Election standoff ends in New Mexico county after false fraud claims threw primary certification into query - CNN

The Otero County fee voted 2-1, with one of the imperative figures within the refusal to certify the consequences, Commissioner Couy Griffin, balloting "no."

"We honestly should not have a choice," commission Chairwoman Vickie Marquardt said before the vote, citing the potential for fines and removal from workplace if the panel ignored an order from the state Supreme court docket to certify the simple effects.

Griffin, who was sentenced previous Friday in Washington, DC, for his function within the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, known as in to the assembly and talked about his "gut feeling and intuition" told him to oppose the move. He also railed in opposition t what he called the "overreach of the state govt."New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, had correctly sought a state Supreme courtroom order this week to drive the certification. The all-Republican fee had refused on Monday to certify the results -- citing considerations about Do minion voting machines and questions a couple of handful of individual votes in this month's primary.

Friday marked the cut-off date for brand spanking new Mexico counties to certify results.

"i'm relieved that the Otero County commission finally did the correct component and adopted their responsibility below New Mexico law to certify the free and fair results of the 2022 simple Election," Oliver stated in an announcement. "The voters of Otero County and the candidates who duly gained their primaries can now relaxation guaranteed that their voices had been heard and the commonplace Election can proceed as deliberate."

The war of words in New Mexico had spark off alarms among vote casting rights advocates nationwide, who feared the commissioners' initial actions marked a preview of disruptions to return -- as debunked election conspiracy theories superior by means of former President Donald Trump and his allies take hang in elements of the nation.

"here is the canary in the coal mine for 2022 and 20224," Jonathan Diaz, senior criminal assistance for vote casting rights with the nonpartisan crusade prison center, noted of the Otero County certification prolong. "I consider it be reflective of the pernicious nature of the lies concerning the election that the previous President and his allies had been spreading in the aftermath of that election and continue to unfold nowadays."

This week, Oliver also made a crook referral to the state's attorney standard, urging an investigation of the fee over what she known as "assorted unlawful movements" -- together with the preliminary refusal to certify the outcomes of the simple and voting to remove polldrop boxes.

Marquardt advised a crowded hearing room Friday that Oliver, the state Supreme court docket, the state legislature and attorney universal Hector Balderas, a Democrat, "are railroading this fee into rubber-stamping approval under the hazard of criminal charges and penal complex."

"I can be of little need to the residents of Otero County from penitentiary or if i'm faraway from workplace," she introduced.

In a Thursday news unlock, Marquardt said she became no longer in quest of to relitigate the 2020 election however had certain considerations about certification of the state's vote casting device and about three votes allegedly "forged from an tackle where the individuals living there are deceased." At Friday's assembly, she spoke of her questions on these votes had been addressed through the county election officers.

Griffin, who had been convicted in March on a misdemeanor trespassing can charge, averted reformatory time Friday and turned into sentenced to 14 days with time served, fined $three,000 and given one year of supervised unencumber with the requirement that he complete 60 hours of community service.

Griffin, who co-founded Cowboys for Trump, had struck a defiant tone backyard the Washington court docket prior Friday, announcing Oliver's criminal referral "speaks volumes concerning the vindictiveness of latest Mexico politics today."

a bit more than 7,300 Otero County voters cast ballots in this month's primary, in keeping with the secretary of state's office. Trump with no trouble won the Republican stronghold in 2020.

but officials within the southern New Mexico county of roughly sixty eight,000 individuals have faced scrutiny before over their election-related habits.

The commission past this year approved a 3rd-birthday celebration assessment of the county's 2020 election outcomes. It included an "audit drive" going door-to-door to question voters -- prompting the USA house Oversight and Reform Committee to launch an investigation. A contract agreement between the county and a company it had gotten smaller to undertake the review concluded that "No Election Fraud" had been discovered.

The campaign felony middle's Diaz noted it changed into "a reassuring sign" that the brand new Mexico Supreme courtroom had moved so impulsively to force the certification. He said he hoped it might "function a warning shot to other county boards and folks involved within the canvassing and certification procedure in elections that here is now not applicable, and you can't invalidate the votes of the American people."

This story has been up to date with additional reporting Friday.

CNN's Holmes Lybrand contributed to this report.

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