Uncounted Rio Arriba County ballots raise eyebrows
Posted 2/06/2008 12:50:00 PM
(This article has been updated to include Richard Martinez’s comments to Nash and the new vote margin separating Clinton and Obama.)
The New Mexico Democratic Party caucus may be tainted by three ballot boxes that spent the night in the home of the
Those ballots still haven’t been counted, but they have been retrieved by the state party.
Several sources told me the ballot boxes spent the night at the home of Rio Arriba County Democratic Party Chair Theresa Martinez, whose state-lawmaker husband, Sen. Richard Martinez, endorsed Hillary Clinton. But Richard Martinez told Santa Fe New Mexican reporter Kate Nash that the boxes actually spent the night in the homes of three polling-place managers. He gave Nash no explanation for why the results from those ballots weren’t reported to the state party last night and why they were instead kept overnight in officials’ homes.
“The site managers locked them and they kept them and they took them to my wife this morning,” Nash quoted Richard Martinez as saying.
State party officials and Theresa Martinez have not returned my calls seeking comment.
The three ballot boxes from
I want to make sure this point is emphasized: Roughly half the votes from
The ballot boxes were retrieved from Theresa Martinez by the state party this morning.
I understand there was a big snowstorm up there, and I realize people were up late and might have slept in this morning. It’s possible – perhaps even likely – that there is nothing fishy going on here.
But there are valid concerns.
The Obama and
If the ballots are disqualified, voters are disenfranchised. If they’re counted, the process may be tainted. This is an incredibly close race. You have to wonder if, at the end of it all, the losing candidate will petition the DNC to not seat some or all of
A number of Democrats have told me they’re furious with the state party over these issues. I’m trying to get to the bottom of it. Check back later today for updates.
Update, 2:30 p.m.
Phil Sisneros, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said an AG investigation is unlikely because this was a party-run election not subject to the state election code.