“I’m not planning to move off my position,” Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin said in a telephone interview with CNN on Thursday. “Why have a commission if we just get overridden by the court system?”
Commission Chairwoman Vickie Marquardt and Commissioner Gerald Matherly have not responded to CNN’s inquiries, and it’s not clear how they intend to vote.
On Thursday, Griffin told CNN that he’s “not trying to overturn an election. We want transparency.”
“The more they try to fight us and shut us down,” he said, “the more of a skeptic I will become.”
Otero County is one of the first known communities to balk at certifying election results. The dispute in this Republican stronghold of roughly 68,000 people has sparked fears among voting rights experts that conspiracy theories about voting machines and other aspects of election administration have taken deep root in some pockets of the country and could lead to further disruptions this fall.
The commissioners cited their concerns about Dominion voting machines in refusing to certify the results at a Monday meeting.
“I have huge concerns with these voting machines,” Marquardt said at the time. “I really do. I just don’t think in my heart that they can’t be manipulated.”
On Thursday, Oliver asked the state’s attorney general to investigate the commission over several recent actions.
In the referral to Attorney General Hector Balderas, a fellow Democrat, Oliver said members of the Otero County Commission have taken “multiple unlawful actions” this month — including declining to certify the results of the June 7 primary, ordering the removal of ballot-drop boxes and voting to discontinue to the use of vote-tallying machines.
“All county officials take an oath to uphold the constitution and laws of New Mexico,” Oliver said in a news release. “The Commissioners in Otero County have violated the public’s trust and our state laws through their recent actions and must be held accountable.”
A little more than 7,300 Otero County voters cast ballots in the primary, according to the secretary of state’s office. Counties must certify results so nominees’ names can be placed on the November ballot. And one too-close-to-call local race involving two Republican candidates awaits the certification before an automatic recount can begin.
In a statement this week, a Dominion spokesperson called the controversy in Otero “yet another example of how lies about Dominion have damaged our company and diminished the public’s faith in elections.”
This story and headline have been updated.
Quoted from Various Sources
Published for: WATPFC