Torrez wins Democratic Party nomination for attorney general

Raúl Torrez won the Democratic nomination for state attorney general, defeating Brian Colón. Torrez is a former federal prosecutor whose resume includes attending both Harvard and Stanford universities. He currently serves as the Bernalillo County district attorney—a position he has held for five years—and that county provided him with a healthy advantage. As results came in, Torrez took 57.7 percent of the early and absentee voters in Bernalillo County. 

As the district attorney, Torrez announced last year a memorandum of understanding with the state Indian Affairs Division to form a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Task Force subunit within the district attorney’s office. Torrez also served as assistant attorney general in 2008 and 2009 where he handled cases of police misconduct and exploitation of children.

Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States; New Mexico reacts

The Associated Press and other media outlets projected Saturday morning that former Vice President Joe Biden won enough electoral votes to win the presidency. The Associated Press called the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and its 20 electoral votes, for Biden at 11:25 am. EST. 

Biden is scheduled to speak Saturday night. President Donald Trump did not concede the race on Saturday, and instead promised to pursue unspecified legal remedies. Trump said the race is “far from over” in a statement.

NM Dems holds House majority

While the official results are still not in, the New Mexico House races were mostly a win for Democrats. 

About three dozen of the contested races Tuesday showed wins for Democrats, although some of them were extremely close and not all ballots were counted by the end of the night. But with the House already having a sizable majority of Democratic members, the party largely maintained its majority. Here are some notable races from election night, with all numbers as of 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday. House District 12

Brittney Barreras will be the first candidate to be elected without being tied to a political party. According to the Bernalillo County Clerk’s count, Barreras received about 70 percent of the vote compared to her write-in opponent, Democratic Rep. Art De La Cruz. 

While De La Cruz is the incumbent, he was only recently appointed to the spot after former state Representative Patricio Ruiloba resigned.

Democrat Leger Fernandez wins 3rd Congressional District, AP projects

Teresa Leger Fernandez beat Republican Alexis Johnson for the open seat in the House of Representatives for New Mexico’s 3rd  Congressional District. 

The Associated Press called the election for Leger Fernandez at 9:12 p.m., with 83 percent of precincts reporting partial results and 10 percent of precincts reported full results. Leger Fernandez thanked those who voted for her, and said she will work to earn the trust of those who did not vote for her, in her victory speech. “I promise to listen to your voices and strategize with you to help us all solve our common problems,” she said during a virtual election event held by the New Mexico Democratic Party. “2021 will be transformative as we address the failures that have caused so much death and misery, as we resolve ourselves to act in unison, in the face of a crisis.”

Leger Fernandez runs the Santa Fe-based social impact law firm Leger Law and Strategy. She was appointed as vice chair to the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation under President Barack Obama’s administration.

Deb Haaland easily wins reelection to U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland secured her second term to represent New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. The Associated Press called the race for Haaland at 8:34 p.m. with partial results from roughly 96 percent of precincts reported. Haaland was confident in her reelection campaign and said getting people out to vote was most important this year. “We did everything we could do to get voters to the polls. That was our main concern, just making sure that everybody voted and had a way to vote and understood how they could vote,” Haaland told NM Political Report after the polls closed.

Biden wins New Mexico’s five electoral votes

Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in New Mexico, which would net the Democrat five more electoral votes. The Associated Press called the race in New Mexico for Biden as the polls closed at 7 p.m.

As of 1:00 a.m., Biden led Trump by ten points, 54 percent to 44 percent with nearly all votes in the state counted, according to unofficial results. The win by Biden is the fourth-straight time a Democrat has won the state’s five electoral votes and the seventh time in the last eight elections. New Mexico was once a swing state, with Democrat Al Gore defeating Republican George W. Bush by just 366 votes in 2000, then Bush defeating Democrat John Kerry by just 5,988 votes in 2004. Bush won both overall nationwide elections.

2020 New Mexico election live blog

NM Political Report usual election night liveblog will run throughout the evening. Polls close at 7 p.m. and vote counts will last well into the night. County officials will begin posting results after polls close and they will be available here. The large amount of absentee ballots mean that many races will not have enough sufficient information to project who won, but we will track any news from around the state. Also, read our story on what to watch during Election Day.

Some Sandoval County voters said they were unable to cast provisional ballots Tuesday

A problem with processing provisional ballots meant some Sandoval County voters were not able to cast provisional ballots Tuesday. Bernice Chavez, the Sandoval County elections manager, said she didn’t know how long the problem lasted and she said she didn’t know what caused the problem or when it started. She said “we have a vendor,” and said the problem has been fixed. She said the system did not go down but that election workers were not able to process provisional ballots. A voter receives a provisional ballot if their name does not appear on the roster at their polling place or if they are a first time voter who registered by mail and do not provide the required identification, according to the state’s Secretary of State’s website.

What to watch, expect on election night

Voters who have not already voted will go to the polls today to cast their ballots. New Mexicans cast 456,224 early in-person votes and a record-breaking number of votes by absentee ballots. Turnout looks likely to pass the total from 2008, the state’s current record-high number of votes in any election, with today’s turnout. And today, thousands will flock to the polls statewide, which are open from 7 a.m to 7 p.m.

Last week, the Secretary of State said she hoped that most votes would be counted by election night but the tabulation of absentee ballots would likely take several days. Unlike some other states, all absentee ballots must arrive by the close of polls to be valid.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry joins last-minute voter push for New Mexico Democrats

Prominent Democrat John Kerry, who served as Secretary of State under former President Barack Obama, joined the state’s top Democrats Monday evening in a final virtual push to get out the vote. 

Kerry likened the current Trump administration with former President Richard Nixon’s administration in the late 1970s. 

“I think most of us never thought we’d have a nightmare again like that. We are living one today,” Kerry said. “We are living one with a man who is only president in name. Not one thing he has done is presidential.”

Kerry was critical of Trump’s foreign policies. He pointed to Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and added that he brought the country to “the brink of war with Iran” and criticized Trump for his “absolute farcical dance with Kim Jung Un,” the leader of North Korea, whom Kerry described as “the worst dictator on the planet.”

Kerry was also critical of the way Trump has treated countries that have historically been considered allies of the U.S. 

“You look at Europe, where [Germany’s Chancellor] Angela Merkel was insulted, [France’s president Emmanuel] Macron was insulted; where our allies have been made our enemies, and where Donald Trump stood eight feet from {Russia’s] President Putin in Helsinki,” Kerry said. 

“Every day is chaos,” he added.