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Trump lawyer Giuliani mentions NM in vote challenge

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico was thrust into a national fray Thursday as President Donald Trump’s campaign tried to cast doubt on the accuracy of unofficial election results.

Without citing specific evidence, Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for the president, said the campaign was looking into fraud allegations in New Mexico, among other states.

“We have very, very significant amount of fraud allegations in the state of New Mexico,” Giuliani said during a news conference in Washington, D.C.

While two lawsuits were filed by the state Republican Party in the run-up to Election Day, no specific allegations of fraud or vote-counting irregularities have surfaced in New Mexico this year.

Rudy Giuliani

The state’s elections are run by county clerks – a mix of Republicans and Democrats – working throughout New Mexico, overseen by Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat.

Voters mark paper ballots, and the results are audited after every general election to check the accuracy of the vote tabulation.

“We have safe and secure elections here in New Mexico because of our use of best practices like paper ballots, regular voter roll maintenance, and post-election audits,” Alex Curtas, a spokesman for Toulouse Oliver, said in a written statement.

Democrat Joe Biden easily defeated Trump to win New Mexico’s five electoral votes, according to unofficial results that could be certified next week. Biden won by 11 percentage points, or almost 100,000 votes out of 924,000 ballots cast.

But Republicans made gains in New Mexico, too.

Republican Yvette Herrell won the 2nd Congressional District seat over Democratic incumbent Xochitl Torres Small, and Republicans are poised to pick up one seat in the state House, based on unofficial returns.

Despite the wide vote split in the presidential contest, state Republican Party leaders have asked for donations to help fund Trump’s legal fight.

The Republican Party of New Mexico said Thursday that it was working with the Trump campaign, and it shared Giuliani’s allegations on Twitter. In a statement, Chairman Steve Pearce said the party would “defend President Trump and the American people.”

Meanwhile, neither of the two lawsuits filed last month by the state GOP alleged any instances of voter fraud.

In one case, the state Supreme Court declined to hear a Republican-backed lawsuit dealing with the role of poll watchers in verifying absentee ballots.

The other lawsuit targeted absentee ballot drop box protocols in two Democratic-leaning counties – Taos and Guadalupe – and was dismissed after county clerks in those two counties agreed to make changes.

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