Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

Earlier this month, an Española man attempted to register himself as Jesus Christ in order to vote in a municipal election in Española.

According to the Española Record Clerk Tyler Dominguez, “Mr. Umberto Beto Morales (voter) came into City Hall Chambers to early vote at approximately 2:45 pm. His behavior was erratic and belligerent. He was brought in by Mr. Juan Duran (escort) as was another voter Sean Jonathan Pacheco (seemingly under the influence, incoherent but not belligerent). Mr. Morales signed his name as “Jesus Christ” and stated that he was allowed to vote “three times” as “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

During the unusual interaction, the City staff recorded that Mr. Morales made a phone call at the polling station to ask who he was voting for. Apparently, whoever Mr. Morales spoke to told him to vote for a new young mayor and fire everybody. Election staff politely asked him to protect the secrecy of his vote and to utilize the voter booths to fill in his ballot.  

“He was inappropriate and rude toward staff as he exited the polling place, continuing to shout,” the Clerk added. Staff requested a police officer to patrol the area because of the man’s erratic behavior.

Mr. Morales was unable to cast his vote under the alias Jesus Christ and his alleged three votes that he was self-entitled to will miss this year’s election.