Skip to comments.Retool Election Code (New Mexico, long read)
Posted on 11/13/2004 1:45:38 PM PST by CedarDave
Prime time in a big election year is sometimes called the silly season. This year in New Mexico it was ridiculous. Courtroom battles marked the months before election day. On Nov. 2, some 13,000 provisional ballots were cast in Bernalillo County alone, many by people who thought they were registered. More than half of the 13,000 were rejected. Long before the ballot-counting process ended Friday, it was clear that the cobbled-together, contradictory state election code is a loser.
Lawmakers should start from scratch and rewrite the code in the next legislative session.
It should be easy for citizens to register and to vote, and both processes should have a high degree of confidence. By any reasonable means, the counting of ballots should be streamlined and transparent. The language of elections law must be consistent and clear enough to eliminate what seems to be an endless list of lawyerly arguments about what it might mean.
Armies of volunteers and paid workers added thousands of new voters to the rolls this year. But too many forms were improperly filled out. With some workers being paid by the head, there was an incentive for quantity over doing the job right. Beyond sloppiness, fraud is suspected in more than 200 registrations filed in Bernalillo County.
Workers should not be paid by the head. All registrars, paid or volunteer, should be trained, certified and sworn in by election officials before being set loose on the general public. To assure accountability, forms they turn in should be traceable to them. And the people they are registering should get a receipt or carbon copy that could be filed along with a provisional ballot should the original fail to be filed with the county clerk.
Lawmakers should also explore election-day registration at the polls, currently in effect in six states, including Wyoming and Idaho. With a separate line strictly for registration, it wouldn't slow down voting. There clearly would be added costs, but same-day registration would eliminate middleman registrars and the possibility of discovering on election day, weeks after you believed you had registered, that you're not on the rolls and cannot vote.
It is hard to read current law and not conclude that someone who does not turn in their own registration at the clerk's office must show ID when they vote. But under the interpretation of the law, if your registration form was turned in by whoever registered 13-year-old Kevin Stout to vote, you don't have to show ID. Meanwhile, anybody who submitted their form by mail must show ID at the polls and, according to another interpretation, the address on the driver's license has to match the address on the registration rolls. The easy way out of this nuttiness is crystal-clear law applied consistently. Everyone shows photo ID every time they vote. The picture has to match the voter; the name on the ID has to match the name on the rolls. Mobility is too high a hurdle for many students and low-income people. A utility bill or anything else with name and address should suffice.
Clarify, simplify and make uniform throughout the state how absentee, provisional and in-lieu-of ballots are handled. Lawmakers could expedite the tally by allowing election workers to open the outer envelopes of absentee ballots and sort the ballots before election day and, starting at 12:01 a.m. on the day, to do everything else but tally of votes. Lawmakers should specify that observers must be allowed to watch each step of the ballot counting, including the statewide canvass by the Secretary of State's Office. The law should clearly lay down the rules for challenging ballots and determine what identifying information on the ballots, like Social Security numbers, should be privileged.
Gov. Bill Richardson and the Legislature should put an election code overhaul high on the list of priorities for the 2005 session.
With the exceptions mentioned noted above, the editorial suggestions would seem acceptable for Congress to adopt for a uniform nationwide electoral process.
Ohio was the prime state, and New Mexico was the marginal state; but the Democrats lost both states ... or, that is, they are unwilling to concede, despite Kerry's concession.
The point is, they wish to state on the record, that the election was never really decided at the polls ... and there was really never a complete concession.
Sore Losermen II
They figure that nobody's really looking; and somehow, someway, some "win" can be achieved.
They intend to contest New Mexico, over and over and over again, in order to build a myth that somehow, the people were disenfranchised, dis-whatever.
It wouldn't surprise me. It's a real black eye for Richardson, who has presidential ambitions, that he couldn't deliver his state to kerry even though he has been an absolute control freak.
IIRC, there originally were somewhere in the range of 18,000-19,000 statewide provisional ballots. The President's lead before they started counting these was about 8,300 votes. Yes, if all had been accepted, there would have been a good chance of the President losing the state. However, once a county and the SOS certify the election, it's too late to challenge. Because of the President's current 6,000 vote lead, a recount will not change anything. And I believe the provisional ballot fight is over for this year.
However, in the future, provisional ballots and voter day regisitration must not be unrestricted so that a candidate or party can go out and roundup the homeless and illegals and drive them to the polls on election day with the promise of a meal or a fifth of wino wine.
This is so reasonable, I can't believe it was written by a New Mexico newspaper.I thought that showing a photo ID was considered by all enlightened people in New Mexico to be Evil Voter Intimadation. I could go along with same day registration if it was done like the provisional balloting (the votes put aside and not counted till they are checked for cheating).
The election rules are fine when Democarts win. Since this is likely not the case the whole system must be overhauled.
No, same day registration is an opportunity for fraud, IMO. And taking time to check on eligibility of same day voters just slows down the vote count process.
BTW, the ABQ Journal endorsed W and two of the three Pubbie congressional candidates (who both won).
