Skip to comments.Wilson, Republicans cry foul as precincts run out of ballots (New Mexico Vote Fraud)
Posted on 11/07/2006 1:57:33 PM PST by Stultis
U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson and an attorney for the state Republican Party this morning said at least two heavily Republican precincts in the Northeast Heights received only a fraction of the paper ballots needed, a move they called a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise GOP voters.
A spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office said it appeared to be a numerical error in which a zero was dropped. Two precincts that should have received 1,500 and 1,700 ballots, respectively, instead got 150 and 170.
"The (Bernalillo) county clerk should have checked it when they accepted the order," said Ray Baray of the Secretary of State's Office.
The GOP's announcement, combined with other claims of problems at the polls this morning, could foreshadow a protracted legal battle over the results of today's election.
"The county clerk has taken repeated steps to disenfranchise Republican voters," said Pat Rogers, an Albuquerque attorney representing state Republicans, who was speaking from the Courtyard Marriott hotel near Jefferson Street.
Liz Hamm, a spokeswoman for Bernalillo County, confirmed that at least two precincts ran out of ballots. She said the county was working to print more.
County Clerk Mary Herrera had a news conference scheduled this afternoon to address the ballot concerns.
Wilson, who has served in Congress since 1998, is in the middle of one of the closest political campaigns of her career as she battles Democratic state Attorney General Patricia Madrid.
Wilson said she visited precincts 603 at Church of the Good Shepherd, 7834 Tennyson St. N.E., this morning when, at 8:55 a.m., she said voters left the property claiming the polling place was out of ballots.
Wilson said the precinct, which has 2,474 registered voters, received only 150 paper ballots. The precinct, she said, is in a heavily Republican area where 67 percent of the voters supported her in the last election.
Precinct worker Linda Ransom confirmed that the precinct had received only 150 ballots, and ran out shortly before 9 a.m.
Precinct 602, located in the same church, also received 150 ballots, Wilson's campaign said.
Wilson said repeated calls to the County Clerks's Office prompted a delivery of 250 more ballots to Precinct 603. But she said poll workers were told they would have to continually ask for more ballots throughout the day.
On top of that, she said voters who were turned away were not given provisional ballots - typically given to registered voters whose names don't show up on a precinct's voter rolls. Voters turned away at the polls must receive provisional ballots under federal law.
Wilson said her campaign was working this morning to contact as many of the turned-away voters as possible. At a news conference this morning, she showed 2,500 pieces of copy paper that stood 18 inches high representing the registered voters of Precinct 603. Next to it was a pile of 150 pieces an inch or so high - a symbol of the discrepancy in ballots at the poll she visited.
"They're not even prepared to comply with federal law," said an indignant Wilson, dressed casually in khaki pants and a white polo shirt with "U.S. House of Representatives" embroidered on the front.
"I am demanding that sufficient ballots be immediately delivered," she said. "I am demanding that no one be turned away from their voting place."
Rogers said Bernalillo County Election Administrator Jaime Diaz told him this morning that the decision on how many ballots to stock at the polling places "was a decision of the county clerk."
Diaz was not immediately available for comment.
Said Rogers, "Someone is out to make it very difficult for Republican voters."
Rogers, though, said heading to court to challenge the balloting process should be a "last resort."
"But we would resort to the last resort if it's the only way to get people to do their federal duty," Rogers said.
Bernalillo County spokeswoman Liz Hamm confirmed that precincts 603 and 57 ran out of ballots before 9 a.m. today. She did not confirm whether precinct 602 was also shortchanged.
"Mary (Herrera) found out at 9 a.m. and within 30 minutes, they had everything on its way," Hamm said. Four hundred additional ballots were sent to Precinct 57 and it was unclear how many were sent to 603, Hamm said.
The county has contacted the printer should more ballots need to be printed today, she said this morning.
Hamm said she couldn't immediately address allegations by the Republicans about voter disenfranchisement.
The ballot shortage wasn't the only glitch at Albuquerque polling places this morning.
Even as the last TV ads from Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron touted the ease of voting early this morning, Joe Chavez said it was anything but easy at Precinct 435 in the Northeast Heights.
He arrived half an hour early at McKinley Middle School, but still had to wait in line, he said.
