems once again.             

                     

  28. We really should not discount Dianna Duran from obtaining the Secretary of State position too soon, afterall there certainly is more to come:)

  29. The left wing Democrats invented voter fraud
     
    You are kidding with that, right Dr. J?  I mean, you do realize that most documented cases of electoral hijinks in this state over the past decade-and-a-half have been committed by Republicans, right?  To say nothing of the fact that most Democrats in New Mexico hardly qualify as “left wing”, as you of all people should know.

  30.   Then on the bright side……. We have now achieved a level of political party equality and gender equality not seen before in our fair state. The lady Secretary of State is every bit the thug and hack of the worst of ‘em. I guess that’s something to celebrate.
     

  31. Ah yes, and Maggie and Mary are the kind you think you can trust?  Please.  The left wing Democrats invented voter fraud, so you want them to “assist” in investigating it?  How logical.

  32. Hemingway:
     
    Not necessarily; entirely aside from the safety of incumbency, the Democratic Party will have to run someone competent against her; after all, she won because she was the first seemingly-competent candidate the GOP ever ran against the ever-bungling Secretary Herrera.  Qui Tam is correct in the assumption that Maggie Toulouse-Oliver is probably that candidate.
     
    This article, of course, primarily addresses that which I’ve been saying all along; the Secretary is not above the law, and by refusing to adhere to those laws, she has completely demeaned the very process we elected her to protect.  Indeed, by invoking the Attorney General’s name, she invites the obvious comparison; her and her staff’s obvious disdain for anyone with the audacity to ask questions to which we have the right to have answered reminds me quite aptly of the attitude we have become accustomed to from Gary King and Phil Sisneros.

  33. Excellent reporting Heath. Consise and exact.

    Please do delve more into the next Democratic Secretary of State, Maggie Toulouse-Oliver’s, submission of 1300 voter registration forms to law enforcement. I wonder if that too involved Mary Herrera and her gang. It could also prove who else is above the law.

    Thank you Heath Haussamen, you are a credit and an example that media of all forms need to follow.

  34. Our snarky Secretary of State will be defeated in the next election! This is a solid prediction after this fiasco! It would be interesting to find out how much taxpayers’ money was used in this “wasted opportunity”.

  35. “We are simply not in that game.”   How hilarious!
     
     

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