Opinion: Conspiracies Have Plagued Vote Certification across New Mexico

Daniella Cressman

There is a harmful and false narrative being spread that, somehow, the primary election results have been tampered with.

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As New Mexico officials certified results from the recent primary, they were faced with enraged crowds, hellbent on their unsubstantiated claims.

"Deep-seated conspiracy theories about the security of voting machines erupted into heated, angry and at times threatening outbursts Friday as New Mexico counties decided whether to certify results from their recent primary, underscoring the depths of an election crisis that officials fear is foreshadowing darker times ahead for the nation’s democracy." —Associated Press

Every single county in the state voted to certify election results.

"All 33 counties voted to certify the results of the June 7 primary election in advance of a Friday deadline to do so – including Otero County, which was under orders from the state Supreme Court to certify its vote." —Associated Press

Angry crowds were completely convinced that there was fraudulent activity taking place during the primary election, just as they were completely convinced that there was fraudulent activity during the 2020 election.

Commissioner Jay Block—a failed Republican primary candidate for the June 7 election— added fuel to the already raging fire.

"It is imperative that we are presented with a complete set of facts." —Jay Block

The reality, which is brutal for so many of the people who wholeheartedly believed Mr. Trump's lies, is that there was no fraudulent activity in the 2020 election, and there was also no fraudulent activity in this year's primary.

"There is no evidence of widespread fraud or manipulation of voting equipment that could have affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, and no such fraud has surfaced in this year’s midterms." —Associated Press

Republican commissioner David Heil even underscored the accuracy of the 2020 election by reading an audit that compared the votes recorded by the county's tabulating machines in 2020 with a sampling of the actual paper ballots.

"To underscore the accuracy of election results, another Sandoval County commissioner read to the audience the findings of an audit that compared the votes recorded by the county’s tabulating machines in 2020 with a sampling of the actual paper ballots. The difference was just a fraction of 1% in the races for president, U.S. Senate and other offices – 'almost insignificant.'" —David Heil

Normally, certifying election results would be a mundane activity that would not carry such intense emotions for people across the nation, but, unfortunately, that has changed due to Mr. Trump's unsubstantiated claims in 2020: the once routine activity has now become highly politicized.

"Certifying elections by typically under-the-radar local commissions has been a routine ministerial task for decades that has become politicized since former President Donald Trump sought to undermine the process following his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 election." —Associated Press

Couy Griffin was the lone Otero County Commissioner who refused to certify the election results.

He had his reasons.

"Couy Griffin, the lone Otero County Commission member to vote against certifying the election results, participated remotely in the meeting by telephone after being sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to 14 days behind bars, which he has already served. He had been convicted of entering restricted U.S. Capitol grounds – though not the building – during the Jan. 6 insurrection." —Associated Press

Griffin's refusal was, apparently, based on his own intuition: he felt that state officials were mishandling the matter, just as he had felt that the 2020 election had been rigged.

Conspiracy theories have been plaguing the nation since 2020, arguably leading to the controversy that accompanied this year's vote certification.

"The developments can be traced to far-right conspiracy theories over voting machines that have spread across the country over the past two years. Various Trump allies have claimed that Dominion voting systems had somehow been manipulated as part of an elaborate scheme to steal the election, which Biden won." —Associated Press

In response, Dominion has filed several defamation lawsuits.

"Dominion has filed several defamation lawsuits, including against Fox News, and in a statement earlier this week said the action by the Otero County commissioners was 'yet another example of how lies about Dominion have damaged our company and diminished the public’s faith in elections.'" —Associated Press

Officials are concerned that outrage and denial among some voters surrounding election results will become the new normal. This could affect the 2024 election and poses a severe threat to our democracy.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM
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