November 24, 2020

NM certifies election results, including Biden’s win in the state

On Tuesday, the New Mexico canvassing board certified the general election results from earlier this month, making the winners of races—including the presidential race—official, except for some races that require recounts.

The state canvassing board—a three-person panel with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Vigil—met in the Roundhouse on Tuesday. All counties had already certified election results. And last week, the state began its legally mandated process of auditing random precincts with hand recounts to ensure vote counts were accurate.

In all, 928,230 voters cast ballots, for 68.67 percent voter turnout of the state’s 1.3 million registered voters.

In New Mexico, the five electoral votes went to Joe Biden, and the canvassing board will send certificates of ascertainment to those who cast the votes in the electoral college. The electors will be chosen by the Democratic Party of New Mexico because the Democratic nominee won the state’s electoral votes.

Both Toulouse Oliver and Lujan Grisham took time to thank election officials and workers during the short meeting.

“We should be very proud as a state in terms not just our voter turnout but the really well-run efficiency of our election,” Toulouse Oliver said.

The governor agreed and said that New Mexico did well to vote during the pandemic.

“I would suggest that New Mexico led the nation in the right kinds of efforts and results,” Lujan Grisham said.

The official results show that Biden won the state’s five electoral votes. The state’s electors will cast this vote in the electoral college on Dec. 14; any disputes over the results must be resolved by Dec. 8. 

Biden won New Mexico by 10.8 percentage points. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton carried the state by 8.2 points. Democrats have won seven of the last eight New Mexico presidential races in New Mexico, with only George W. Bush’s narrow defeat of John Kerry in the middle. Previously, New Mexico voted for Republicans in six consecutive elections.

The board ordered automatic recounts in three down ballot races, including one legislative race, because the results were within one percentage point between two candidates.

The legislative race was House District 53, where Democratic incumbent WIllie Madrid led Republican former legislator Ricky Little by just 36 votes, or 0.56 percent.

In a race for a seat on the Sixth Judicial District Court, Democrat Jim Foy led Republican William Perkins by 167 votes, or 0.7 percentage points. And in the race for the 13th Judicial District Attorney, Democrat Barbara Romo led Republican Joshua Joe Jimenez by 136 votes, or 0.12 percentage points.

Republicans in the state have disputed the election results, with allegations that widespread voter fraud has occurred, despite no evidence.

It echoed claims in other states that likewise certified their results despite court cases from Republicans including Trump’s campaign. Many of these cases have been quickly thrown out of both federal and state courts, and the Trump administration began the formal transition process on Monday, which released government funds and resources to the Biden transition team to begin working.

Toulouse Oliver called the election “the most secure in American history” and thanked local, statewide and federal partners for their aid.

Also on Tuesday, Pennsylvania and Nevada both certified election results, a day after Michigan did so. Pennsylvania was a key state, which Biden won by over 80,000 votes, or just over 1 percentage point. Biden won in Michigan by nearly 155,000 votes, or 2.8 percentage points.

Lujan Grisham spoke from the governor’s residence while Toulouse Oliver and Vigil participated from the cabinet room in the Roundhouse. The board meeting was webcast by the Secretary of State’s office.