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Libertarians pay for recount in governor primary

SANTA FE – The Libertarian candidates for governor and lieutenant governor are willing to pay $8,500 to cover the cost of a recount aimed at ensuring their names appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The two candidates ran a write-in campaign to win the Libertarian nomination. Under state law, they had to receive at least 230 votes in the primary election to advance to the general election, but they fell about 50 votes short.

Now, the Libertarians are asking the State Canvassing Board to authorize a hand tally in at least eight counties and they’ve provided an $8,500 check to cover the cost. They will get the money back if the recount shows that they had enough votes to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot.

The candidates are Bob Walsh, a Santa Fe mathematician running for governor, and Robin Dunn, a Mountainair rancher running for lieutenant governor.

Their attorney, David Ring, proposed two possibilities for the recount – one involving a hand tally of the paper ballots, the other a tally of digital images of the ballots.

In a letter to state election officials, Ring said there are bound to be plenty of uncounted votes – because some people wrote in the candidates’ names, but forgot to fill in the bubble that alerts the machine to a write-in vote.

The State Canvassing Board is expected to consider the recount request at a meeting this week. The board comprises three members: Gov. Susana Martinez, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and state Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith Nakamura.