November 20, 2020

Republicans try to cast doubt on NM presidential results after Biden won by 11 points

Less than a week before New Mexico certifies its election results, President Donald Trump’s political team said there are allegations of voter fraud in the state, even as the state’s post-election process to verify and audit results moved forward.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani made the allegations as part of a rambling press conference on Thursday that contradicted some arguments the Trump campaign has made in courts. The Trump campaign has consistently lost their cases as they attempt to overturn election results in states where the Republican lost, like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“And the state that we’re looking at that would surprise you, we’re seeing very, very significant amount of fraud allegations in the state of New Mexico,” Giuliani claimed.

A spokesman for the Secretary of State said elections in New Mexico were secure. He also said there have been, to his knowledge, there have been no lawsuits filed yet.

“We have safe and secure elections here in New Mexico because of our use of best practices like paper ballots, regular voter roll maintenance, and post-election audits,” the spokesman, Alex Curtas, said in a statement.

About the same time as Giuliani’s press conference, auditors in New Mexico began the process of hand-counting random precincts to confirm the accuracy of the votes for the races for president, U.S. Senate, 2nd Congressional District and state Court of Appeals Position 3 races.

“The purpose of the hand recount is to determine the accuracy of the voting machine tabulators used throughout the state for the state’s Nov. 3, 2020 general election,” auditor Robert J. Rivera said. 

The county clerks that represent the selected precincts would conduct a hand recount of the selected race and provide the results to the auditors.

Rivera’s firm and others would be used for the process, and a report would be finished likely by mid-December.

Giuliani has alleged fraud in public, in media appearances and press conferences, but admitted in a federal court that a case regarding Pennsylvania did not have anything to do with fraud.

The federal lawsuits have themselves largely gone nowhere, and many have been withdrawn. Just Thursday, the Trump campaign dropped a lawsuit seeking to block the certification of the vote in Michigan.

There have been no lawsuits filed regarding New Mexico’s elections.

According to state law, any contesting of an election would need to take place within thirty days of the “issuance of the certificate of election to the successful candidate.” This would mean 30 days from Tuesday’s meeting of the state vancassing board, which takes place on Nov. 24, or Dec. 24.

Giuliani’s press conference came two days after Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver criticized Trump for firing Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs.

“Chris Krebs led CISA through the most secure election in modern history and he should be applauded for his leadership,” Toulouse Oliver said in a statement Tuesday. “Mr. Krebs’s firing today is shameful and seems to be an attempt by President Trump to further cast doubt on the outcome of the 2020 General Election when there is no evidence to support his spurious claims of widespread election fraud.”

Trump fired Krebs after a statement that said the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history.”

Krebs was a Trump appointee.

The Republican Party of New Mexico also levied accusations of voter fraud on Thursday.

The party claimed “manipulation of Dominion Voting Systems machines, illegal absentee ballots, ballots submitted with no applications and illegal actions against GOP poll challengers.”

“What happened on November 3 is an affront to our election system and our very democracy,” Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce said in a statement. “The Democratic tactics and this national pattern of irregularities are unspeakable. There must be election integrity, and there’s evidence around the nation that this was a calculated plan to switch votes and tip the scales in Biden’s favor. These challenges are legitimate, and we will defend President Trump and the American people.”

Curtas responded to what he called the “vague, conspiratorial claims.”

“These are unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, pure and simple,” Curtas said in a statement. “Our Office has received no credible allegations that match what Steve Pearce is claiming in this ludicrous press release. This continued effort by Steve Pearce and the Republican Party to undermine the integrity of our elections is doing great harm to our democracy. If I’m not mistaken, Trump lost his 30th lawsuit today in his attempt to undo the legitimate results of the 2020 General Election.”

Trump had actually lost or withdrawn 32 lawsuits as of 4 p.m. on Thursday according to the count of Marc E. Elias, a Democratic attorney.

Toulouse Oliver said on Twitter last week that there were no problems with Dominion Voting Systems, which the state of New Mexico uses to count ballots.

“The statements being made about Dominion Voting Systems are categorically false,” Toulouse Oliver wrote on Nov. 12. “No votes were changed or ‘glitched.’ There’s no secret CIA program for voter fraud. There are no issues with Sharpie pens being used to mark ballots.”

In the unofficial election results, last update on Nov. 18, Biden defeated Trump by nearly 100,000 votes, which is 11 percentage points.

The state’s canvassing board will meet on Tuesday, as prescribed by state law, and certify results.

Canvassing includes an audit of results from 

Counties have been doing their own canvases of election results since the election took place. Doña Ana County’s Board of Commissioners, for example, narrowly certified the county’s general election canvas last Friday, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.