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NM Canvassing Board certifies election results

Ballots are counted at the Bernalillo County Bureau of Elections Voting Machine Warehouse on Nov. 3, 2020. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico has now voted for Democratic presidential candidates in four consecutive elections, after the state Canvassing Board on Tuesday certified the state’s 2020 general election results.

President-elect Joe Biden won the state’s five electoral votes by defeating President Donald Trump, a Republican, by a sizable margin.

Based on official results, Biden won New Mexico by 10.8 percentage points this year over Trump. That’s up slightly from Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 8.3 point statewide victory over Trump in 2016.

Driven by an unprecedented surge of absentee ballots, New Mexico’s official voter turnout of 928,230 ballots cast set an all-time high.

However, the 68.7% turnout among eligible voters fell just short of the record 70% turnout mark set in 2008.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, one of three members of the state Canvassing Board, touted the integrity of the election, saying there were multiple levels of checks to ensure accuracy.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham also lauded the handling of the election, before joining with Toulouse Oliver and state Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Vigil to vote in favor of certifying the results.

“I would suggest that New Mexico led the nation in the right sort of efforts and results,” the governor said, citing social distancing and face mask requirements at polling places, along with a program that allowed individuals quarantined or hospitalized with COVID-19 to cast provisional ballots.

Without citing any specific evidence, Trump’s campaign has said it is looking into fraud allegations in New Mexico and in other states.

State Republican Party leaders have asked for donations to help fund Trump’s legal fight, and the GOP filed two lawsuits in the run-up to Election Day over absentee ballot and ballot drop box protocols.

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots Nov. 3 in Albuquerque. The state Canvassing Board on Tuesday certified the New Mexico general election results. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Since 2006, New Mexico has used a paper ballot system that requires most voters to manually mark ballots and feed them into electronic vote tabulating machines. The system allows elections officials to recount paper ballots if necessary.

Per state law, the canvassing board on Tuesday ordered state-paid vote recounts in three races in which the candidates are separated by narrow vote margins. Those recounts will begin next week and are expected to be finished by Dec. 3.

The three races are:

⋄ The House District 53 race between incumbent Democrat Willie Madrid and Republican Ricky Little, both of Chaparral. Madrid held a 36-vote lead over Little in the initial vote-counting.

⋄ The district attorney’s race in the Grants-based 13th Judicial District between Democrat Barbara Romo and Republican Joshua Joe Jimenez. Romo was up by 136 votes in a race with nearly 113,000 votes cast.

⋄ A race for a District Court judgeship in the 6th Judicial District between Republican William Perkins and Democrat Jim Foy. Foy held a 167-vote edge in the race.

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