Friday, March 24, 2023

NM Election Denier Group Issues Playbook on Disrupting the Election Certification


On Weds., Nov. 9, one day after the election, organizers of the New Mexico Audit Force released a "Call to Action" on their Telegram channel urging New Mexican voters to demand that county commissioners and county clerks investigate claims of election fraud in the 2022 Midterm Election made by the volunteer group.

New Mexico Audit Force is a volunteer-led organization started by David and Erin Clements of Doña Ana County. For the past year, the Clements have a led a "movement" to get rid of ballot machines and return the state to hand-counted ballots. They say they believe Donald Trump is the duly elected President of the United States, and led the controversial Otero County election "audit" that returned no official results.

Now NM Audit Force claims that they have evidence of fraud in the voter data from the 2022 Midterm Election that they have access to, as well as reports from around the state of wrongdoing by poll workers and county clerks. No issues of fraud have been reported by the Secretary of State.

To support their theory of how the state's election was stolen, Erin Clements issued a how-to manual called the County Commission Strategy - Post 2022 General (s)Election (which you can read below) on how voters should disrupt the county election canvassing process. "Flood your county commissioners and county clerks with emails and phone calls" and "demand a full hand recount of the election prior to certification" are part of the strategy.

The “canvass” is the process of reconciling and confirming the accuracy of the election results and reporting those results to the county and then to the state. Under the law, these county boards support the county clerk in the canvass of the election and are mainly responsible for ensuring the timely certification of the county clerk’s report of canvass. These boards do not canvass the election and must follow statutory procedures.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver - who was reelected - issued a statement in anticipation of disruption of the canvass and county commission meetings. "Our offices are aware that election conspiracy theorists who have played a role in recent attempts to undermine New Mexico’s elections may be now attempting to enlist county commissions to thwart legal certification of the 2022 General Election results. These tactics are not new and were seen during the 2022 Primary Election when Otero County (influenced by these same election conspiracy theorists) attempted to neglect their legal duties and not certify the results of that election."

The Sandoval County Commission is holding a special meeting to accept the canvass results of the 2022 General Election on Fri., Nov. 18, at 3pm. Commissioner Jay Block has long been a supporter of the New Mexico Audit Force and has been vocal about his support of hand-counted ballots. Block was the sole commissioner not to certify the 2022 Primary Election Results in June.

The Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners will meet via Zoom for the Board of Canvass on Mon., Nov. 21, at 3pm to certify the election results.

The Attorney General’s office says they have a legal team ready to take action against any attempts to interfere with legal certification of the 2022 General Election.


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