September 11, 2023

Legislative Newsletter: Uncharted Territory

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Note: this was written prior to the governor’s public health order regarding firearms in Bernalillo County.

Hello political junkies!

An ongoing theme in all levels and branches of government lately is uncharted territory.

Can a former president who has been indicted on several counts relating to an alleged insurrection be allowed on a ballot to win back the seat he fought so hard to keep during the 2020 election and its aftermath? 

So far, we don’t know. It’s uncharted territory since it has never happened before.

Former President Donald Trump’s bid for re-election in the 2024 election, New Mexico Secretary of State spokesman Alex Curtas told the NM Political Report that the SOS is reviewing legal theories about the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment’s disqualification clause which states that holders of public office are disqualified from running or holding public office if they engaged in insurrection against the U.S.

The events of Jan. 6, 2021 in which a horde of angry Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. with the intent to prevent the 2020 election results from being certified has been termed an insurrection or attempted coup.

At the time, the event was deemed a riot by Capitol Police.

So far, about 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes including felonies in reference to their actions on Jan. 6. 

One New Mexico politician was ruled to have been disqualified from holding his office based on his actions on Jan. 6. Former Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin is, so far, the only public official barred from holding office according to the 14th Amendment Disqualification Clause based on activities at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

He was charged with trespassing on Capitol grounds yet did not go inside the Capitol building.

As to Trump’s appearance on the 2024 New Mexico primary ballot, there are no definite answers at this time.

“If Donald Trump files in New Mexico to run for President, we will make a determination at that time based on our understanding of New Mexico law and the requirements to run for office in New Mexico. Any determination about a specific candidate’s eligibility for the ballot will be made after the candidate filing day in February 2024,” Curtas said in an email to the NM Political Report

Meanwhile, there are those nationwide who believe that Trump should be disqualified.

What about technological advances in artificial intelligence that are progressing faster than the three branches of government can keep up? 

So far, we don’t know. But the state legislature and the federal executive and legislative bodies are working on ways to curb the negative aspects of AI such as deepfakes used in child exploitation.

Some deepfakes are mostly harmless entertainment such as the ones with Bill Hader doing celebrity impressions with the faces of those he is imitating edited onto his face.

The same technology is being used to harm people including children.

The National Association of Attorneys General submitted a letter to Congress requesting it to study and figure out solutions to the problems of child exploitation through deepfaking. New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez co-signed that letter.

This week’s Interim Legislative meetings

Upcoming interim legislative meetings

For more information about these or other legislative committees visit

Other local and county meeting schedules

2023 New Mexico Local Elections

The Nov. 7 local elections are for your village/town/city mayors and councils/boards of trustees, school boards, municipal judges and other local boards.

A complete list of local election candidates can be found here.

Early/absentee voting begins Oct. 10 and ends Nov. 4.

For more information on the local elections in your community contact your local county clerk’s office which can also help you check on or update your voter registration, a process that can be done online at

If you would also like to serve as an election challenger, watcher or observer, contact your local county clerk’s office. For basic information about becoming an election challenger, watcher or observer, visit the New Mexico Secretary of State website information portal here or contact your local county clerk’s office.

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