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Editorial: Secretary of State Duran has put office back on track

To put it mildly, Secretary of State Dianna J. Duran walked into a mess when she was elected in 2010.

Since then, she has:

• Addressed a decades-long lack of compliance with federal voter roll law.

• Reduced the corporations registration backlog from over three months to three days and refunded $150 “expedite” fees that encouraged incompetence after the task was shifted to her office from the Public Regulation Commission.

• Placed election loading systems in all 33 counties.

• Moved printing from an outside vendor to the state, saving $1 million annually.

• Removed an IT supervisor on contract from India who expected the state to spend $5,000 for his visa.

• Established duties for a staff that had been allowed to “just do what they think they should.”

• Smartly kept key people from the Richardson administration, including Ken Ortiz, her chief of staff.

In addition, Duran has made a vocal and visible stand for accuracy in voting, as well as in ballot questions. She supports voter ID, and fought Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties’ move to put nonbinding polls before voters Nov. 4.

If re-elected, the Tularosa Republican – who has been a county clerk, as well as a three-term state senator – plans to continue to streamline corporations filings, as well as the state’s elections database, to save money and time. She also wants to use her legislative experience to help refine statutes regarding campaign finance reporting and Public Regulation Commission candidate qualifications so laws are enforceable.

Duran says, “When you cast a vote it has to mean something.” She’s right, and her actions in 3½ years mean New Mexicans can have confidence in the system. The Journal recommends voters mark their ballot to keep Dianna Duran as secretary of state.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.