Then the poll workers said his state-issued voter-ID card wasn't sufficient to get a ballot. Chavez said the clerk told him he needed photo ID.
Chavez stood his ground. "I told her, `Hey, the law doesn't require picture ID.' She kind of looked at me and told me I had to."
He had a photo in his pocket, Chavez said, but held firm.
The clerks said every voter needed photo ID; Chavez pointed to their own instructions that said only certain voters whose names were marked on the registration list needed photo ID.
He showed them his name on the roster, he said, which matched his voter-ID card.
He also mentioned state law permits a person to vote simply by reciting their name and last four digits of their Social Security number. Even a water-utility bill is valid ID, he said.
No go. People behind him in line were not happy, he said.
"I could've just reached in my wallet and given them my driver's license," Chavez said. "But it's not required in this state. They made it very difficult."
The poll manager finally stepped in and allowed him to vote, he said.
"Had it been someone older or less educated, I think they would've been intimidated and left, not so much because of the people at the desk but the people behind them in line," Chavez said. "It was getting ugly."
Frankie Ewing and her husband arrived early at Precinct 216, at Encino House near Spruce Park in the University of New Mexico area.
She was the first person to turn in completed ballot, but the reader machine wouldn't take it, she said.
After numerous failed attempts to get the machines to read her ballot and that of her husband, poll workers said to slip the ballot into a locked box.
"It makes us a little anxious that things are not going right," Ewing said this morning. She was nervous that her vote might not be counted, she said.
"The problem is not people impersonating voters" or using fake ID to get a ballot, she said. "The problem is they don't count all these votes."
Ewing said she's already convinced that some absentee ballots are never counted, which is why she waits until Election Day to cast her vote.
It only took about 10 minutes to fill out the new ballot, she said. But if a voter makes an error, they're supposed to request a new ballot.
"People make errors all the time," Ewing said. "It could be a zoo."
Overall, however, she prefers paper ballots to electronic voting, because of the paper trail.
Dang beat me to it.
|Wilson calls for federal election monitors after ballots run out ^
|Posted by jamesrichards
On News/Activism ^ 11/07/2006 3:04:27 PM CST · 28 replies · 940+ views
KOBTV ^ | November 7, 2006
Wilson calls for federal election monitors after ballots run out Incumbent Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson is calling for federal monitors from a US House committee to keep tabs on voting in New Mexico?s 1st Congressional District. Wilson made that announcement after a heavily Republican Northeast Heights precinct with roughly 2,500 registered voters ran out of ballots within two hours of the polls opening. Precinct 603 was supposed to receive 1,500 ballots but only had 150 on hand when voting began at 7:00 am. When ballots ran out at about 9:00 am, voters were asked to leave their names and numbers...
Um, mistakes do happen, even unfortunate ones. If we lose, can we do it with a little bit of dignity, unlike the DUers whenever they lose?
This is BS
Need action on this also. What is happening on the ground?
Every election something always happens. I still dont know why we dont go back to paper ballots using check marks.
Yep, sounds plausible.
"6 large boxes of ballots for the dem precinct and...hmmm...an envelope of ballots for the republican precinct. But the repubs are demoralized anyways, so..."
AND WHAT THE HELL WILL THAT DO FOR US?
If she loses by a hundred ballots and more than 4000 people could no vote something should be done...
actually, this is a genuine case of disenfranchisment that the dims like to cry about, and a case that should be looked at.
Voter fraud and vote counter stupidity is a huge problem.
Bill Richardson will get a very black eye out of this one if we play it right! YEA!
Sounds like the Clintoon people(Richardson included) are at it again!
New Mexico, Do NOT let them stop you, Get out there and VOTE!!!!
Hey everyone, when you post a state problem, please put the state ZIP abbreviation in as a Topic so we can follow.
and what party does the clerk belong to ??????
Just my opinion...if we lose, I don't want the Republican versions of Jesse Jackson and Keith Olbermann out there bitching and moaning for 4 months after the election. Embarrassing.
Those people can always write in too.
"If we lose, can we do it with a little bit of dignity, unlike the DUers whenever they lose?"
Bull. This isn't losing, it is FRAUD and CORRUPTION. The sleeved Aces of the democraps.
DIM, and she's running for secretary of state.
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