November 29, 2016

State certifies election results, orders three recounts in legislative races

Hillary Clinton officially won New Mexico and its five electoral votes, after certification of results by the State Canvassing Board Tuesday.

The board also certified the need for three recounts in legislative races, one of which heads into the recount with just a nine vote advantage.

In the official results, 804,043 voters cast ballots, or 62.4 percent of the 1,289,414 voters who were registered in time to vote in the general election.

Hillary Clinton received 48.26 percent of the votes cast in the presidential race, while Republican Donald Trump received 40.04 percent. Trump, however, received the most votes in enough states to win the presidency.

Gary Johnson, a former New Mexico governor who ran as a Libertarian Party nominee, received 9.34 percent of the votes statewide, the highest percentage by a member of neither major party since Ross Perot received 16.12 percent in 1992. Jill Stein received the support of 1.24 percent of voters, and no other candidate received more than 1 percent.

In the race for Secretary of State, Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver defeated Republican Nora Espinoza 56.41 percent to 43.59 percent. The Secretary of State position is normally held in non-presidential years. The resignation of Dianna Duran hours before pleading guilty to multiple crimes, including felonies, related to campaign finance prompted the race to fill the final two years of the term.

In another rarity, Republican Judith Nakamura won the race for state Supreme Court. She defeated Democrat Michael Vigil 52 percent to 48 percent. The female majority state Supreme Court is now made up of four Democrats and one Republican.


The state canvassing board ordered automatic recounts in three legislative races. Automatic recounts occur when the results of the race are within 1 percent between the top two candidates.

These recounts will be paid for by the state.

In Senate District 9, Democratic incumbent John Sapien leads Republican Diego Espinoza 12,727 to 12,529, or 50.39 percent to 49.61 percent. In House District 23, Democratic challenger Daymon Ely leads Republican incumbent Paul Pacheco 7,124 to 7,022, or 50.26 percent to 49.64 percent.

The third and closest race headed to a recount is between Republican incumbent David Adkins and Democratic challenger Ronnie Martinez. Adkins leads Martinez 6,976 to 6,967 in House District 29, or 50.03 percent to 49.97 percent.

NM Political Report previously wrote about the recount process in New Mexico in relation to these three races.

No matter the final results in these three races, Democrats will once again control the state House and the state Senate.

Secretary of State Brad Winter, a Republican, said there was no widespread illegal voting in New Mexico, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Winter noted that hacking would not be possible because New Mexico’s ballots are backed up by paper ballots.

Recently, Trump asserted without evidence and falsely that three million ballots across the country were cast illegally. This echoes a claim made by conspiracy theory websites like InfoWars, which also falsely believes the terror attacks on 9/11 were an inside job and that the government created the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Politifact called Trump’s election claim “ridiculously illogical” and said it was “pants on fire” false.