Monday, December 13, 2004
Election Board To Discuss Recount
The Associated Press
SANTA FE The state Board of Canvassing meets Tuesday to decide the next step in a requested recount of ballots in the presidential race.
The board's meeting is scheduled right on the deadline for notifying county election officials and precinct workers when to meet to start recounting ballots.
The Green and Libertarian presidential candidates have asked for the recount and deposited $114,000 with the secretary of state to defray the per-precinct and per-machine cost of the recount, as required by state law.
On Friday, recount organizers urged state officials to expedite the new tabulation of votes.
"We are eager for the recount to get under way and be conducted in a meaningful manner so that we may ensure that democracy is served," Lowell Finley, a lawyer for the candidates seeking the recount, said in a statement.
The canvassing board is made up of Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, Gov. Bill Richardson and Chief Justice Petra Maes of the state Supreme Court. Richardson has said he doesn't think a recount is necessary.
There could be an attempt at the meeting to potentially short-circuit the recount by requiring Green Party nominee David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik to pay more money before the recount is ordered.
Vigil-Giron has said the requested recount could cost close to $600,000.
Candidates who apply for recounts must pay the costs unless the outcome of the election is changed. That's not expected to occur in New Mexico, where President Bush defeated John Kerry by nearly 6,000 votes.
The Greens and Libertarians withdrew a request for a presidential recount in Nevada after elections officials said the cost would be more than $300,000.