You guys have finished your election...ALREADY?(!) Wow! How'd ya do it so fast?
Hell no. What's so difficult about registering 30 days before an election. Isn't it better to clean up voter rolls before an election than afterward?
I would support a law that considered everyone with a driver's license or state photo-id would be automatically registered. To vote you would have to show the id.
Moving around is always a problem. Lots of people wait before changing their driver's license. But even after a move, the photo-id should be required, along with some proof of residence.
People who do not change their registration info within a reasonable time should expect problems. On the other hand, states should have a way of verifying your registration online or by mail.
There, "truth" is defined as, "whatever is said or written by Democrats."
There is no requirement for actual, geniuine, the real, truth.
There is no political or news media job requirement in all of New Mexico, that is, truth.
Probably because there is not time, in the day, given that all of the time, is spent on how incredibly over-sensitive are the Democrats, and how they constantly preen and posture around one another, and, that, there, is their daily bread.
At the top, this takes the form of "I am with you! The people!" And then, after "work," there's a short walk from the statehouse to Rio Chama for steaks and charge it to the public purse, waiter.
New Mexico is no longer a state; rather, it's a kingdom.
The only reason that there is real progress and real growth, is because there are so many actual, real, working stiffs who are not yet under the union label.
In other words, everybody else is doing the actual work, while the vaunted Democrat Worker Voter Party studies holes in river bank mud, at a cost of millions, or argues over fence lines at a cost of millions, or decries water conservation in the name of conserving water, again, at a cost of millions, while also writing checks, millions, for new parks and things where, on rare occasions, I've seen some dog catch a Frisbee.
The entire state of New Mexico, for Democrats, is a giant public work, excepting the vast reserves owned by the many limousine liberals who complain about how much money they have.
Like Sam Donaldson, who owns enough of New Mexico, that you can see it on the November 2, 2004 Elections results map --- I've heard that it's the big blue area in the upper-left-hand corner, but that's only a rumor.
There are people in New Mexico, whose word is their bond, and a good one. Occasionally, I meet such people.
Yet, as a group, as a whole, the Democrats are not to be trusted in any way, shape or form, and especially their "retreat" known as Los Alamos --- which in Spanish, translates to: All of yours is mine.
Los Alamos is a honey pot of communist worker bees and has entirely lost its usefulness.
If the Nature Conservancy wants to return something to the wilds, they can spend THEIR money by giving it away unconditionally, to a project dedicated to returning the entire face of the caldera, to God's country.
There is nothing happening at Los Alamos, except spying --- the whole place, the town and suburbs and nearby villages, is 100% a giant federally-funded act.
We waste billions on that slope, that could be used to fund the Veterans Hospital system.
Am I going on and on?
Los Alamos is a joke, and even the commies know it.
What's the point?
You could close Los Alamos and keep open three Air Force bases.
You could build 50 C-17 aircraft that we desparately need.
NOTHING is happening at Los Alamos, except for Democrats taking home gov't dollars.
No kidding. If somebody doesn't have their act together enough to get a valid photo ID and register a month in advance do we really want them deciding our future leadership?
I think Lawrence Livermore has taken over the former mission of Los Alamos. Not sure.
I'm afraid that whatever King Richard[son] wants in the way of election reform, he will get. With both houses of the legislature in Democrat hands and with him keeping a whip in the form of threatened vetos of hometown pork (which he used earlier this year), he has complete autocratic control. Fortunately, for the nation, he is only governor of New Mexico. Unfortunately for the nation, he has his sights set on higher office and he and her tHighness, Hillary, may team up in 2008. Given that they are both control freaks, God help us.
That would keep potential fraudsters from knowing how many votes they needed.
Yeah, I guess you're right. I believe that new book by John Fund (Stealing Elections) said that states that make it easy for people to vote don't have higher turnout than states that actually make people put out a little effort.
However, what you say has more than a ring of truth. Both of the NM labs are money black holes, full of government bureaucracy and useless directives, unbelievable government sector fringe benefits, and general wasted time, effort and money. And most of the workers who enjoy this government largess are Democrats who don't live there but commute from the Santa Fe area where they fit right in with the other liberal intelligentsia who infest that beautiful area.
Yeah, I lived there for 13 years and worked for both government and then a private company with lab contracts. They did their own thing with the people's money, but when I was told to go out and get commercial business, they threw government bureaucracy at me: Contracts, government accounting procedures, and other endless restrictions on my marketing and travel. Because they had government contracts, everything in the commercial sector had to follow the same rules. No money to be made that way; couldn't charge the client enough to cover the overhead costs.
Finally I bailed out to a small business elsewhere in the state with a much more handshake way of doing business. Though I miss the sceneary, the government bureaucrats with their rules have yet to completely take over this part of the state. And, BTW, this area went to Bush 79.5% to 20%.
Pudgy thought it was OK to give Monica a job (after the one she gave Bubber) and now they expect him to voluntarily close voter fraud loopholes?
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