A bill that would make it a crime to disrupt election results including by falsely claiming to be a presidential elector passed the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee on a party-line 6-3 vote on Friday.
“The bill is intended to protect the valid results of democratically conducted elections, the votes of New Mexico voters and nothing less than democracy itself,” bill sponsor House Majority Leader Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque, said.
HB 19 lists the following as disrupting election results:
- Suppressing or materially defacing, altering, forcing, or making false entries in a county canvass report, certification of canvass, certificate of election, report of the state canvass, or certificate of ascertainment of appointment of electors
- Preparing or submitting a false canvass report, certificate of canvass, certificate of election, report of the state canvass, or certificate of ascertainment of appointment of falsely acting as a presidential elector
The bill would make falsely acting as a presidential elector a third degree felony.
HB 19 also states that the attorney general or district attorney may enforce either provision.
Following the 2020 election, Republicans had their own slate of electors who claimed Republican Donald Trump won New Mexico’s five electoral votes. This also happened in several other states, though in the case of New Mexico, Democrat Joe Biden won by nearly 11 percentage points.
Attorney General Raúl Torrez announced in January that the 2020 New Mexican fake presidential electors were not charged with a crime because they did not break any state laws and suggested that the legislature make being a fake presidential elector illegal in New Mexico.