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|(NM) 7/08 - Cibola: Election official...
Post Number: 8754
Best of Black Box?
Votes: 1 (A keeper?)
|Posted on Sunday, July 6, 2008 - 9:58 am: ||
(From BBV Admin): This is egregious, it just about doesn't GET more serious than this, yet election officials are just shrugging it off and pretending there should be no consequences. This is particularly horrific because the absence of these ballots, in essence, defeated a recount provision. Some counties reportedly hand counted for the recount, whereas others like Cibola County, ran the ballots through the machines again. But apparently even this was too scary for someone -- the ballots from two locations in Grant evaporated, so they just read the [tamper-friendly] memory cards instead. This situation puts Cibola County on the Black Box Voting 2008 Watch List.
Associated Press - July 5, 2008, By Barry Massey
Recount: Ulibarri wins by 5
SANTA FE — Unofficial returns of a recount in a state Senate race show the incumbent, David Ulibarri of Grants, winning the Democratic nomination by five votes.
However, the candidate who finished second in the race wants an investigation into primary election ballots missing from two precincts in Cibola County. Local election officials have said they don’t know what happened to the ballots.
“I’ve got a problem when you have missing ballots. How could they disappear? How could 182 ballots disappear?
Where are they? Of course, there is no answer to that,” Clemente Sanchez of Grants said in a telephone interview.
Attorney General Gary King’s office is “reviewing the matter in Cibola County but I have no timeline or indication of what comes next, if anything,” Phil Sisneros, a spokesman for King, said in an e-mail on Thursday.
Bags of trash from the Cibola County polling places on Election Day have been impounded but there’s been no examination of the trash to determine whether it includes ballots, said George Trujillo, the county’s election coordinator.
He said county officials do not want to tamper with the trash bags until it’s decided whether the trash must be examined and how to sort through the material. The trash bags are at the sheriff’s office for safekeeping.
The recount in Senate District 30, which covers parts of Cibola, Valencia and Socorro counties, was ordered because of a new state law requiring automatic recounts when the margin between the top two candidates is less than one-half of 1 percent. Results of the June 3 primary showed Ulibarri winning a three-way race for the Democratic nomination by eight votes.
That margin dropped to five votes, according to unofficial results of the recount in the three counties. The outcome of the race will not be official until the state Canvassing Board meets on July 11 to certify results.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face Jose Silva, a Grants Republican, in the November general election.
The recount was done in the three counties by feeding ballots from the primary election back through tabulators and then hand tallying certain other ballots. For the two Cibola County precincts without ballots, the results were rechecked with memory cards from the tabulators used at polling places on Election Day. The memory devices were inserted in a different tabulator to get a new printout of results.
According to unofficial recount returns, Sanchez carried the county with 1,344 votes — down one from results presented to the state canvassing board last week — and Ulibarri received 915 votes, which was down two from previously canvassed results. June Lorenzo got 836 votes, down from 835 in the initial canvassed results.
Frequent Voting Rights Forum Participant
Post Number: 5117
Best of Black Box? N/A
Votes: 0 (A keeper?)
|Posted on Sunday, July 6, 2008 - 2:16 pm: ||
How anyone can project a winner when there are 2 missing ballot boxes is beyond me.