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New Mexico court clears way for recount

Democratic incumbent Commissioner of Public Lands Ray Powell, left, and Republican challenger Aubrey Dunn

Democratic incumbent Commissioner of Public Lands Ray Powell, left, and Republican challenger Aubrey Dunn

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Supreme Court has cleared the way for the recount to begin in the race for land commissioner.

The court on Wednesday lifted the stay it had imposed after reviewing a petition filed by incumbent Democrat Ray Powell over concerns his campaign had with the procedures for the recount.

The court denied the petition, a move that came after Powell and state elections officials negotiated an agreement over how to conduct the count. One issue was how many ballots would be used to calibrate the vote tabulating machines.

The latest totals provided by the secretary of state’s office show Republican Aubrey Dunn leading Powell by several hundred votes, a margin so small it triggered an automatic recount under state law.

State officials say the recount will begin Thursday.

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